Judas Priest’s Rob Halford on Retirement: “Give Me Another 50 Years… I Don’t Want it to End”
Let it be known: Judas Priest frontman Rob Halford, who turned 70 earlier this year, does not want to retire any time soon!
The singer found himself with some unexpected downtime this fall when Priest guitarist Richie Faulkner suffered an aortic rupture while performing on stage, resulting in a ten-hour emergency surgery and the cancelation of the rest of the band’s tour (Faulkner has been home and recovering for the past month). But Halford’s been in the press a bit of late promoting the band’s new 42-CD box set, 50 Heavy Metal Years of Music, which celebrates the British metal legends’ entire career.
In a new interview with Decibel, Halford spoke about the box set and reflected on his whole career. Naturally, the topic turned to when the meta, party might end… to which Halford essentially replied, “never.”
“Most people in England are retired at 50. You put your feet up; it’s the end. You start puttering around your garden and sitting in your deck chair with a cup of tea. It’s true that you thought back then [at 20 years old] that rock ’n’ roll was a young man’s adventure, that even 50 is a stretch.
“There was a little kid at a recent show. He was on his dad’s shoulders, and he knew all the words to all these Priest songs. He was like eight years old. I brought him up on the stage and signed his shirt. And that’s when I go, ‘please, god, give me another 50 years, because I don’t want it to end.’ I genuinely from the heart do not want it to end. So these are all just glorious moments to live to the full and celebrate every day, whether you’re on stage or not.”
When the interviewer stated that Halford is fortunate his voice is still at performance-grade quality at 70, he responded:
“I am blessed. I’ve always said that once I start to sound like a British pub singer, just grab the mic from me [croons ‘Living after mid-niiiiight‘]. I might end up on the Las Vegas strip in some dive bar. [Laughs] I love to get on stage. We all do, all of us in Priest. It’s a genuine desire to make that final part, complete the journey I spoke of before, when you’re playing live. That’s what it’s all about. That’s when it all makes sense.”
Indeed, as our metal heroes age, it seems the only thing that will force them off the stage is sheer incapacitation. Just ask Halford’s old pal Ozzy, who insists on coming back after years of delays caused by medical issues.
But as anyone who has seen Priest lately will attest, there’s no question Halford’s still got it, even after a scrap with prostate cancer last year. Go and see our aging metal legends perform while you still can!
Judas Priest will open for Ozzy in Europe and the U.K. this coming winter assuming everyone in both parties can stay healthy. Dates:
Jan. 26 – Germany – Berlin Mercedes-Benz Arena
Jan. 28 – Czech Republic – Prague O2 Arena
Jan. 31 – Switzerland – Zurich Hallenstadion
Feb. 02 – Hungary – Budapest Budapest Arena (no Judas Priest)
Feb. 05 – Spain – Madrid WiZink Center
Feb. 08 – Italy – Bologna Unipol Arena
Feb. 11 – Germany – Mannheim SAP Arena
Feb. 14 – Germany – Hamburg Barclaycard Arena
Feb. 17 – Finland – Helsinki Hartwall Arena
Feb. 19 – Sweden – Stockholm Friends Arena
Feb. 21 – Germany – Dortmund Westfalenhalle
Feb. 24 – Germany – Munich Olympiahalle
Feb. 27 – UK – Nottingham Motorpoint Arena
Mar. 01 – Ireland – Dublin 3Arena
Mar. 04 – UK – Birmingham Resorts World Arena
Mar. 07 – UK – London The O2
Mar. 09 – UK – Manchester AO Arena
Mar. 12 – UK – Newcastle Utilita Arena
Mar. 14 – UK – Glasgow The SSE Hydro