2014 has really been one helluva year for the veterans of rock: AC/DC. They were long thought to have possibly released their final CD ever with 2008's 'Black Ice', but this year rumors began to surface of a new album, tour, and more! This excitement did not come without its share of bad news however.
While most people know AC/DC for the lead singer with the pipe cleaner voice Brian Johnson and the schoolboy lead guitarist Angus Young, it should be noted that the most prominent writing and playing soul of the band is Angus' brother Malcolm. It came as both a huge shock and a blow to guitar and music fans of all generations when it was tragically announce that Malcolm would not be in the band any more. The news was only made worse when it was announced that Malcolm was suffering from dementia. The news of this almost certainly guarantees he will be unable to tour and most sad of all, will be unable to play guitar.
It always happens to the best doesn't it? Then, to make matters worse AC/DC appeared to have run into more potential trouble when a new 2014 press photo appeared with only FOUR members. It did show the first shot of Malcolm's replacement (their nephew- Stevie Young), but did NOT show long time drummer Phil Rudd! What is going on here? Was Phil camera-shy that day? Internet rumors surfaced that this could signal the possible return of old 'Razor's Edge' era drummer Chris Slade, but nothing was confirmed.
Well, this week, it seems to be evident (and utterly shocking) of what has happened with Phil Rudd. The drummer has been arrested in New Zealand for attempting to procure a double murder! Craziest of all, is that the band only SIX HOURS AGO (at the time of this writing), became aware of this situation with their drummer and released the following statement on their Official Facebook:
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.
After a year full of the drama that was the Tim Lambesis dilemma, it is interesting to see the reactions of people to this very-similar crime. This time, it is against a seasoned rock veteran, rather than a younger, lesser-known metal screamer. Truly, the reactions across the internet are interesting to say the least. While everyone seemed to be up in arms about Lambesis attempting to hire a hit on his wife, the reactions are almost somber in regards to Rudd, who allegedly tried to hire a hit on TWO men! Many news sources have already been getting news of this story and have found information on Rudd's whereabouts and even his preliminary appearances in court.
Check this article out for the latest on Phil Rudd:
Now, as a LONG-time AC/DC fan, it breaks my heart to see all of this madness happening to such a great band that is STILL at it, despite the fact that some of the members are almost SEVENTY YEARS OLD! I think I can speak for most musicians, when I say that most of us would LOVE to be 70 years old and selling out stadiums full of adoring fans- at this point, fans that span 4-5 generations of people! It is possible that grandsons could be going to see AC/DC live with their great grandfather! That is straight up being born with a stiff upper lip!
We will keep you posted on what ends up happening with Phil Rudd, and more importantly, what happens with the band! So where does this leave us? Well, how about just a bit of mild speculation? I have always been very fond of (90s-era drummer) Chris Slade (aforementioned), and how his drumming seemed to fit the band so much better. If you don't know who Slade is, just watch this now-legendary music video/anthem/gospel of rock:
That's right, the 'Thunderstruck' classic rock groove is none other than Slade! Inventor of the drum stick cam (not really?), gong drums, and general bald-headed-badassery; Chris Slade brought a whole new groove to AC/DC in the 90s! Not saying Phil Rudd was a bad fit- but all things considered, Slade really brought a new life to this band much like Brian Johnson did when he joined to write 'Back in Black'- arguably the band's magnum opus.
By now, you are probably shouting at your computer saying: ok, you are without doubt the STRANGEST AC/DC fan I have heard of! Not one mention of Bon Scott, praise for the replacement singer, and possible disregard to the simple-yet-effective Phil Rudd?
Well, if you are listening to Thunderstruck right now, just tell me that groove isn't amazing! Just like the rest of 'Razor's Edge'! Plus, if you have not heard AC/DC's 'Live at Donington' record, Slade was the epic live drummer for this as well (as shown in the still shot of the live video below)!
/\ Boom, instant bad ass
Go to 1:45:00 and let your ears hear the 2nd best live version of "Highway to Hell".
What's the first best?
Anyways, Chris Slade, as we all found out, happens to be a really good dude. How would we know this? Well, earlier this year, he met up with Music Radar to discuss WHY he left AC/DC. Before this, and obviously before the internet, it was a bit hard to know WHAT happened with Chris Slade back in the 90s. After all, if you were IN the band, let alone THAT band, why would you leave? Let's have Chris tell you why
Read this, then read on...
"I'd been doing demos [for what was to become 'Ballbreaker'] with the guys in London for two months," Slade explained. "Mal [AC/DC co-founder and rhythm guitarist Malcolm Young] called me and said it was nothing to do with me and was nothing I was doing or not doing but they wanted to give [longtime AC/DC drummer] Phil [Rudd] a try. I said, 'That's me out then, I'm gone.' Mal said, 'No, no, no we want to keep you on, we don't even know if Phil can play,' and told him that was his problem now. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. I resigned the next day. They wanted to keep me on for months and months and that didn't feel right. It was probably my stupid pride."
He continued: "If that was my son, I would now say, 'No, just sit there, they'll come back to you.' To be honest, I think they would have. [laughs] But they're very proud themselves and they wouldn't come back now.
"We still get on and it was an honor and a privilege to play with those guys.
"People always ask me what I did when things went wrong on stage with AC/DC. Nothing ever went wrong. I might drop a drum stick, maybe, but that was about the only thing. They were like clockwork, like a machine. Just fantastic. What a wonderful experience."
Seriously. Class. Act.
So here we stand, AC/DC being short a drummer again like they were in 1990... Could it be possible that this might signal the return of Slade?! It is my sincere hope that since this has happened we may see the band reconvene with this amazing former member- who may yet bring some much-needed energy to the band! So remember, you may have heard it HERE first if the mighty Chris Slade returns to AC/DC! So for those about to rock, we salute you! (and hit those gong drums!)