In a recent interview with Big Music Geek, former Judas Priest singer Tim “Ripper” Owens spoke about how he has been able to adapt to the access-over-ownership business model of streaming music.

He said (via, “It’s just not the same. We don’t have the rock stars like we did before and that’s really because everyone just streams music. Plus, you also have things like YouTube and you have social media. You just didn’t have that in the ’80s and even in the ’90s. In the ’80s, you wouldn’t even hear a new song until it was debuted on the radio. You’d hear that Judas Priest Locked In [from Turbo, 1986] was being debuted, so you would tape-record it. You would go to the record store when the record came out and you would get it. Now they’re playing snippets of the new songs on social media, which is cool, but…

“When I was young, you went out and bought a magazine and you read the article, you took out the poster or you cut out the pictures and put them up on your wall,” he continued. “Or you’d sit up and wait to watch [MTV’s] Headbangers Ball and watch the videos. That’s all you had. Now everyone they just goes and look at pictures on the Internet. All of that’s gone. And it’s not that this era is bad. In fact, I think it’s fantastic. I just feel bad because they’ve lost all of that. Back then, you had to sneak around to find out when a tour bus was coming so you could maybe watch or see where their hotels were. Now, the fans expect the musicians to come out to them. They’re, like, ‘Hey, shouldn’t you guys be out meeting your fans?’ But that’s what made rock stars rock stars back then. They didn’t hang out at the bar with their fans all the time because they were rock stars. It’s just so different, ya know? We couldn’t wait until that record release day so we could go get it. And you still have that on social media.

“I buy all my music on iTunes, but I don’t stream anything because one million streams gets an artist three cents,” he explained. “I buy all my music on iTunes, and I probably buy 75 more, just because when I’m at the gym or driving on tour, I go, ‘Oh man, I’d love to get that new Foreigner record’, ya know? They still have release days and you can still go get it, but it doesn’t have the same sense of excitement of going the record store to get it. You know what’s funny? This year is the first year that physical vinyl has outsold CDs… Vinyl is truly going to outsell the CD. How crazy is that?”

Owens recently completed work on the debut album from KK’S Priest, his new collaboration with founding Judas Priest guitarist K.K. Downing and ex-Priest drummer Les Binks. The band, which pays homage to Downing’s past, is rounded out by guitarist A.J. Mills (Hostile) and bassist Tony Newton (Voodoo Six). Read more about KK’S Priest by clicking here.

14 Responses

  1. “Those were the daaaayyyysssssss!”

    Yep, all the mysticism is gone from the enjoyment & hype built up around a new release. The touch, the smell and the excited feeling I used to get just knowing the date of release was coming up. Then going to the store, after either saving up or begging my mom. To unwrapping the album as the chemical aroma wafts your nostrils. Gently pulling out the jacket to read the liner notes, placing it carefully on your turntable or cd gate. Then just listening. I treasure my albums, unlike my dvd’s.

    Now, I just open it, hope its not cracked after it comes in the mail cause I can’t find it locally-anywhere! Sometimes I don’t even read the liner notes, if I do it’s pretty quick or for something specific.

  2. I have to agree with Tim. The other day I came across a box of Circus magazines from the 80s and read through a bunch again while listening to old Aerosmith records. Such a cool time.

    1. Oh that’s really cool Dana. When did you do that and how’d you hook-up with Eddie?

      Cheers, BT

    2. Hi Tasker,

      It was a lifetime ago, so I don’t remember the exact year. But, if I was to venture a guess, I would say it was ’90 or “91?

      I was an intern for Gary Cee, who was the then Editor-in-Chief, of the magazine. When Gary did not need me, I was floated over to the art department. The magazine itself, had a very small staff, maybe 7-8 people? But they were all lovely. While I am on the subject, shout out to my buddy Corey Levitan (who was a feature writer at Circus), and Stefan Adika, who worked at the front desk. 🙂

      Before Circus, I interned in the publicity department at Elektra records, which had major perks, but some of the girls I worked under, were not very nice. But, I did get to meet George Lynch twice, as Lynch Mob was touring for Wicked Sensation, while I was there.

      Finally, I got to Eddie through his original web master, Jonathan Wido, whom at the time, was was looking for “writers” for his site.

      D 🙂

    3. Wow Dana – you ought to tell us more!

      I always preferred Circus over Hit Parader, because I felt that HP’s writing was formulaic copy-and-paste stuff. Circus was closer to real journalism.

      Kerrang! was the best of all, and I still have most issues from the last half of the 80s, but their writing was sometimes too opinionated and self-centred.

    4. Hi Tyger,

      As I told Tasker, it was a lifetime ago, but I still have very warm and fuzzy memories of the people I worked with like: Gary Cee, Corey Levitan, Morty Klidemacher (sorry, I don’t remember how to spell his name) Stefan Adika, Mike “Switch” Renkovich (not sure that is spelled correctly either), etc…

      D 🙂

    5. Fantastic Dana! You actually know how it works and are an insider. Glad you hooked up with Eddie here and for sharing. Best, Brent \MM/

  3. “This year is the first year that physical vinyl has outsold CDs… Vinyl is truly going to outsell the CD”

    Not sure where Timmy is getting his facts. Best Buy website? Best Buy stopped selling CDs a while ago, but you can purchase vinyl. I won’t ever go in a BB store anymore.
    Maybe they mean “dollars” outsold. $40 record vs. $10-$13 CD.
    Myself, like Eddie, prefer music on CD.

  4. Agree with Tim and everyone commenting so far….

    A shame there are no new “rock stars” to carry the torch once the gods from the 60s-70s are gone.
    Part of the problem is that rock and roll is not the driving musical force that is was.
    Younger generations are more involved in rap, hip-hop and American Idol type shows.
    Not that there isn’t talent among these genres, but give me Page/Plant/Elton/Tyler/Perry….etc. instead!
    Hopefully in the near future there will be a rock and roll resurgence.

    While I love the convenience of iTunes, I miss going to the record store and buying music, taking it home and studying the album cover, the liner notes and everything in-between. Some standouts:
    – Kiss Alive
    – Elton John: Goodbye Yellow Brick Road / Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy.
    – Pink Floyd: The Wall

  5. I have to agree with tim on his opinion , I grew up in that time and I feel as though young kids today are missing out on everything that made rock music awesome , the mystique of your favorite band , going to the record store to buy their new album { I only listen to vinyl now }then trying to meet them , now as I am older and reflect back on those times in my life , I realize how amazing those days were , and how much of an impact it had on my love for music- now I can chat with those guys on social media and they are just regular guys with a great creative job most are down to earth and totally normal – when I was a kid I didn’t want that from them I wanted to be starstruck, I wanted to meet royalty lol! – I think the rise of all forms of social media , along with ameriacan idol type shows has watered down all music and rock music in particular I think that’s why its fallen away from the mainstream so much- rock music at its core IMO should be about rebellion and speaking your musical truth – with hard driving guitar and big drums and unforgettable hooks with a powerful vocal delivered by a singer male or female with charisma and passion – todays youth needs rockstars again ! sadly unfortunately that time has passed –

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