Rudi was formed in 1981 when Ratsia members Juha Aunola and Pasi Kuusjärvi started rehearsing with their ex-bandmate Ari "Rudi" Lukkarinen, as their primary band Ratsia was inactive at the time. When Ratsia broke up later that year, they decided to focus on Rudi, and recruited Jussi Kettu (aka Juha Kosonen from Savonlinna, previously Viimeiset Kiusaukset, among others) as their vocalist-guitarist. Kettu was also to be the one to write most of the band's songs. As three of the band members were already known from the very popular band Ratsia, they had no difficulties in getting a recording deal, so they were signed to Johanna.
In 1982 they went to a Korpilahti studio with Kari Hipponen to record their debut single. The result was Taivas saa odottaa, one of great classics of Finnish rock, with ska-influenced Viimeiset kiusaukset on the flipside. Taivas saa odottaa had it all: great story, catchy chorus and played with power. The second single Ja vesi nousee, released the same year, was nowhere near as good. After the second single the band's lineup changed, when ex-Sika member Timo "Guru" Kuronen joined the band to play piano and wind instruments. This lineup recorded Rudi's debut album Taivas saa odottaa, with Kuronen in charge of the production. Only six of the album tracks where new songs, although the songs previously released on singles (only Viimeiset kiusaukset was left out from the album) sounded completely different with Kuronen's new arrangements. The new versions worked well, with the exception of the title track, which lacked the power that made the original single version so good. In my opinion the album is good, but the general response was unfavourable, and the album was soon forgotten, as was the whole band. The fact that only Lukkarinen and Kettu stayed in the band (the others left), didn't help the situation.
After a short break new players were recruited: Pasi Huopalainen (aka P.B. Hopeland, ex-Pelle Miljoona & N.U.S.), Jussi Kettu's old friend from Savonlinna on guitar and Repa Kauppila (aka Repa Rantsila) on drums. In 1985 a new single was released, this time on Propaganda Records, a label better known for its punk rock catalogue. The A side Pelastusarmeijaan was a cover version of Jerry Jeff Walker's song Salvation army band, and Hei hei maailma on the B side a Lukkarinen/Kettu composition. Especially the B side is a good pop song, with 1977 punk rock influences. Piano is played by Safka Pekkonen and production by Costello Hautamäki. After the single Repa quit Rudi to join Stalker, and later Pelle Miljoona & Linnunlaulu and Smack. He was replaced by Mika Hollström (ex-Aapeli Kissala). This lineup recorded the second album Varastaa elääkseen, elää varastaakseen, produced by Costello Hautamäki, the band and Heikki Vilenius, and released by Megafon. If the debut album got at least some kind of response, this was completely ignored, and ended up in bargain bins almost as soon as it was released. The record is not that bad, but if the band has no gigs, the records don't sell, and if the records don't sell, there's no gigs. The album included new versions of the single tracks, as well as Tänään and Minua koskee, also released as a new single. The bad reception of the album and the fact that the members lived all over the country (Kuopio-Joensuu-Jyväskylä-Lappeenranta) finally caused the band to break up.
After Rudi, Kettu recorded a solo album Tuli rautatie (featuring Hollström and Huopalainen), and continued to play with Eeki Mantere, later to go solo again (there's an English-sung version of Rudi's Taivas saa odottaa, recorded in 1985, on one of his solo albums). Huopalainen recorded a single with his old friend Aapeli Kissala and made an appearance on Pelle Miljoona's 50th anniversary party in 2005 as the original guitarist of Pelle Miljoona & N.U.S.