Thursday, February 02, 2006

Me and Rob

For Ric.

*The first time I saw Priest (that's what we call Judas Priest, "Priest" or "The Mighty Priest." Nobody with an ounce of coolness calls them Judas Priest) was at the Cow Palace circa 1984. I may have seen them with Twisted Sister, but that might have actually been Iron Maiden-Twisted Sister, in which case, I don't recall who opened for The Mighty Priest. I think I got light-headed trying in vain to smoke a too tightly rolled joint, a problem exacerbated by a faulty lighter and typical gale force San Francisco winds. I don't think I was high, but my brain composition was undeniably altered. This had to be the "Defenders of the Faith" tour, though they opened with "Electric Eye" (as they did forever afterward). I would have, at this point in my adolescent, wannabe bad-ass life defended Rob Halford's sexuality 'til death.

*At the LAPC last week, a well dressed older man in shades sat down across the table from Ryan as I sweated him. He was bald, with a furry goatee and the spitting image of Mr. Halford.

*My freshman year of college, my daily "to do" list during the second semester went like this:

10 a.m.: Go to class.
12 p.m.: Eat
1 p.m.: Get stoned with Tavis on the bong that hot Natalie chick made for him in ceramics.
1:10 p.m.: Put on "British Steel"
1:30 p.m. (roughly): Nap
4 p.m.: Eat

*The second time I saw The Mighty Priest was at Cal Expo in Sacramento in the summer of 1984. Great White opened. The concert was outdoors and began before sundown, so it lacked a little intimacy, though perhaps the real reason was that Great White sucks. Long and hard. What more than made up for it was a perfect warm summer evening, the kind where beer tastes like its been brewed by the Gods. And Rob Halford greeting nightfall in studded leather astride a Harley. Nope, stilll hetero.

I'm sure Donny thinks I won't tell this story, but he's wrong. That afternoon, in the parking lot, I embarassed the crap out of myself and exposed my Southern Baptist naivate. I hadn't been drinking long. I was pretty much a four-beer-and-a-buzz guy still and even greener in the area of the Mary Jane. So, as I wandered the parking lot with my giddiot grin and Budweiser, I was happy to oblige the guy who asked, "Hey man, you got any bud?"

"Sure dude," I said. "We got a 12-pack right over there."


*I used to sing "Breaking the Law" (top 5 funniest video ever) to AJ when he just started walking and talking. I would hit a high C (or my verion thereof) on the last "law" of the chorus, never failing to break him up. I'm going to do that first thing tonight when I get home. Or maybe I'll switch it up and go for, "In for a suprise, you're in for a SHO-OOOOOOOOCK..."

*The first Priest release I owned was "Hell Bent for Leather," which is just about the most manly, chick-lovin' album title ever. Chris Smith, of all people, taped it for me, along with "Best of Scorpions" on the other side.

*The third time I saw Priest, they were not the main attraction. Slayer was opening for them at the Los Angeles Sports Arena in 1988. By this time, I had moved solely into thrash, so Priest was pretty much an afterthought. Yet, they were pretty damn good. Though, for the first time, I began to see some camp there. Slayer kicked ass, but seeing them in arenas after seeing them in clubs is a letdown. Plus we were about as far away from the stage as one can be while still remaining in South Central Los Angeles.

*My three favorite Priest songs are "Metal Gods," "Green Manalishi (With the Two-Pronged Crown)" and "Exciter."

*This one's for Donny: "Daisy's Dangerrrr...Take a walk on by"

*I always appreciated Dave Hill's distinctive, but in-the-background-bass stylings, as well as the way he consisently rocked that fucker back and forth over the course of the entire show. And even with 20 years hindsight, doing the back-and-forth like KK Downing and Glen Tipton in front of 12K sweaty teenage boys is every kid's fantasy. Er...yeah.

*Rob Halford's gay? Who knew?


At 5:35 PM, Blogger Ric said...


Eerily similar Priest experiences… but substitute Chicago, Detroit, Indianapolis, and Cincinnati

AND replace “Metal Gods” with “The Sentinel” as best Priest songs ever.

My 15 year old daughter is quite the singer and we’ve been working on “Diamonds & Rust”… a weird blend of the Priest and Baez versions

At 8:21 PM, Blogger vegaas said...

PRIEST! Growing up, Priest and Maiden were it for me until I stumbled onto something called Ride The Lightning. All thrash from that point forward, but Priest and Maiden will always stir my metalhead emotions.
And just remember
"In the dead of night, Love Bites!"

At 5:29 AM, Anonymous Johnny FlopBoot said...

Gayer than 2 dicks stuck together.

At 5:46 AM, Blogger BadBlood said...

When my daughter was 2, I taught her:

"Never turn your back"

(she'd then jump, turn around and tilt her head back to me)

"...on the Ripper!"

(Side note: I'm hoping you have the Judas Priest tribute CD - best songs: Nevermore's Love Bites and Kreator's Grinder. True?)

At 7:38 AM, Blogger BigPirate said...

Twisted Sister opened for Maiden on the Powerslave tour in 84 in the Southeast.

The Holy Triumvirate for me then was Priest, Maiden, and AC/DC. I still get chills when I hear the engines fire up at the bginning of "Live After Death." One day though, I said to myself, "Guess I better start listening to this Metallica group," much the same way I said to myself as a six year old, "Guess I better start eating spinach because it's good for me." Well, I still eat spinach but I haven't bought a Metallica album since Justice.


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