AC/DC Drummer Phil Rudd's Trial Delayed After Lawyer Quits

"It's just a professional decision that we have made," lawyer says

Phil Rudd (L) leaves Tauranga District Court with lawyer Craig Tuck after being arrested in relation to breach of bail conditions in Tauranga, New Zealand on December 4th, 2014. Credit: Joel Ford/Getty

AC/DC drummer Phil Rudd has parted ways with the lawyer representing him on several charges, including "threatening to kill," prompting a New Zealand court to delay his scheduled appearance. The beleaguered musician was due in the Tauranga District Court next week, but now won't see a judge until April, according to Stuff.co.nz.

Attorney Paul Mabey, QC, said he quit representing Rudd and that the decision was amicable. He would not elaborate on why he stepped away from the case. "It's just a professional decision that we have made," he said.

Rudd's new lawyer is Tauranga-based Craig Tuck. A listing on LawAid.co.nz says the attorney has worked in criminal justice since 1985 and has "appeared in some of New Zealand's highest profile cases acting for entertainers." One of the things he promises to offer professionally, as reported on the site, is "a healthy mistrust of all authority."

In addition to the previously mentioned "threatening to kill" charge, Rudd also pleaded not guilty to charges of possession of methamphetamine and cannabis.

In the meantime, AC/DC are set to make their first U.S. appearance in support of new album Rock or Bust at the Grammys this weekend. They have not yet confirmed who will behind the kit for the gig, though widespread speculation points to former AC/DC drummer Chris Slade, who played on the group's 1990 LP The Razors Edge and departed in 1994 when Rudd returned to the fold. Blabbermouth reports Slade canceled a meet-and-greet (bizarrely at a California optometry practice) last weekend, with the planned host explaining on Facebook, "There's actually big news regarding Slade and his career coming in next several days which is why he had to reschedule this event."

It is still unclear, however, who will play the awards show, and if Rudd has his druthers, he would be there. In December, he told a New Zealand news channel, "I want my job back, I want my reputation back and I'm gonna get it back. I'm gonna fucking take it back."

So far, AC/DC has laid out 2015 by announcing it would be playing Coachella, as well as several dates in Europe. In the immediate future, AC/DC is holding a sweepstakes for extras to appear in their next music video, to be filmed in Los Angeles next week. The deadline for entry is Saturday, February 7th.