As previously reported, Judas Priest had to cancel their remaining tour dates, when guitarist Richie Faulkner suffered a cardiac issue, that required surgery.

Faulkner has issued the following update:


I’ve always been grateful for the opportunities I’ve been presented with.  I’ve always considered myself THE most fortunate man ever – to be able to play my favorite music – with my favorite band – to my favorite people around the world…

Today just being able to type this to you all is the biggest gift of all…

As I watch footage from the Louder Than Life Festival in Kentucky, I can see in my face the confusion and anguish I was feeling whilst playing Painkiller as my aorta ruptured and started to spill blood into my chest cavity….

I was having what my doctor called an aortic aneurysm and complete aortic dissection.

From what I’ve been told by my surgeon, people with this don’t usually make it to the hospital alive…..

I was taken to nearby Rudd Heart & Lung Center and quickly went into what turned out to be a 10 ½ hour emergency open heart surgery

Five parts of my chest were replaced with mechanical components…..I’m literally made of metal now….

It could have all ended so differently – we only had an hours set that night due to Metallica’s performance after us – and it does cross my mind if it was a full set, would I have played until total collapse…? If it hadn’t happened in such a high adrenaline situation would my body have been able to keep going long enough to reach the hospital…?

The amazing Heart & Lung Center was 4 miles away from the gig site – if it had been further away……..

We can always drive ourselves crazy with these things, but I’m still alive thankfully.  Whatever the circumstances, when watching that footage, the truth is, knowing what I know now, I see a dying man…..

I’ve been moved to tears and humbled by friends, family, my fantastic band, crew and management and also you guys sending me videos and messages of love and support during the last week – I thank you all so much and although I have a recovery road ahead of me, as soon as I’m able to get up and running again, you’ll be the first to know and we’ll get back out there delivering the goods for you all….!

One last thing maniacs, this came totally out of the blue for me – no history of a bad heart, no clogged arteries etc…my point is I don’t even have high cholesterol and this could’ve been the end for me.  If you can get yourselves checked – do it for me please……     

Lots of love and see you down the front again soon….


11 Responses

  1. Thank you Dana
    It was a shocking and tough time ,
    Faulkner is lucky to be alive , and I hope he gets well and recovers soon and can get back to his family and back to doing what he loves ~

  2. That is a crazy story, and during “Painkiller,” no the less. He is a very lucky man and also lucky as recently becoming a father It all hinged on the length of their set. I’ll tell it will be awhile until he can get on stage again. He needs to take it slow and get back to full strength for your family.

  3. This site is mostly alot of fun talking and thinking about and commenting on all the great posts about our favorite bands , sometimes Dana posts something like Ritchie faulkners situation, david lee roth , and our musical heros who have sadly passed away , the faulkner and roth posts caused me to call my doctor yesterday to have myself fully
    medically checked out- I hope everyone on this site is happy and healthy and proactive about their health ~

  4. Get well, Richie. Wishing you well in your recovery. The stage awaits you, but first take care of yourself for you and your family, particularly your new kid.

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