The man that AC/DC drummer Phil Rudd allegedly tried to hire to kill two men has spoken to the media, offering further details on the charges laid against Rudd, as well as defending the drummer’s character, calling him “a good man at heart”.
As Tone Deaf reported yesterday, the longtime drummer for the Anglo-Australian hard rock legends allegedly attempted to procure a murder, with a raid on his New Zealand home ultimately resulting in charges of possession of methamphetamine, possession of cannabis, and threatening to kill.
According to the alleged hitman, who spoke to Fairfax Media and whose name has been suppressed, Rudd had wanted to hire the man as his bodyguard after receiving a number of threats. The outlet reports that the musician has had bodyguards stationed outside of his waterfront mansion for the past several weeks.
The anonymous man claims that the increased security stems from disputes with “working girls”, adding, “The girls that he gets, working girls and that, their partners get pissed off, he tells them ‘Nah I’m not paying you’ and then the partners come and say they want their money.”
The man said Rudd had requested he accompany him on a trip to London for further work with AC/DC — who are slated to release their 16th full-length album, Rock or Bust, later this month — as his bodyguard.
He told Fairfax that the wealthy drummer has “done a lot for the community”, single-handedly keeping some businesses afloat. However, commenting on Rudd’s vices, he said, “The amount he spends on company is like someone’s yearly wage… he’s the Hugh Hefner of Tauranga.”
Appearing in Tauranga District Court on Thursday and released on bail, it is unclear if Rudd will participate in AC/DC’s forthcoming world tour. According to Fairfax, the 60-year-old Rudd said nothing during his court hearing.
AC/DC have released an official statement concerning Rudd’s arrest, telling Facebook followers, “We’ve only become aware of Phil’s arrest as the news was breaking. We have no further comment. Phil’s absence will not affect the release of our new album Rock or Bust and upcoming tour next year.”
Rudd is the only Australian-born member of AC/DC, relocating to New Zealand in 1983 after he was kicked out of the band. Rudd rejoined the group in 1994 and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with the other members of the band in 2003.
The events follow a tumultuous period for AC/DC. Last month, it was confirmed that recently departed guitarist Malcolm Young is suffering from dementia and has been placed in specialty care. The guitarist’s nephew, Stevie Young, has been filling in on rhythm guitar for his uncle.