AC/DC drummer won’t face murder for hire charge
WELLINGTON, New Zealand — New Zealand authorities made an embarrassing about-face on Friday when prosecutors dropped a murder-for-hire charge against AC/DC drummer Phil Rudd, saying there was not enough evidence to proceed. But the 60-year-old member of the popular Australian band still faces a serious charge of threatening to kill, which comes with a maximum prison term of seven years. He also faces charges of possessing methamphetamine and marijuana. Police had initially accused Rudd of trying to arrange for a hit man to carry out two killings, and had charged him with attempting to procure murder, which comes with a maximum 10-year sentence. But when prosecutors took over the case, they quickly dropped the charge. Rudd’s lawyer, Paul Mabey, said the damage to his client had been incalculable and he was considering possible remedies. “The charge alleging an attempt to procure murder should never have been laid,” Mabey said in a statement, adding, “Mr. Rudd has suffered unnecessary and extremely damaging publicity as a result of widespread and sensational reporting of a very serious allegation, which on any basis was never justified.” Mabey said Rudd would defend the other charges against him. LOS ANGELES — A judge on Thursday ended Lindsay Lohan’s probation in a necklace theft case and said she appears to be doing well. Superior Court Judge James R. Dabney said the actress received favourable reports from her counsellor. He ordered her to continue to receive psychological counselling and perform the community service as part of her probation in the 2012 case involving reckless driving and lying to police. Dabney said Lohan has completed 102 hours of a 240-hour community service sentence. Over the years, Lohan was briefly jailed five times and sentenced to rehab for a variety of violations ranging from failing to perform her community service to skipping counselling sessions. Now 28, she is in London appearing in a stage production of the play Speed the Plow.
T— Mick Fleetwood says he hopes Stevie Nicks will eventually find time to contribute to the new music Fleetwood Mac is recording — which could ultimately form the band’s first album in nearly 30 years with its entire principal lineup intact. The newly reformed rock titans — who welcomed keyboardist Christine McVie back into the fold for a tour that hits Winnipeg on Monday and other Canadian cities in the coming months — went into the studio “many months ago now” to work on new material, Fleetwood said. Lindsey Buckingham has called the new material “profound,” an adjective that Fleetwood agrees with enthusiastically.
“It is profound. It’s great,” the 67-year-old drummer says. “The four of us went in... and had a lot of fun — for Chris, just reconnecting, playing music, with no particular thought in mind. “I hope it becomes part of something that will make sense. But (bassist) John (McVie), Lindsey and me and Chris, we were all participating. So it’s exciting.” The band’s last album of new material was 2003’s Say You Will, but the last to feature the band’s most successful five-piece lineup was 1987’s Tango in the Night. Asked whether Nicks would eventually be involved in the recording, Fleetwood replied, “We hope so.” “Right now we’ve got this tour to do and it’s very time-consuming, so we’ll see,” he added. “It will come out one way or another.” He’s clearly deriving a deep satisfaction from the band’s long-awaited reunion.
“It’s a great time for all of us in Fleetwood Mac,” he said. “Certainly me, (who) tended to be the gatekeeper — or my insecurity forced me to keep the band going, who knows really what it might have been. “We owe it, I think, to get some things right. It’s more of a spirited, emotional thing. It’s a great time for all of us.”