AC/DC drummer Chris Slade, whose current status in the band is uncertain, recently wished bandmate Angus Young a happy birthday, sharing a rare photo of the 2014-early 2016 touring lineup. Slade wrote to Angus, “Happy Birthday ANGUS… ⚡” A new AC/DC album and tour are rumored featuring the surviving ‘Back in Black’ lineup.
Most official band photos of the lineup at the time did not include Slade, instead focusing on Angus Young, Brian Johnson, Cliff Williams, and Stevie Young, who at the time had taken the place of Malcolm Young.
Malcolm had been diagnosed with dementia and was forced to bow out from the Rock or Bust album and touring cycle, later tragically dying from the disease in 2017. Chris Slade replaced Phil Rudd in 2014 after Rudd was accused of trying to orchestrate a murder.
In November 2014, Rudd was arrested and charged with an alleged murder threat and drug possession following a police raid of his home. The murder charge was dropped, and in April 2015 he pleaded guilty to the other charges.
Angus Young said at the time, “He’s got to sort himself out I think… At this point it’s kind of a question mark. But if we’re touring, there will be a drummer in place, put it that way.”
“Phil created his own situation. It’s a hard thing to say about the guy. He’s a great drummer, and he’s done a lot of stuff for us. But he seems to have let himself go. He’s not the Phil we’ve known from the past.”