AC/DC drummer in t-shirt dispute

By Amy McGillivray of the Bay of Plenty Times -
Business owner Dave Best is locked in a legal battle over T-shirts printed for Phil's Place Ltd. Photo / Amy McGrillivray
Business owner Dave Best is locked in a legal battle over T-shirts printed for Phil's Place Ltd. Photo / Amy McGrillivray

A Mount Maunganui business owner is locked in a legal battle with AC/DC drummer Phil Rudd's company over a pay dispute involving thousands of dollars worth of T-shirts.

Colour Works Textile Printers owner Dave Best told the Bay of Plenty Times Phil's Place Ltd ordered $65,000 worth of souvenir T-shirts to be sold at Phil's Place from December 2011.

The restaurant closed unexpectedly in July last year and has not reopened.

Mr Best claimed the T-shirts were all printed and delivered when Mr Rudd's lawyer told him the balance of about $40,000 would not be paid as the garments were not good enough and had not been supplied on time.

"They are claiming the product is inferior. We dispute that," he said. "We want our money. We've done the job. We've supplied the garments and they are advertising them for sale."

Mr Best said the T-shirts were of the same quality he showed Mr Rudd's representatives when they placed the order and were delivered on time.

The clothing is still available for purchase on the Phil's Place website.

"We don't have any issue with the product. I think the main issue is that he's shut the business down. He's got a whole lot of shirts that say 'Phil's Place' on them. Who's going to want them? You don't have to be a rocket scientist to read between the lines."

The legal battle had been going on for about a year and had already cost Mr Best thousands of dollars but no resolution had been reached so he has been forced to apply for a hearing with the Tauranga District Court.

"It seems either through his company or his legal representatives, they are just stalling," Mr Best alleged.

"I'm wondering to myself, 'where does this end?' Someone with a lot of money will keep things going until we fall over and I think that's wrong. Whatever happened to sitting down at the table and talking about it?"

The unpaid bill has made things tight for the small company.

"It has made it very tough for our business. That coupled with the legal fees we've got will put the pressure on our little business."

Mr Rudd's lawyer, Karen Gravatt, a consultant at Sharp Tudhope Lawyers in Tauranga, provided a written statement on behalf of Mr Rudd.

"Mr Rudd still wears AC/DC T-shirts from decades ago that have retained their shape and colour. His company, Phil's Place Limited, contracted Colour Works, a local company, to supply and print shirts for its restaurant, Phil's Place, that would also stand the test of time and become collectibles for fans.

"Unfortunately Colour Works did not supply and print the shirts at the agreed time, and a number of shirts were faulty.

"Colour Works accepted liability for the faults for over 240 shirts but Phil's Place Limited still has concerns that the remainder of the shirts have not met his expectations.

"This is now subject to Court proceedings and Mr Rudd therefore wishes to make no further comment."

Mr Best confirmed some of the shirts were not up to his standard so Mr Best recalled and reprinted them.

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