JUDAS PRIEST's ROB HALFORD Is Ready To Write His Autobiography: 'I Think It Has To Be Done'
Rob Halford appears to have had a change of heart about writing an autobiography.
Three years after dismissing the idea of chronicling his life in a memoir, citing privacy concerns, the JUDAS PRIEST singer says that he is ready to tell his story.
Asked in a brand new interview with Full Metal Jackie’s nationally syndicated radio show what would convince him to write an autobiography, Halford replied (hear audio below): ”I was thinking about this last night. I’m gonna give you an exclusive. I am gonna write a book. But I was thinking about things that have happened to me that people don’t know about. And this is gonna be funny — I was personally blessed by the Virgin Mary in a church in England. If that’s not gonna make you read my book, I don’t know what is. I’m gonna leave it at that.
”I’ve had so many beautiful things happen to me over my life,” he continued. ”I’ve had a very, very rich life and I’m still having it, and I can’t be more grateful than I am right now.
”I’ve just thinking about it. I think it has to be done, because you get these knockoffs and you get people giving their impression and their interpretation, which is all good,” Halford added. ”And I think when it comes from the source, it’s really important. Some of the greatest books written, like ’The Dirt’ by [MÖTLEY] CRÜE or the book by [LED] ZEPPELIN or Lemmy’s book, all of these are books that come from the heart of the matter, the heart of the story.
”It’ll happen one day, Jackie — it’ll happen one day. I’ll let you know as soon as it’s on the front burner.”
Back in 2015, Halford was less enthusiastic about sharing personal details about his life in book form, telling Australia’s Brisbane Times: ”I know that my own life, my own experiences have something in them that people could learn from, that could really help somebody. And that it could be written in a way that needn’t be exploitative or titillating. But I’m a private person, and I can say right now, it won’t happen.”
Halford said the same was true of JUDAS PRIEST, whose wild 1980s were chronicled in a ”Behind The Music” episode but which has yet to released an official band autobiography. ”We’ve talked about it and we’re not interested,” Rob told the Brisbane Times. ”It seems the only way you can get these things to stick is to make it a tell-all, to dig up all the dirty laundry. We’ve never been to drawn to the tabloidy, gossipy side of things; we’ve never been desperate for attention, or gone around shooting our mouths off like other bands. We’re more than happy — right now as much as ever — to be like Oz behind the curtain, to not pull that veil away, and to keep our fans directed to our albums and our shows.”
In a 2014 interview Halford was asked how the guys in JUDAS PRIEST maintain their privacy in the age of the Internet and social media, when everything is out there now. ”It’s a very good question, and it’s basically trust and respect for each,” Halford replied. ”I would never say anything about Glenn [Tipton, JUDAS PRIEST guitarist], even about the music to a certain respect. But as far as the dirty laundry that some bands are very, very open about displaying, the most important thing for PRIEST is the music. We really treasure it. And I’m only speaking for myself, but once you get beyond that and you get deeper, digging in the dirt, it can really dilute what you’re about and what you’re trying to be with your music. So we’re very, very protective of that. We’ve also been fortunate in that we’re surrounded by people outside of the band who are very protective of us as well.”
He added: ”You get these tell-all book from agents and managers that don’t really know the truth: We’ve been lucky. We’re constantly asked if we’re going to do a book. Well, it seems the only way you can get a book to be successful is to dig up the dirt, and I don’t want to do that, personally. I think it’s also part of the magic and mystery of the band, isn’t it?
”In today’s world, everybody knows what everybody’s doing. It’s all in one ear and out the other and doesn’t have any value. So for us, it’s about keeping the privacy and the mystique. The band is called JUDAS PRIEST and this is our music.”
In a separate interview with ABC News Radio, Halford — who has been openly gay for the past 20 years — repeated the sentiment, saying: ”Time and time and time again, ’Can we have a book from JUDAS PRIEST?’…I don’t think we’ll ever do it. We’ve always pushed back. We know what people want — an exposure of the band,” adding that that’s not going to happen. ”If you want to know about JUDAS PRIEST, put on that record from 1974 and listen to everything to 2014 — there’s the life of JUDAS PRIEST,” he said. ”We don’t feel as though we need to say anything more beyond the music.”
Halford told ABC News Radio that he was more receptive to the idea of one day telling his own story in an autobiography. ”That’s…a personal journey and I think that I’d probably have less of a problem with that [than with a band tell-all] because it would be coming from my mouth,” he said before adding he’d keep it personal. ”I wouldn’t say anything about Richie [Faulkner, JUDAS PRIEST guitarist], I wouldn’t say anything about Glenn. I wouldn’t bring anybody else into that part of my life because… it’s not cool.”
Halford went on to say that his story is ”of its own life compared to what I am, I’m a singer in a heavy metal band. Oh, by the way, he’s also gay. That’s…simplistic, but I know it’s a very deep story, it’s a very interesting story.”
Founding JUDAS PRIEST guitarist K.K. Downing, who left the band in 2011, has just released his autobiography, ”Heavy Duty: Days And Nights In Judas Priest”, via Da Capo Press.