Image courtesy of Judas Priest Facebook (official)
“Glory hallelujah, there’s another metal band in now. That’s the blessing we’ve all been waiting for.”
Those are the words of heavy metal legend, and long-time frontman of a fifty-years-in Judas Priest, Rob Halford. For Halford and his cohorts, the honor of finally being granted induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame can become a reality, as news broke this morning that Judas Priest has finally – mercifully – been selected, ending the waiting period for a band which should have been inducted long ago.
Fans of rock and metal music know full well the frustration apparent due to the organization’s shoddy selection process, and in recent years there have been more and more outraged voices raised toward the rock hall’s seemingly neverending bias.
The groans of contempt are growing louder with country artist Dolly Parton making headlines recently as she publically rebuffed the hall’s nomination, and that end, Halford quipped:
“I must do a duet with Dolly Parton! If Lionel [Richie] and Priest get in, I think we’ll both be dancing on the ceiling together.”
Jokes aside, Priest gaining entry into this supposed hallowed ground is nothing short of integral to the collective fates of many of their genre mates. To date, before Priest was selected, only Metallica, Black Sabbath, and Deep Purple had been granted entry as proverbial “heavy metal bands.”
Ultimately, the term “heavy metal” is subjective, but regardless of terminology, I think we can all agree that as a rock band – which Judas Priest is – this selection is long overdue and spotlights the many ignorant misgivings that those wielding the power possess in this situation.
Halford went on to speak on the meaning of the selection:
“I think it validates the real musical adventure that Judas Priest has been on since Rocka Rolla (in 1974). We’re a band that has taken you through many, many different, many dimensions, of metal. We’ve always called ourselves a “classic metal band,” but we’re a hard band to pin down. One minute we can be your Turbo Lover and then we can be your Painkiller, and how amazing it is for a band to really search for those opportunities within the genre of heavy metal. So I think the acknowledgment is a really sweet addition.”
As for the members gaining entry, the hall has validated Rob Halford, Ian Hill, Glenn Tipton, K.K. Downing, Scott Travis, as well as Les Binks, and Dave Holland, leaving a few modern-era members out in the cold.
On the subject of Downing, tensions seem to remain at an all-time high with the band and the guitarist trading semi-regular barbs through the media over the last year. Still, fans and critics alike will now continue to speculate if the induction will initiate a return to the stage for Downing – at least for one night – with his former bandmates.
To that end, Halford seems to feel the feud can be laid to rest by saying:
“They have every right to be a part of the event. I’m very pleased for everybody. There’s no bitterness. There’s no angst. There’s not that kind of stuff that’s lingering. If there is you have to push all that away. You have to push it to the side and just understand and accept and respect this wonderful opportunity and what it represents in terms of recognition and a celebration.”
Time will be the true judge and jury as to how this plays out, but for now, one of rock music’s most seminal and influential bands has gotten its just desserts. In the meantime, the mighty Priest will continue its ongoing fiftieth-anniversary tour, as well as its work in following up 2018’s Firepower.
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