AC/DC drummer Phil Rudd pleaded guilty to drug charges as well as threatening to kill his former assistant in New Zealand’s Tauranga District Court on Tuesday, April 21st. This comes as a surprise considering Rudd initially told the court that he would plead “not guilty” to all charges at a hearing in December 2014. Rudd will receive his sentencing on June 26th and remains remanded on bail until then. Phil Rudd’s lawyer, Craig Tuck, stated that he will argue for Rudd to be discharged without conviction, which is allowed under New Zealand law. 

According to a summary of the facts presented to the court, Phil Rudd asked for his former assistant to be “taken out” after the drummer’s solo release, Head Job, failed miserably.  Rudd made a phone call on September 25th to order the hit in exchange for $200,000, a car, a motorbike, or a house. As previously reported, the charges for murder-for-hire were dropped due to lack of evidence. However, Rudd made phone calls to his former assistant the next day, stating “I’ll come over and kill you.” Needless to say, the former assistant told the authorities that he was “fearful for his safety.” 

Meanwhile, the rest of AC/DC is just coming off of their first performance in 6 years at Coachella. In an interview with Howard Stern last December, both Angus Young and Brian Johnson addressed Rudd’s situation by stating that “The situation will take care of itself. He has gotten himself into a pickle. There is nothing we can do about it. We are talking about criminal charges here. We are talking about judges, we are talking about juries. We are going to go on tour. Nothing is going to stop us.” They also stated that they were unsure if Rudd was still a member of the band. 

– Marisa Frydman (@musicalmarisa)