Phil Rudd
Birth name Phillip Hugh Norman Witschke Rudzevecuis
Born 19 May 1954 (age 58)
Origin Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Genres Hard rock, heavy metal, blues rock, rock and roll
Occupations Musician
Instruments Drums
Years active 1970–present
Labels Sonor
Associated acts Buster Brown, AC/DC
Sonor Drums, Paiste Cymbals

Phillip Hugh Norman Rudd (born Phillip Hugh Norman Witschke Rudzevecuis;[1] 19 May 1954) is an Australian drummer. He is best known for his membership of rock band AC/DC from 1975 until 1983, and again from 1994 to present. After the 1977 departure of bass guitarist Mark Evans, he became the only Australian-born member of the band. In 2003, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame along with the other members of AC/DC. He is currently living in Tauranga, New Zealand.



Rudd played in several bands in Melbourne before joining Buster Brown with future Rose Tattoo vocalist Angry Anderson.[2] They went on to release one album, Something To Say, in 1974 but Rudd left for a brief spell in the Coloured Balls with Lobby Loyde. During 1974 he was told about AC/DC's rhythm section auditions by his former Coloured Balls bandmate Trevor Young. He asked Buster Brown bassist Geordie Leach to accompany him, but Leach refused. Rudd tried out and was hired immediately.[3] He fitted in with the band very quickly and contributed his solid drumming style to great effect on the string of albums recorded from 1975 to 1983.[4] The band relocated to the UK in 1976 and followed a heavy schedule of international touring and recording.

Leaving AC/DCEdit

In 1980 vocalist Bon Scott died. The band regrouped with vocalist Brian Johnson and recorded their most successful album, Back in Black. Rudd took Scott's death badly, but continued with AC/DC until he left the band during the recording of the Flick of the Switch album in 1983. He had completed his contribution to this album, and although session drummer B.J. Wilson was drafted in to help complete the recording, Wilson's drum parts were eventually not used. Future Dio drummer Simon Wright replaced Rudd, and featured in the videos that accompanied the singles released from the album.

Rudd's sacking from the band was partly a result of his own problems with drugs and a conflict with the band's rhythm guitarist and founder Malcolm Young, which eventually became physical. After being sacked from AC/DC, Rudd retired to Tauranga, New Zealand where he purchased a helicopter company.[5] It wasn't realized as far as the public was concerned that Rudd had even left the band until the eve of their North American Tour in 1983. In the last few pages of Circus Magazine's October 1983 edition it stated 'Phil Rudd exits AC/DC'..'to spend more time with his family and his cars'. Was there a fight? Angus answers: 'We're a rowdy bunch, but we don't fight with each other' . Brian added: 'You couldn't find a more solid person or drummer than Phil Rudd'. "None of us would have to work if we didn't want to....Phil chose that option" [6][7]

After his move, AC/DC fans began to drive through streets Rudd had formerly lived on and approach people in an attempt to locate him.

On his period away from AC/DC, Rudd has said, "I raced cars, flew helicopters, became a farmer and planted some crops. I lived in New Zealand which was great; nice and quiet with nobody bothering me." Rudd also continued to play drums, "when I wanted to rather than when I had to", and built his own studio.[5]

Rejoining AC/DCEdit

[1][2]Phil Rudd in 1995When AC/DC toured New Zealand in 1991 during the Razors Edge World Tour, they called Rudd to see if he would like to "jam" with them. Rudd decided to accept their offer and was eventually rehired.

The band welcomed him back following Chris Slade's term as drummer. There was no ill feeling as a result of Slade's departure. The band praised Slade for his performance and technical ability, but maintained that a certain sound had been missing from AC/DC's music since the altercation in 1983. Since then he has performed on three AC/DC studio albums, Ballbreaker, Stiff Upper Lip, and Black Ice which was the band's biggest hit on the charts since For Those About to Rock We Salute You in 1981. Phil and the rest of the band then began their Black Ice World Tour which ended in June 2010 in Bilbao, Spain.

Personal lifeEdit

On 1 December 2010, Rudd was convicted of possessing 25g of marijuana on his boat in Tauranga, New Zealand,[8] but later had his cannabis conviction quashed on the grounds that it would have stopped him from continuing to tour with the rock band.[9]

On 30 July 2011, it was announced the drummer had purchased and will open a marina restaurant in Tauranga, New Zealand and will name it Phil's Place. Rudd plans on selling seafood and top-quality steak.[10]


Rudd uses Sonor drums, Paiste cymbals, Evans drumheads and Easton Ahead drumsticks.[citation needed]

Tour kit (2008-2010)Edit

    • Sonor Designer Series, Maple Light Shells, Solid Black Finish:
      • 22x18" Bass Drum
      • 13x13" Tom Tom
      • 16x18" Floor Tom
      • 18x18" Floor Tom
    • Sonor Signature Series Horst Link 14x5" Snare (Brass Shell, Die Cast Hoops)
    • Sonor Phil Rudd Signature 14x5" Snare (Chrome over Brass Shell, Die Cast Hoops)
  • Cymbals:[12]
    • Paiste 2002:
      • 14" Medium Hi-Hat
      • 20" Crash
      • 19" Crash
      • 20" Crash
      • 20" Crash
      • 19" Crash
      • 19" Crash
      • 19" Crash

On their earlier albums, Notably Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap, Rudd occasionally used a Ride cymbal, but quit using one later in his career.

  • Drumheads:
    • Evans Drumheads:
      • Bass Drum: EQ2
      • Toms: Clear G2 on the batter side, EC Resonant on the resonant side
      • Snare: EC Reverse Dot on the batter side, Hazy 300 on the resonant side, PureSound "Blasters" Snare Wire
  • Hardware:[11]
    • Sonor 600 Series:
      • DT 670 Drum Throne
      • SS 677 Snare Stand
      • CBS 672 Cymbal Boom Stands (6x)
      • CBA 672 Cymbal Boom Arm
    • Sonor GSP 3 Giant Step Bass Drum Pedal
    • Sonor 5000 Series Double Tom Stand
    • Sonor 5000 Series Hi-Hat Stand
  • Past Kits:

His Back in Black Touring kit:

      • 22x14" Bass Drum
      • 12x9", 13x10", and 14x11" Toms
      • 16x16 and 18x18" Floor Toms
      • 14x5.5 Snare
  • Past Drum Heads REMO
      • Coated Emperors on the batter
      • Coated Ambassadors on the resonant
      • Clear Controlled Sound over a Hazy Ambassador on the snare "Phil's known for having a clear dot snarehead."

Further readingEdit

  • Walker, Clinton (1994), Highway to Hell: The Life and Times of AC/DC Legend Bon Scott, Verse Chorus Press, ISBN 0-283-06263-0
  • Stenning, Paul; Johnstone, Rob (2005). AC/DC: Two Sides to Every Glory: The Complete Biography. Chrome Dreams. ISBN 1-84240-308-7.


  1. ^ "Bio at". Retrieved 2011-10-26.
  2. ^ Holmgren, Magnus. "Buster Brown". Australian Rock Database. Magnus Holmgren. Retrieved 18 June 2011.
  3. ^ Engleheart, Murray AC/DC - Maximum Rock N Roll 2003 ISBN 0-7322-8383-3
  4. ^ McFarlane, Ian (1999) Encyclopedia of Australian Rock and Pop 'AC/DC' entry. Archived from the original on 6 August 2004. Retrieved 18 June 2011.
  5. ^ a b "Metal Hammer & Classic Rock present AC/DC", Metal Hammer magazine special, 2005
  6. ^ Circus, Oct. 1983
  7. ^ Hit Parader, Nov. 1983
  8. ^ "AC/DC drummer convicted of drug possession - National - NZ Herald News". Retrieved 2011-10-26.
  9. ^ "AC/DC drummer's appeal succeeds - National - NZ Herald News". Retrieved 2011-10-26.
  10. ^ Graham Skellern (2011-07-30). "AC/DC star buys marina restaurant | Bay of Plenty News | Local News in Bay of Plenty". Retrieved 2011-10-26.
  11. ^ a b "What kit does Phil Rudd (AC/DC) play on the "Black Ice" Tour?, SONOR Website, 19 February 2009". Retrieved 2011-10-26.
  12. ^ "Phil Rudd's Artist Profile, Paiste Website". 2007-02-08. Retrieved 2011-10-26.
  • Circus Magazine, October 1983: 'Phil Rudd Exits AC/DC'
  • Hit Parader, November 1983: 'AC/DC - To Hell And Back'

External linksEdit

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