Asked to name the greatest piece of advice he has ever gotten in the music business, Rob said: “Oooh, dear. Oh. I don’t know.
“Here’s one that might sound a bit superfluous. We have a great friendship with Gene [Simmons] and Paul [Stanley] from KISS. And PRIEST were out on this big tour — we were invited to open up for KISS — and I was just talking to Gene about the music business, and he goes, ‘Let me just say this: It doesn’t matter what they say about you, as long as they’ve got your picture and they spell your name right.’ There you go. That says a lot.
“Especially in music, there are so many opinions, and there are so many different points of view, it’s out of your control,” Halford continued. “And you really have to figure things out, because the way that some of the negativity can intrude into your own personal life — ‘You suck’; ‘I hope you die of cancer’; all this horrible stuff — you’ve gotta learn how to deal with that. You see it particularly in popular music with younger people.
“When young people get famous quickly, how can they handle it? You need experience. You need wisdom. And so that simply message from Gene, I still remember it: ‘It doesn’t matter what they say about you, as long as you get your picture in and they spell your name right.’ And that has some validity.”
Halford‘s autobiography, “Confess”, arrived on September 29 via Hachette Books. It was written with Ian Gittins, co-writer of “The Heroin Diaries” by Nikki Sixx. In the book, Halford discusses in detail what it was like becoming the first metal icon to announce he is gay in 1998 during an MTV interview, despite knowing about his sexuality since he was 10. Although his bandmates and their management knew he was gay and were accepting, he was advised to be discreet given the macho hetero nature of the metal world. He also opens up about surviving sexual abuse, as well as his struggles with depression, substance abuse, sobriety, and the suicide of one of his former partners. He also talks about how his own suicide attempt in 1986 led him to the rehab program that saved his life.
In September, JUDAS PRIEST and Rufus Publications announced the publication of the first-ever official JUDAS PRIEST book documenting the band’s extensive history over the last 50 years. Titled “Judas Priest – 50 Heavy Metal Years”, the book has been put together by David Silver, Ross Halfin and Jayne Andrews.
Prior to being canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, JUDAS PRIEST‘s spring/summer 2020 European tour was scheduled to kick off on May 30 in Helsinki, Finland and conclude on July 28 in Tilburg, the Netherlands. The band was also slated to headline the U.K.’s Bloodstock Open Air festival on August 9 at Catton Park, Derbyshire.
The U.S. leg of PRIEST‘s “50 Heavy Metal Years” tour was due to launch September 9 in Oxon Hill, Maryland and wrap up on October 17 in Las Vegas, Nevada.