Two big stories this week swirling around the metal scene and they both revolve around Judas Priest. First the item on Bruce Dickinson and his comments on Halford and Metallica (see the story in the news section on this site). I don’t agree with Bruce and his criticism of Halford for using a prompter if indeed he does. Honestly who cares? If it doesn’t impact the show what’s the difference? Most artists that use prompters (and many do), rarely use them. They are there as a safety in case they lose their place in the song. Axl, Steven Tyler and many others use them. But I have stood on stage while both of these guys perform and they run all over the place and rarely look at it unless they forget where they are for a second. Not a huge deal. As for Bruce’s feeling that Maiden is better than Metallica that is simply opinion, and what would you expect him to say about his own band? Of course he will think that! But this all speaks to a bigger issue that is a huge problem I think in today’s world. You see Bruce has always been an outspoken guy. In this super PC hyper sensitive world we are in where everyone is looking to pounce over an opinion or wrong choice of words I like people that speak their mind even if I don’t agree with it. I am a fan of Bill O’Reily and Bill Maher. Don’t agree with all that they both say but damn it is nice these days to have at least some people that aren’t afraid to say what they feel and not give answers from some pre prepped PR rep one sheet! It always amazes me when people hammer me non stop for my opinion on an album or band on Twitter and then when I give it honestly they start the hate campaign because it’s not the answer they wanted. Almost impossible to win these days. But honest opinions when asked are refreshing to me, even if I don’t agree with them. Doesn’t mean you hate the person or band or subject. It is just your opinion and if given in a respectful way everyone should be entitled to that. So as a result when anyone says anything remotely opinionated it gets blown up and becomes news, and I think that sucks. It will continue to discourage open dialogue and debate and make the media world we are in even more boring and predictable.
Along these same lines much debate about the announcement that Steel Panther will be opening act for Priest. Contrary to what many think I have no hate for Panther. I know the guys, nice people, talented, good at what they do. But what they do is parody. That can not be argued. Want proof? The bands albums chart on the comedy charts! It is an act that is a spoof on 80’s hard rock. It is stunning to me how many people don’t see that! They have had amazing success, especially in the UK and Europe. Good for them. They have worked hard to build this from their roots as a cover band playing weekly gigs in LA. But I will admit for me I would have much rather seen Priest take a “traditional” metal band. A new or old band with the same real core commitment and values to metal they have had. Think of how many bands are out there that could use the help? Last tour Priest had BLS and Thin Lizzy. When so many bands are out there looking to package up it feels like a bit of a lost opportunity to give an hour slot to a band that for the most part goofs on a scene that Priest was not really a part of, but had a huge amount of success during. I’m going to see Priest regardless of who is opening, and I wish both bands well on the tour, but I do feel that there were so many bands that would have been a better fit and compliment to the metal Gods. It just feels like a disconnect for me to see icons like Priest taking what is basically the modern day Spinal Tap on tour. I mean who knows how many tours they have left in them at this stage of the game? The up side? Maybe Halford comes out and jams a Fight song with Russ AKA Satchel during the Panther set!? “Nailed To The Gun” anyone?
More on this plus Blitz from Overkill and members of Night Ranger in studio tomorrow live on SiriusXM 39 6-10P ET. TrunkNation!