AC/DC’s Phil Rudd reveals the drummers that influenced him:
Who were your guys, the drummers that you were rocking to when you started out?
“Well, we got Ringo, Charlie Watts, Ian Paice, just those ’60s guys, British rock guys, and Ringo’s sort of always a special kind of a dude. He was great – he was great, he had really great attitude.”
What is it for you on the drums – are you sitting around, you see The Beatles on Ed Sullivan, is it like that?
“No, it was ‘Tin Soldier'(Small Faces), that was probably the thing for me. Steve Marriott and the boys got it pretty good – that’s probably what got me, just the way that song starts,” Phil Rudd said.
Was it drums right away?
“It was drums, yeah – the start of ‘Tin Soldier,’ I just wanted to get in there, it was great. It was a great feeling, the start of that track, ‘Tin Soldier,’ you know?”
Did you ask your parents for a drum kit – did you get a job? How does this happen?
“Had to get out, had to get a job – old man signed up so I could buy a kit, so it goes away from there, it was pretty good.”
It’s funny to think of Ringo Star – he’s so underrated, right?
“I saw him play with Carl Perkins and Eric Clapton on that Carl Perkins birthday show they did – he’s just hot, he’s on it. I share that to people – he’s really got something happening, Ringo, he has really got something extra special going on,” Phil Rudd said.
And Charlie Watts – I always say there’s three bands to me that without the drummers, that are not what they are. Zeppelin with Bonzo, AC/DC with Phil, and Charlie Watts with The Stones.
“It’s just how you go, we all come from a sort of organic place, and whatever grows on us, sort of grows on us as we go on.”
How long until you get into a band? Is it pretty fast or are you taking lessons?
“It was a couple of years I think before Buster Brown. It didn’t last for a small couple of years, and then I got into AC/DC.”
Let’s talk about your audition in AC/DC. I had read that you got the gig on the spot. Do you remember what songs you played?
“The band just had their first album come out, [1975’s] ‘High Voltage,’ so I played a few tracks off that. I hadn’t been doing much for a few months. When I heard about it, I just went around there, there was a kit around. I would bash on that, and we seemed to hook up pretty well from the start. Pretty energetic, charging on there, locking in sort of thing.”
Once you get in the band, do you go out and tour some of the ‘High Voltage’ stuff or do you go in and do [1975’s] ‘T.N.T.’ record right away?
“We were touring when I first joined the band a few weeks. We did that festival in Melbourne, my first Deep Purple show in the mud. But yeah, we were recording the album for over a year. For the first few years, so as we came together, we were playing a few covers.”
When you first come in, I read that you were pretty tight with Bon Scott?
“You know, Bon was a family guy – I took him out for Christmas once, that sort of thing. It was great; he was a good guy, he was pretty chilled. He was from Adelaide, so we would be recording in Sydney, and sometimes Cliff [Williams, bass] would come down to Melbourne or Bon would come down hang out with me. Bon, he was a good guy, he was a party guy, he was just a good buzz, ” Phil Rudd said.