Picture by Jenny Hedstrom

Musicians Institute – Conversation Series with Rob Halford The Metal God! 8-5-16

By Seth Worsham

Last night, I attended the Rob Halford interview/Q&A event at MI.  Needless to say, as a diehard Judas Priest fan since I was 16, I was super excited.   I even brought along my original Painkiller cassette, which I bought 2 months after I started playing guitar.   The album changed my life and made me a devoted metalhead for the rest of my days.   I was hoping to get it autographed, alas I didn’t, but hey, life could be worse.

I always love finding out what makes my heroes tick and what inspires them, seeing as they’ve been such a huge influence on my life and musical journey.  Hearing about Rob’s musical origins, his approach to his craft, stories of the band’s beginnings and just how much he loves being in Judas Priest and being able to do everything that he has was incredibly inspiring.   Stories about creating albums over the years and of humorous tour shenanigans were great for laughs too.  Also found out about a song I didn’t know existed, “Mother’s Son“, which was performed at the 1975 Reading Festival.  There’s nothing that the band has released that I don’t own on a CD, so I’m definitely checking this one out after I get done typing here.  

It’s really obvious that he loves his fans and is exceptionally grateful for us. Anyone should be, regardless if you have 5 fans or 20 million.  They’re who support you and what you do. But you can tell he’s incredibly humble about all he’s achieved and that’s inspiring too.  No one wants to find out one of your heroes is a pompous ass and none of us got that vibe about Rob yesterday.   His attitude about life is one we should all live by – “Do whatever you want with your life and don’t let anybody get in your fuckin’ way!” were his exact words.  Horns up, as I absolutely cannot and will not disagree.  He also had encouragement for all of us musicians in the crowd, to never give up and to keep doing what we’re doing and that we’ll all be successful.   The spoken words of a true legend, who is still pushing forward more than 40 years after starting (Judas Priest’s next album, #18, will be released next year!!!!!).   Priest refuses to become a nostalgia act and I couldn’t be happier.  

To finish here, I went in already a diehard fan and left an even bigger one.  Rob’s attitude, his love for his fans, his band and his craft were wholeheartedly felt by everyone in attendance.  He answered everyone’s questions with enthusiasm.   Just knowing that someone I admire so much just from a fan/musician’s perspective can inspire me even more after being so familiar with their work is all the inspiration I need to keep doing my thing and completely own it with pride. 

Thank you Rob, for all you have done and will continue to do for the metal community and music in general. You sir are a true class act. \m/ \m/