AC/DC has released an official new publicity photo of the band and notably absent from it is drummer Phil Rudd, who was also a no-show at the group's recent video shoot on October 3 and October 4 for the two new singles, "Play Ball" and "Rock Or Bust". Rudd was replaced for the filming by drummer Bob Richards (who had previously played with SHOGUN and IRON MAIDEN guitarist Adrian Smith), with singer Brian Johnson reportedly telling fans at the shoot that Rudd was unable to participate due to an undisclosed "family emergency."
Neither Rudd nor the band has issued any further comment on his absence from the shoot. Now the fact that he is missing from the first official band photo for its new album can only be cause for concern among fans already saddened by the departure of founding guitarist Malcolm Young, who is suffering from dementia.
Rudd joined AC/DC in 1974 and has been its only Australian-born member since 1977. He exited AC/DC in 1983 and was succeeded by Simon Wright and Chris Slade. When Slade left in 1993, Rudd rejoined the band and has been behind the kit until now.
Phil's solo album, "Head Job", was released on August 29 via Universal Music Australia.
AC/DC will release its new album, "Rock Or Bust", on December 2. The 11-song set is the band's first since 2008's "Black Ice" and the first in its history without Malcolm, who has been replaced by nephew Stevie Young.
AC/DC made it official last month that Malcolm would no longer record or perform with the group. His family disclosed a short time later that he was afflicted with dementia. The guitarist was rumored to have suffered a stroke earlier this year.
Despite the loss of Malcolm, Rudd said that "everything's great in the band, we're ready to fire up on all cylinders again."
AC/DC 2014 publicity photo:
On Wednesday, April 23, the sixth edition of the Revolver Golden Gods awards took place at Club Nokia in Los Angeles, California. Prior to the event, Jo Schüftan of Horns Up Rocks! hit the "black carpet" to ask varios metal and hard rock musicians for their opinions on whether AC/DC should continue without Malcolm Young.
The following artists and music industry heavyweights appear in the video below:
* Wendy Dio (Ronnie's James Dio's wife/manager)
* Neil Portnow (President/CEO of The Recording Academy and GRAMMY Foundation President/CEO)
* Kirk Windstein (CROWBAR, ex-DOWN)
* Chuck Billy (TESTAMENT)
* Rex Brown (KILL DEVIL HILL, ex-PANTERA, DOWN)
* Sin Quirin (MINISTRY)
* Jason Hook (FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH)
* Evan Seinfeld (ATTIKA 7, BIOHAZARD)
Wendy Dio: "Absolutely. They are a legend."
Kirk Windstein (CROWBAR, ex-DOWN): "No. Not this far in. I know he had a few problems with drinking years ago and his nephew or someone had to fill in for a few tours while he got sober. It's just my opinion but my God, it's AC/DC, what else do they have to prove?"
Rex Brown (KILL DEVIL HILL, ex-PANTERA): "No. There's no AC/DC without Malcolm."
As previously reported, AC/DC may have enlisted Stevie Young, the nephew of guitarists Angus and Malcolm Young, to take Malcolm's place in the band as they gear up to record their 16th studio album. According to The Pulse Of Radio, an AC/DC fan named Jeff Lorenz posted a photo that he took of the band in Vancouver, where they are recording, saying that Stevie was visible in the picture. Another fan tweeted back, "Ok so there we have it. Welcome #StevieYoung to @AC_DC – all the best guys, do it for Mal!" The photo was later removed.
Stevie Young played with AC/DC once before during a 1988 tour, while Malcolm stepped out to deal with his dependency on alcohol.
Legend has it that Stevie resembled his uncle closely enough that many fans reportedly didn’t even know Malcolm had left the tour.
AC/DC confirmed widespread reports last month that Malcolm was stepping down due to an undisclosed illness, with some outlets reporting that he suffered a stroke.
The legendary Australian act stated that it will "continue to make music," and began recording sessions with producer Brendan O'Brien last week. Plans for a 40th anniversary tour remain unclear.