AC/DC drummer Phil Rudd has invited Beatles drummer Ringo Starr, world heavyweight boxing champion Wladimir Klitschko and motorcycle racer Valentino Rossi to his private album release party in Tauranga next week.
Speaking yesterday to the Bay of Plenty Times at his Harbour Bridge restaurant, Phil's Place, Rudd, 60, said he was looking forward to a bash on August 29 to mark release of his 11-track solo album Head Job.
"We will do a bit of a party, a few drinks ... It will be good fun, a lot of people I hope, and everyone will have a good time. A few chicken nibbles."
He said it was great to be making music again and wasn't worried about being back in the spotlight, joking: "I'm ready, I'm a professional."
Rudd drummed and produced the album with two musician mates, Allan Badger from Rotorua and Geoffrey Martin from Auckland. He has known both for 25 years - they do vocals and guitars. A photo of Rudd, Badger and Ringo Starr hangs on the wall in the restaurant, and Rudd cites the Beatles drummer as an inspiration for his solo album.
"Badge and me met Ringo Starr when he came on tour and we met him at the Vector Arena. I've been a fan of Ringo's since I was 13. I don't know if he will come to the party. But imagine that ... if he did, then we will have a party."
Rudd did some work on the album in Rudd's Omokoroa studio which he set up in the 1980s. The trio recorded the final version of the album was recorded in York Street studios, Auckland.
He said he was pleased with the way the tracks had turned out. Rudd said it did not bother him when people draw comparisons to AC/DC.
"With AC/DC I'm also playing drums, and there are a couple of guitars, so, yes, there are comparisons."
Rudd even sang some vocals on his favourite track on the album, Head Job.
"When I was on the road with AC/DC sometimes people would say, come on ... sing. But I'm a drummer. But I do a bit on Head Job."
And while the rock star would not be drawn on the specifics of a future AC/DC tour, he said, "I am sure we will do a tour ... with an album..."
Rudd also penned many of the lyrics for the tracks. Head Job he said is about "relationships... partners... people who do your head in. Women who do men's heads in. Men who do women's heads in."
Crazy is "about love... being crazy in love" and Other Side with the lyrics "I can make a brand new start, don't let me slip back to the Other Side" he said he was referring to the "Bad Side".
Repo Man, which Badger penned, he says is about "Karma"
Rudd said he hoped people would like the album and that people who had listened so far "all had their favourites"
He wouldn't rule out a gig here in Tauranga
"If someone wants us to, why not."
And while the rock star would not be drawn on the specifics of a future AC/DC tour, he said, "I am sure we will do a tour with an album... it's not planned but it is likely... I'm pretty sure it is going to happen."
Late last year, frontman Brian Johnson said the band was gearing up to celebrate its 40th anniversary with a new album and a world tour this year.
But since then there has been speculation about the illness of band member Malcolm Young.
Head Job will be released to Australia and New Zealand on August 29 under record label Universal and will be released digitally worldwide.
Who's on the list?
• Beatles drummer Ringo Starr (left)
• Heavyweight boxing champion Wladimir Klitschko (centre)
• Motorcycle racer Valentino Rossi