AC/DC don’t have to fire Rudd - Johnson

AC/DC frontman Brian Johnson believes drummer Phil Rudd’s future with the band will be decided in court.

And he’s emphasised that the band will hit the road next year with or without him.

Rudd, 60, is under house arrest at his New Zealand home after being accused of threatening to kill and possession of drugs. The charge of attempting to procure the murder of two men was dropped for lack of evidence – but he could still face up to seven years in jail.

The band have reported that he’d been behaving erratically in the run-up to his legal woes. Guitarist Angus Young has said it was difficult to keep him at work while they recorded upcoming album Rock Or Bust, and that he failed to appear for a London video shoot without warning.

Now Johnson tells Howard Stern on SiriusXM: “I don’t think we have to do anything – fire him or anything like that. I think the situation is going to take care of itself.

“He’s got himself into a pickle and there’s nothing we can do about it. We’re talking about criminal courts, judges and juries. But we are going to go on tour, and nothing’s going to stop us.”

Asked about his reaction to the news of Rudd’s arrest, Young says: “I fell out of bed, actually. My wife woke me up and said, ‘Hey, Phil’s been up to no good. Somebody said, ‘Who was he trying to hit – his dentist or his drug dealer?’”

AC/DC have had no contact with the drummer since the drama began. He was replaced by Welsh drummer Bob Richards of Buck & Evans for the video shoot. Rock Or Bust is released on December 1 – it’s their first album without retired mainman Malcolm Young.

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Not only is one-time online news editor Martin an established rock journalist and drummer, but he’s also penned several books on music history, including SAHB Story: The Tale of the Sensational Alex Harvey Band (opens in new tab), a band he once managed, and the best-selling Apollo Memories (opens in new tab) about the history of the legendary and infamous Glasgow Apollo. Martin has written for Classic Rock and Prog and at one time had written more articles for Louder than anyone else (we think he's second now). He’s appeared on TV and when not delving intro all things music, can be found travelling along the UK’s vast canal network.