Judas Priest frontman Rob Halford has released his memoirs called ‘Confess’. The iconic singer has been a role model to many gay people in the heavy metal community.
Founded in 1969, Judas Priest paved the way for heavy metal along with Black Sabbath and Deep Purple. Songs such as ‘Breaking the Law’, ‘You’ve Got Another Thing Coming’ and ‘Electric Eye’ are just some of the legendary songs from the British band.
In 1998, Halford came out to the public. However, as revealed in his new book, fans noticed Halford’s sexual orientation earlier on. The song ‘Raw Deal’ from the 1977 album ‘Sin after Sin’ was Halford’s coming out, yet only one fan recognised it. Halford said of the song “I thought it was completely overt and obvious, a bald statement of my sexual need for ‘heavy bodies ducking, stealing, eager for some action.”
In 1981, when one fan asked Halford to sign the album, the fan also asked Halford was the song ‘Raw Deal’ about “gay guys?”. Halford went on to start a relationship with the fan.
The new book is a great insight to the singer. It also reveals the motivation behind some of Judas Priest’s hits. When creating the song ‘Breaking the Law’, Halford says that the song was inspired by the birth and rise of Thatcherism . He saw the English midlands, where he is from, suffer from massive unemployment with many factories closing down and many industries leaving the region.
“I tried to put myself in the mind of a jobless young bloke at his wits’ end. I saw a lot of disenfranchisement and anger and anarchy around me, and I wanted to document and reflect it”, wrote Halford.
Halford also reveals in the book that he considers Freddie Mercury a hero but he had issues with the Queen singer. When Halford met Mercury at a gay bar in Mykonos in 1980, Halford claims that he felt Mercury had made fun of him in the recent music video released for Queen’s hit ‘Crazy Little Thing Called Love’. Mercury wore leather and rode a motorbike in the video
“Was he ripping me off?” Halford wondered. In an interview at that the time, Mercury also revealed that he did not like heavy metal. “It sounds preposterous now … but those things were on my mind when I clocked him” Halford added.
A musician with such a long career is bound to have some interesting stories from the road. One such story revealed in Halford’s memories is that AC/DC’s Angus Young is a lightweight drinker.
When the bands were hanging out on the tour bus, Young told Halford “It’s because if I have one drink, I’m off my tits”. Halford didn’t believe him until he saw Young have one glass of champagne and he became “utterly legless…he changed before my eyes”.
Halford’s book is a comprehensive recollection of his life from struggling as a gay man in the heavy metal world and why so many of his relationships failed to funny anecdotes that include chatting to the Queen about heavy metal and how Johnny Depp is a massive Judas Priest fan.