Rob Halford : Book ReView and InterView

Piss up you blag knocks & bloody rags. Yonks blimey chinwags rubbed bollocks eh ?

Right ??

I have to admit that when I starting reading Confess, I ran for my British dictionary immediately. I mean, if they can translate books into Japanese and Spanish, while the bloody hell not North American English ? Actually I already knew what a boot, crisps, and knickers were in this foreign and strange language, so guided by my memories of watching old Benny Hill reruns, I was able to put it all together.

Anyway, I am writing about the new bestselling autobiography of Judas Priest legend Rob Halford. Confess (the autobiography) was a compilation of over 60 hours of audio tape that Rob and Ian Gittins put together and transcribed for your reading pleasure. I must admit that this was the absolute best rock autobiography I have ever read ; it was also the best 357 page rock autobiography that I have ever read. Both of those book were great 😂.

In all seriousness, as I told Rob during our interview, it was a super book and was easy to read. The writing style for the book was genius and masterful. It cut to the chase right out of the gate and I am sure many will agree that they haven’t read a book in such as short of time as I did.See the source image

The book reminded me of a Harlequin novel, but for men, that like men ; at other times it captured the passion and lust like reading the letters at the back of a Swank or Hustler magazine….but for men, that like men. Are you following along? Yes the book goes into detail of the singers coming out as a game man in 1998. The band, staff, family and friends, knew he was gay from the start and his fans heard the rumors and sorta knew, but Rob needed to get it off his chest publicly just make sure there was no confusion….just confession.

The main backdrop to the book, was Rob fighting with living this lie (as a heterosexual) to the public at large, and the subsequent and unique ways he found to relieve himself at times…if you know what I mean.

From blowjobs, to anal, to hand jobs, anything was a go and anywhere ; a common place for these dates were roadside truck stops where the tap tap tap method was utilized in the mens’ stalls.

Yes, Confess is that graphic, but why not. This was the Metal God being as honest as if he were in a confessional with his peter. I mean in front of St Peter.

|Robs’ early years with hair !! photo credit/ Birmingham Post

Aside from this Rob chats about the Priests early rise and success to the band trying to eclipse Spinal Tap for the most drummers. I am told that they are going off the current guy on the next tour and hire David Grohl as his replacement. This would give them 11 and be tied with Nigel, David, and Derek (Tap)

Judas Priest were to go through other lineup changes as well, and Rob talks about what went on with Ken (K.K.) Downing and Glenn Tipton leaving the band, and the current status of the friendships that still remain.

But to be perfectly serious, Confess is about Rob, his growing up silent as a gay man, his first handful of lovers and what they meant to him, and how they helped paint the picture of the Rob Halford we all know and love today.

I will not write anymore about Confess as Christmas is coming up and that Priest fan in your life would love a copy of the book unspoiled by me.

I was lucky enough to be granted a 15 minute phone audience with Rob and you can read the transcript in Act 2.

End of Act 1

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Act 2

See the source image

My buddy Zoom aka Mike J. and I attended this show which was on Robs BDay at the Soaring Eagle Casino on Aug 25 2018…Amazing !!

Ladies and gentleman, I would like to bring your attention to the transcript below. I had the honor of talking with one of my all time heroes of metal a few days ago. Rob Halford who maintains as residence in Arizona, graciously agreed to take my call, and we had some chinwag which lasted about 20 minutes. I was telling a friend the other day about the chat and how strong Robs British accent was ; and how it is a weird thing, that when a person from a distant country talks it can be hard to understand, but when they sing ; you don’t even notice. Anyway, here we go.

Hello Ernest this is Rob, how are you ? came in with a thick accent that kind of sounded like he had a bit of cold, but the warmness was there as well. He has one of those voices that makes you feel comfortable. There must be some kind of vibrations in the frequency and the pitch, because I felt pretty comfortable straight away. I had anticipated a bit of shock and awe (on my part) when we spoke, but was pleasantly relaxed as if I was chatting with an old friend from Walsall. 🤣

Hey Rob, today is the big day, did you vote ?

Rob : Um, no I didn’t as I am a Brit and don’t have American citizenship but I would have, as I believe it is your duty. I will say one thing though pertaining to my own country ; it is a fact that there is always 50% of the voters not happy with the outcome and then the next election it is the other 50% that are not happy. But, don’t get me started (laughter) with politics because as you get older, I think you get more vocal with your opinion and you are entitled to that. 

The writing style was so relaxed, and the book and its’ contents were so enjoyable to read ; how did it come about ?Did you write this primarily single-handed or did you have a ghost writer help?

Halford : For this book ; it was Ian (Gittens) being my confessor. Just like going into a Church and speaking in a box, this was me confessing to Ian. He is recording everything, and I mean everything and he sends everything (60 hours of audio tape) to the publishing company who sends back the transcripts. It is then Ian’s job to sort through hours and hours of conversation and make sense of it all. He had a great ability to capture at the right time my voice and when it is all said and done, the book is like an album. Each chapter is like a song and the original transcripts look like verses. 

Russ Parrish aka Satchel

I read and knew that you worked with Satchel aka Russ Parrish of Steel Panther in your solo project with Fight. What was it like working with him ? Was he always a funny and witty Spinal Tap kind of guy or did he just play as per Fight and left the one liners out.

R John Arthur H : Smart, very smart, and a very  proficient guitar player. He was always in the moment and his mind was always going. We had great recordings and shows and he is a good friend of mine. I am wondering if he will go back to playing other kinds of music later on in his career as he has built something very special with Steel Panther that is second to none in terms of what they do. It is very much like Confess in that it is unique and there is no other Steel Panther in the world. 

I noticed that if you fire your current Priest drummer, with the next one coming in, you will be in a tie with Spinal Tap for the all time lead for the number of drummers in a metal bands career. Would you care to comment ?

Metal God : (laughter) no, the drumming sequence and events were for the most part amicable. When we moved on to Sad Wings of Destiny we knew John (Hinch) was doing the best that he could with his own abilities, but we thought we needed somebody to give us some other definitions, so Alan (Moore) came in ; and then we made our big record with CBS, Sin after Sin, and Roger Glover came on board as producer and we were developing into a different place with our metal and we needed a drummer with double kick potential and two bass drums and that also meant that for that one time, we had to work with Simon Phillips, and then of course Les Binks picks up after Simon, and then a turn of events meant that we wanted to go back to a more direct kind of place with the drumming aspect of Priest and that brought in David Holland and the way that Dave left us was a little bit different as he said he had enough of the touring. Some guys just can’t handle the constant slogging. He said he had a great time and just wanted to take a break and leave …which he did ; and that gave the opportunity for Scott (Travis) to come back who we call “fanda legs”, and he’s able to give us every texture we need from the drumming side of Priest…

In regards to former member and guitarist K.K. Downing, is there any communication ?

R Halford : Well personally, I haven’t talked directly to Ken since he left Priest ya know,  but it’s no different than when I was away from Priest for a decade or more. It’s a funny thing…bands are like families, sometimes you don’t speak to a cousin or a relative or whatever for a time, regardless of the situation ; that’s just the way it is with bands. 

In respect to your admitted alcoholism and drug addiction during the pinnacle (especially) of your career ; is it possible that these issues were a direct or indirect result of you wanting to hide your homosexuality in a predominantly heterosexual industry ?

Rob H : Ya, I think it was part of the crutch mechanism I was looking for. I wouldn’t say it was substantially the reason though. I love to drug, I love to drink, I had great times with it ; it made me feel good and for the most part it’s just a fun experience. Now for me, it became more than that because I have an addiction to it and it alters your brain chemistry. You become like a rat in a laboratory ; you just want your next fix, and it ‘s no different than being hooked on cigarettes which I was briefly. I definitely used them (drugs/alcohol)  at times to help me through those troubled times, but when I went into recovery, I found out the problems weren’t going to go away.  They might dissipate a little bit (with substance abuse) and make you feel better and help you forget,……but they are still going to be there ; so with the addiction and that whole unbalanced place I was at with my sexuality…it was just like a fireball, and that’s what I wanted to bring across in Confess because it’s an important part of my life and the way it affected me and how it made me into the person that I am today 

Since C19 hit; when was the last time you played live ?

Robert Halford : I think it was July the third or the second of twenty nineteen ; it was the last Firepower show and it was in Vegas, and I believe it was about a year ago. Right now we should have been on the road doing the 50th anniversary tour but everything has gone tits up so we’ll have to wait till the New Year.

Who is your favorite Canadian musical artist ?

Judas Priest singer : I would have to say Devon Townsend ; and Geddy Lee is up there too, but Devon Townsend would be the one.

What message would you like to give to someone that may have similar struggles that you had to fight through.

Robert John Arthur Halford : I would say don’t be afraid to put yourself first because it is your life and you live by the choices you make and don’t let other people make those choices for you, ; whether it’s political or family or friends or whatever, they are not you. You are entitled to live the life you chose, based on fairness and equality in your own mind and heart, and if you struggle…you struggle…it’s just a struggle. It’s not easy coming out as a gay man or gay woman or LGBT or whatever. It is a struggle because we are the minority, but you’ve got to stand up for yourself and you’ll find your place of strength and peace which will rush into your life when you step out of the closet that has been holding you prisoner…………………….

 

I Confess that this is THE END

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ernest Skinner