JUDAS PRIEST FRONTMAN ROB HALFORD DISCUSSES THE BAND’S FORTHCOMING ROCK HALL INDUCTION, PLAYING WITH FORMER MEMBERS AND WHOM HE THINKS SHOULD BE ACKNOWLEDGED

Andy Greene of Rolling Stone spoke with the Metal God and Judas Priest frontman, Rob Halford, about the band’s forthcoming induction into the Rock N’ Roll Hall of Fame. Excerpts from the interview appear below.

Rolling Stone: What does this [induction] mean to you on a personal level?

Rob Halford: It’s a validation, more than anything else, of the importance and the relevance of Judas Priest. Fifty years we’ve been doing this. To have this opportunity as we continue to celebrate our 50th anniversary is just a beautiful thing. It couldn’t have happened at a better time.

It’s definitely a validation of…the importance of heavy metal music. I’ve been championing the need for more heavy metal in the Hall of Fame. You look at the list of people that have been in since the Hall started in 1986: “They’re not metal, they’re not metal, they’re not metal …”

Rolling Stone: It’s basically Black Sabbath, Metallica, Deep Purple, and now you guys.

Rob Halford: That’s it. I guess that’s better than nothing. I’ll tell you what, since you mention those great friends of ours. To be in the company, the prestigious hall of artists, characters, and influencers, all of these wonderful people … it’s the real deal, man. I can’t really describe it in words…Words are great. Words are good. Expressions, emotions … but what really matters is sitting in front of your stereo with your headphones on and listening to the music.

I’ll tell you what’s particularly extra sweet is this statement that we’re getting inducted as Musical Excellence. I love that. I didn’t expect that. When you investigate what they mean by that, it’s another great statement about this band and the music we’ve been making for five decades.

Rolling Stone: The rock-critic establishment didn’t get metal for a long time even though the fans have always loved it. Why do you think that was?

Rob Halford: I’ve said forever that metal has always been perceived by the academia of rock & roll … we’re the underdogs. We’re the black sheep of the rock & roll family. That certainly doesn’t appear to be the case now. I think with Priest being put in the Hall and you see the extraordinary list of people that have been inducted, hundreds of people, yes, we matter. We’re important. We have something to say. It’s a reference to the millions and millions and millions of metal fans around the world that adore this kind of music.

Rolling Stone: You sure got a lot of votes in the fan vote.

Rob Halford: I just put a couple of things on social media thanking the fans for that. This would never have happened without them. All of us in the Hall of Fame, our foundation is built on our fan base. Our fans have kept us in that spotlight. Our fans have kept the focus on us. We make the records, we make the tours, but you’re nothing without your fans. You have to acknowledge and respect and send the love back to the fans.

Rolling Stone: They decided to take in you, Les Binks, K. K. Downing, Ian Hill, Dave Holland, Glenn Tipton, and Scott Travis. Did they make the right calls there?

Rob Halford: Absolutely, yes. Absolutely. In terms of ticking the boxes of how long you’ve got to be in, and this, that, and the other, yes. Whoever has been attached and related to Judas Priest has had a role to play. I think the significance of the way they’ve chosen these particular musicians is correct.

Rolling Stone: A lot of bands play with ex-members at the Hall of Fame. Are you open to performing with K.K. Downing and Les Binks?

Rob Halford: Absolutely. As I said before, you’ve got to push aside anything that gets in the way. You’ve got to remove the emotional clutter and just reference this great celebration. Otherwise, if you don’t do that, and you leave the building, a couple of years later you’ll go, “What the hell? Why didn’t we do that?” It’s a few hours, but those few hours last forever.

We’ve seen it time and time again with the Rock Hall. “She’s coming, he’s not coming, why isn’t he coming? He said this, and he said that.” All this drama. The music matters. It’s all about the music. It’s all about the Rock N’ Roll Hall of Fame induction.

Rolling Stone: There tends to be a big all-star jam at the end of the night. Are you able to imagine a scenario where Judas Priest is playing alongside Pat Benatar and Duran Duran and Carly Simon and Dolly Parton?

Rob Halford: I was onstage last weekend with Larry the Cable Guy [Laughs]. It was at Alice Cooper’s blast for his great institution the Solid Rock Foundation. If I could stand alongside my buddy Larry and sing “roll, baby, roll” [from the DoorsRoadhouse Blues], I can certainly stand next to Dolly Parton on my left and Lionel Richie on my right.

Rolling Stones: What other metal bands do you hope to see get into the Hall of Fame in the future? The Iron Maiden fans are quite crazed about them not getting in yet.

Rob Halford: That would be my first shout-out. Motörhead deserve to be in, even posthumously. Are Scorpions in?

Rolling Stone: Nope.

Rob Halford: Well, Scorpions … and I don’t want to get into the differences between metal and hard rock. As far as I feel, it’s who deserves. And I’d have to have a think on others.

Rolling Stone: What else do you hope to accomplish now that you’re finally in the Hall of Fame?

Rob Halford: The music drives you. We’re making another record. We started tracking. This last tour was probably the only one we ever did where we weren’t supporting new music. Pretty much every other tour we’ve done since [our 1976 LP] Sad Winds of Destiny has been to reinforce, “This is the music we’re making now.” That’s what’s next. There really is no end in sight…

…This is almost my 71st trip around the sun. I’ve got my health. I’ve got my band. I’ve got my fans. I’ve got my metal. That’s it for me. I’m just relishing every single moment and opportunity that life is providing.

Read more at Rolling Stone.

As mentioned above, Judas Priest recently wrapped up their 50 Heavy Metal Years North American tour on April 13th in Ontario, Canada. The band is currently working on recording their next album and guitarist Glenn Tipton has described it as both “what every fan would want to hear,” as well as, “a bit experimental.”


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KISS ANNOUNCE SECOND WEEK FOR “KISS KRUISE XI” FEATURING THEIR “FINAL ONBOARD PERFORMANCES”

With the KISS Kruise XI selling out in record time earlier this year, Sixthman and KISS have added a second week to the 2022 sailing beginning October 24th-29th from Los Angeles to Cabo San Lucas and Ensenada, Mexico. This will be another unforgettable KISS Kruise experience featuring a brand new lineup and adding to KISS’ final onboard performances.

Fans who already secured their cabin for October 29th – November 3rd can double down on the KISS Kruise fun and become a two-timer by sailing on both weeks and receive an exclusive laminate, an exclusive signed item by KISS, happy hour with the band, and a specialty two-timer t-shirt.

This past February, KISS announced that Kiss Kruise XI would be their “last performance onboard.”

As has been the case on all the previous cruises, fans will get to see the band’s unmasked acoustic and electric shows and engage in activities with the band members.

KISS also recently announced a string of tour dates in May, click here for more information.

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MERCURY STUDIOS IS PROUD TO PRESENT “PHIL LYNOTT SONGS FOR WHILE I’M AWAY” AND “THIN LIZZY THE BOYS ARE BACK IN TOWN LIVE AT THE SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE OCTOBER 1978” 2 DVD+CD AND BLU-RAY+DVD+CD OUT JUNE 24TH

With their driving hooks, twin lead guitars, lyrics saturated in working class lore, and the charismatic presence of singer/songwriter/bassist Phil Lynott, Thin Lizzy are undeniably one of the most influential bands in Rock ‘N’ Roll.
Mercury Studios salutes their legacy with the release of Phil Lynott Songs For While I’m Away + Thin Lizzy The Boys Are Back In Town Live At The Sydney Opera House October 1978 on June 24th. Pairing the acclaimed Phil Lynott documentary with a renowned live concert film, the set will be available as a 2xDVD+CD and Blu-ray+DVD+CD (with the Phil Lynott documentary on the Blu-ray).
Songs For While I’m Away chronicles the life and music of Phil Lynott, utilizing archival footage, interview snippets from the man himself, and music from both the Thin Lizzy and Phil Lynott solo catalog. Notable conversations with Midge Ure (Ultravox / Thin Lizzy), Darren Wharton (Thin Lizzy), Scott Gorham (Thin Lizzy), Adam Clayton (U2), Huey Lewis (Huey Lewis & The News), James Hetfield (Metallica) and others, as well as Phil’s wife Caroline Taraskevics and daughters Sarah Lynott and Cathleen Lynott reveal an all-encompassing look at Phil, from his 1950s’ upbringing as a Black boy in blue collar Dublin to his rise to fame. Fully exploring his history and rippling impact on music, the film examines Lynott as a singer, songwriter, poet, father, and cultural icon.
Complementing this film is The Boys Are Back In Town Live At The Sydney Opera House October 1978. Previously released on VHS, Laserdisc, and DVD, this version presents the show in the highest quality that has been made available, with not only cleaned up video and remixed audio from multi tracks, but five additional songs from this set that have never been officially released. This performance showcases the electricity of these original Rock ‘N’ Roll masters – Lynott, Scott Gorham (guitar / background vocals), Gary Moore (guitar / background vocals), and Mark Nauseef – delivering searing versions of their celebrated anthems, such as Jailbreak, The Boys Are Back In Town, Bad Reputation and Me And The Boys.
Unveiling the story of Phil Lynott, then backing up the band’s power and prowess with a dynamic performance, Phil Lynott Songs For While I’m Away + Thin Lizzy The Boys Are Back In Town Live At The Sydney Opera House October 1978 echoes the importance of Thin Lizzy in the pantheon of rock music.
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DEF LEPPARD TO PERFORM INTIMATE CONCERT IN LOS ANGELES FOR SIRIUS/XM, EXCLUSIVE SHOW ON MAY 26TH AT THE WHISKY A GO GO AS PART OF THE “SMALL STAGE SERIES”

Sirius/XM announced today that legendary rock band, Def Leppard, will play a special invitation-only concert in Los Angeles at the Whiskey a Go Go for Sirius/XM listeners. The intimate performance, part of SiriusXM’s Small Stage Series, will take place on May 26th, in celebration of Def Leppard’s forthcoming album Diamond Star Halos which is scheduled to be released on May 27th. 
On June 16th, Def Leppard is set to kick off The Stadium Tour which will hit 36 major cities across North America. Def Leppard will be joined by Mötely Crüe, Poison, and Joan Jett for this massive and highly anticipated stadium run. Prior to Def Leppard’s tour, this will be the first-time fans can see the band perform new songs live from their latest album live in addition to the stadium anthem hits that cemented them as rock icons. The performance will premiere on SiriusXM’s Def Leppard Radio and Howard 101 on May 27th at 5:00 pm ET and PT. Additionally, the concert will broadcast throughout June on Classic Rewind (ch. 25) and 80’s on 8.  
For information on how to attend SiriusXM’s Small Stage Series, featuring Def Leppard please visit siriusxm.com/DefLeppardLA.
Def Leppard Radio will launch on May 27th and run through June 25th on the SXM App. The channel will also be available on satellite (ch. 39) on May 27th through June 2nd. 
Featuring a slew of guest hosts, Def Leppard Radio will delve into the band’s 40-year music career, providing insight behind both their greatest hits and their new album. Def Leppard Radio will also spotlight other artists performing on their stadium tour like Mötley Crüe, Poison and Joan Jett, as well as artists who influenced Def Leppard including David Bowie, Queen, T. Rex, Mott The Hoople and more. 
Sirius/XM’s Small Stage Series features performances with premier artists spanning music genres and styles, and comedy, and held in small iconic venues. SiriusXM launched its Small Stage Series in August 2021.

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JUDAS PRIEST TO FINALLY BE INDUCTED INTO THE ROCK N’ ROLL HALL OF FAME

It’s official, Judas Priest will finally be inducted into the Rock N’ Roll Hall of Fame, despite the band placing sixth in the fan vote.

Judas Priest will receive the Musical Excellence Award at the event, which will also honor EminemDolly PartonDuran Duran Lionel RichiePat BenatarEurythmics and Carly Simon in the Performers category.

The award for Musical Excellence — which was originally titled the Sidemen category when it debuted — is given to artists, musicians, songwriters and producers whose originality and influence creating music have had a dramatic impact on music…

Judas Priest is the second band to receive the award for Musical Excellence; the E Street Band was the first. Last year, late Ozzy Osbourne and Quitet Riot guitarist Randy Rhoads was one of the recipients of the Musical Excellence Award.

According to the Hall Of Fame, Judas Priest members that will get inducted include current members Rob Halford (vocals),Ian Hill (bass),Glenn Tipton (guitar) and Scott Travis (drums),along with former members K.K. Downing (guitar),Les Binks (drums) and late drummer Dave Holland.

“Wow, this is so exciting — at last. At last, you know?” Halford told Billboard after receiving the news before the public announcement. “And, glory hallelujah, there’s another metal band in the Hall Of Fame. That’s the blessing we’ve all been waiting for.”

The induction ceremony will be held on November 5th 2022 at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. It will air at a later date on HBO and stream on HBO Max. There will also be a radio simulcast on SiriusXM‘s Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame Radio channel 310.

Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame 2022 inductees:

Performer Category:

Pat Benatar
Duran Duran
Eminem
Eurythmics
Dolly Parton
Lionel Richie
Carly Simon

Musical Excellence Award:

Judas Priest
Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis

Early Influence Award:

Harry Belafonte
Elizabeth Cotten

Ahmet Ertegun Award:

Allen Grubman
Jimmy Iovine
Sylvia Robinson

Fan poll results:

  1. Duran Duran
  2. Eminem
  3. Pat Bentar
  4. Eurythmics
  5. Dolly Parton
  6. Judas Priest
  7. Carly Simon
  8. Lionel Richie
  9. Devo
  10. Kate Bush
  11. Rage Against The Machine
  12. Dionne Warwick
  13. A Tribe Called Quest
  14. New York Dolls
  15. Beck
  16. MC5
  17. Fela Kuti

Judas Priest was previously on the ballot for Rock Hall induction in 2020, but failed to receive enough votes to make that year’s class.

Having been eligible for induction since 1999, Priest was also on the ballot for the 2018 class of the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, but was ultimately left out of the inductee list.

Judas Priest recently wrapped up their 50 Heavy Metal Years North American tour on April 13th in Ontario, Canada. The band is currently working on recording their next album and guitarist Glenn Tipton has described it as both “what every fan would want to hear,” as well as, “a bit experimental.”

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MICHAEL SCHENKER GROUP HONORS RONNIE JAMES DIO AND RAINBOW’S “RISING” WITH NEW SONG “A KING HAS GONE”

Michael Schenker Group, has released a new single, A King Has Gone. The track and its intro, Calling Baal, are available on the band’s forthcoming album Universal, both have a special significance: sung by Helloween frontman Michael Kiske, it is a tribute to the immortal Ronnie James Dio, in particular to his performance on the 1976 hard rock classic Rainbow Rising. For this reason, Michael Schenker has brought together an original Rainbow rhythm section consisting of Bobby Rondinelli and Bob DaisleySchenker additionally enlisted keyboardist Tony Carey, who also played on Rising, for the terrific Moog synth intro Calling Ball — a direct reference to the iconic intro of the 1976 album opener Tarot Woman.

Listen to A King Has Gone below.

To read more details about, Universal, which will be released on May 27th, please click here. To listen to the previously released song, Emergency, please go here.

As previously reported MSG will also be hitting the road, the tour dates are as follows.

With Eric MartinImages Of Eden:

Sep. 27 – The Coach House – San Juan Capistrano, CA 
Sep. 28 – Goldfield Trading Post – Roseville, CA 
Sep. 29 – Great American Music Hall – San Francisco, CA 
Oct. 1 – Saban Theater – Los Angeles, CA 
Oct. 2 – Count’s Vamp’d – Las Vegas, NV 
Oct. 4 – Oriental Theater – Denver, CO 
Oct. 6 – Pop’s – Sauget, IL 
Oct. 7 – Des Plaines Theater – Des Plaines, IL 
Oct. 8 – Arcada Theater – St. Charles, IL 
Oct. 9 – Pabst Theater – Milwaukee, WI 
Oct. 11 – The Art Theater – Hobart, IN 
Oct. 12 – Piere’s – Ft. Wayne, IN 
Oct. 14 – The King Of Clubs – Columbus, OH 
Oct. 15 – Agora Theater – Cleveland, OH 
Oct. 16 – Harpo’s – Detroit, MI 
Oct. 17 – Jergels – Pittsburgh, PA 
Oct. 19 – The Vault – New Bedford, MA * MSG only 
Oct. 20 – Flying Monkey – Plymouth, NH 
Oct. 21 – Cabot Theater – Beverly, MA 
Oct. 22 – Sony Hall – New York, NY 
Oct. 23 – Newton Theater – Newton, NJ 
Oct. 25 – Keswick Theater – Glenside, PA 
Oct. 26 – Tally Ho – Leesburg, VA 
Oct. 27 – Sherman Theater – Stroudsburg, PA

With Damon Johnson & The Get ReadyImages Of Eden:

Oct. 29 – Bogarts – Cincinnati, OH 
Oct. 30 – Brooklyn Bowl – Nashville, TN

With W.A.S.P.Armored Saint:

Nov. 2 – White Oak Music Hall – Houston, TX 
Nov. 3 – Concrete Street Pavilion – Corpus Christi TX 
Nov. 4 – Eaton Arena – San Antonio, TX 
Nov. 5 – Amplified Live – Dallas, TX 
Nov. 6 – Tulsa Theater – Tulsa, OK

MSG U.S. tour 2022 lineup:

Michael Schenker – lead guitar 
Ronnie Romero – vocals 
Bodo Schopf – drums 
Steve Mann – keyboards, guitars 
Barend Courbois – bass

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