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Why Cliff Williams and Phil Rudd won’t tour with AC/DC in 2024

Phil Rudd and Cliff Williams out of AC/DC

Classic Rock

Why Cliff Williams and Phil Rudd won’t tour with AC/DC in 2024

AC/DC will finally be back on the road in 2024 after more than 8 years without touring. Their first show happened last year at the Power Trip festival in California and it took them a few months to announce the first concerts for this year. However, the two classic members Phil Rudd (Drums) and Cliff Williams (Bass) won’t tour alongside Brian Johnson, Angus Young and Stevie Young this year.


Although both of them were part of the most recent album “Power Up” (2020), Rudd already didn’t play with the band at the Power Trip Festival. Williams performed with the group in that show but he won’t be touring with the band anymore.

Why Cliff Williams and Phil Rudd won’t tour with AC/DC in 2024

Why Phil Rudd won’t tour with AC/DC

The classic AC/DC drummer Phil Rudd won’t be touring with the band this year because he is taking care of the “love of his life”, who is battling terminal cancer. One month after the band performed at Power Trip Festival in 2023, Rudd, who lives in New Zealand, told the website “Stuff” that he was selling his memorabilia to donate the proceeds to the New Zealand Breast Cancer Foundation.

“I’d give it all up, throw it on a bonfire, if it meant it would give Toni more time,” Rudd said about Toni Wilson. She has been his close friend of 15 years. She has terminal stage 4 breast cancer and has been given six months to live by the doctors.

Phil Rudd continued:

Phil Rudd and his partner Toni

Phil Rudd and his partner Toni Wilson – Photo by Martin Cowan / Stuff

“She’s the love of my life. My best friend. All the money in the world can buy you things. But it can’t buy you time,” Phil Rudd told the interviewer and grabbed Toni’s hand.

He also compared the situation to what he felt when the classic AC/DC vocalist Bon Scott tragically died. He passed away in 1980 at the age of 33. “I cried for Bon, but we just went on rocking. With Toni, I feel the same pain, losing someone you love.”

“It’s made me think about life, that things – success, hit records – they mean nothing when it comes down to it. Friends and family are what matter,” Phil Rudd said.

During the same conversation Phil said that he is looking forward to playing with AC/DC in the future but that right now he needed to take care of Toni. Since that interview there are no health updates about Toni. But that’s the reason why Rudd won’t be joining AC/DC this year on the road.

He was part of almost all the classic and successful AC/DC albums and influenced countless generations of drummers. Rudd joined the band in 1975 and left for the first time in 1983. He then returned from 1994 to 2015 and is a member of the group again since 2018.

His replacement in the band is the drummer Mutt Laug. He is best known for working with names like Alanis Morissette, Alice Cooper and Slash.

Why Cliff Williams won’t tour with AC/DC

The British bassist Cliff Williams joined AC/DC in 1977, replacing Mark Evans, who had been with the band for two years. He remained a member of the band until 2016 when he announced he was going to retire at the age of 67. At the time AC/DC also went into a hiatus. The reason was Brian Johnson, who had hearing problems that prevented him from performing with the band. That condition forced them to recruit Axl Rose to be their singer on the remaining tour dates of that year.

Silently the band stayed in touch with Brian for years waiting to see if he would be able to perform again someday. As the musician said at the time the group announced their return with the album “Power Up” in 2020, he had been part of an experimental kind of hearing aid. It was that equipment which helped him to recover his hearing again.

Since he was back in shape to perform with the band again, Williams accepted to come out of retirement and record the new album with the group. The bassist was also part of the comeback show at Power Trip Festival. However, as the official statement of AC/DC said this year, he will be replaced by the bassist Chris Chaney. In the statement, the band said that Chaney will “carry the torch for Cliff”.

Chaney is best known for being the former bassist of the Alternative Rock band Jane’s Addiction. He also was a touring and recording bassist for Alanis Morissette for years.

As a session musician he worked with names like Joe Satriani, Joe Cocker, Shakira, Slash, Bryan Adams, John Fogerty.

I'm a Brazilian journalist who always loved Classic Rock and Heavy Metal music. That passion inspired me to create Rock and Roll Garage over 6 years ago. Music has always been a part of my life, helping me through tough times and being a support to celebrate the good ones. When I became a journalist, I knew I wanted to write about my passions. After graduating in journalism from the Pontifical Catholic University of Minas Gerais, I pursued a postgraduate degree in digital communication at the same institution. The studies and experience in the field helped me improve the website and always bring the best of classic rock to the world! MTB: 0021377/MG

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