Described by Malcolm Young, co-founder of AC/DC, as “the real deal”, PHIL RUDD the band’s long term drummer, played in several Melbourne bands such as Buster Brown and The Coloured Balls before joining up with the rock giants in 1975.Rudd powered the band to superstardom with his dogged consistency and unshakeable backbeat on classics like ‘It’s A Long Way To The Top (If You Want To Rock ’N’ Roll)’ ‘TNT” and ‘Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap’, becoming an indelible part of AC/DC history.
To the untrained ear, Phil Rudd’s drumming may seem rudimentary, but his style and groove have earned him the adoration of generations of his peers. Rammstein’s Christoph Schneider said in the October 2010’s Modern Drummer, “AC/DC were my absolute heroes because they are simple and easy to copy, though soon you find they are not so easy to copy.” The magazine’s May 2010 issue also honoured the rocker with the feature ’50 Reasons To Love Phil Rudd’.
Rudd has appeared on all but three of AC/DC’s 18 studio albums, which have sold more than 200 million copies worldwide. When the blockbusting album ‘Highway to Hell’ went multi-platinum worldwide, Rudd said he ‘‘went straight down the road to buy my first Ferrari’’ sparking a lifelong love of luxury cars. Rudd showcased eleven of his luxury cars in Christchurch, New Zealand as part of an earthquake appeal fundraiser, his current collection includes a rare 1991 Ferrari F40, a brand new Ferrari 599, two Lamborghinis, a 2010 Rolls Royce Ghost, 2011 Bentley Mulsanne and Bentley super sport, Audi R8 V10, a 2011 Aston Martin DBS and 2010 Mercedes SLS AMG. The cars have a combined worth of approximately $3m. Rudd’s airport hangar is also home to his MD 520N helicopter.
With the lavish rock star lifestyle firmly in place, Phil Rudd recorded and released his first debut album ‘Head Job’ with Kiwi musicians Allan Badger and Geoffrey Martin in 2014. The album was released via Universal Music Group in Australia & New Zealand but further promotional plans were scuppered by well publicised legal problems in New Zealand.
Rudd served an eight month home detention sentence which thwarted the 2014 release of ‘Head Job’ but 2016 sees him determined to leave his problems in the past. He has embraced a more positive lifestyle and says his “hell raising days are over… I see a psychiatrist once a week and I’m closer than ever to my children. I still have all my flash cars but now I want to grow chillies”.