Enlarge Richie Faulkner (left) with Andy Sneap (right) with Judas Priest at The Warfield, San Francisco, CA, June 24th, 2019. Photo Credit: Simmons Tobias for MetalSucks

Judas Priest’s Richie Faulkner is “Feeling Very Strong and Positive” Following Open-Heart Surgery


Judas Priest guitarist Richie Faulkner is recovering well from the emergency open-heart surgery he underwent after suffering an aortic aneurysm and dissection on stage with the band. The good news comes from Faulkner himself, who issued an update nearly two months after the life-changing turn of events.

Judas Priest were forced to call off the remainder of their then-in-progress U.S. tour in late September after Faulkner was hospitalized with “major medical heart condition issues.” It was later reported that he underwent ten hours of emergency open heart surgery after first feeling ill on stage at the Louder Than Life festival in Louisville. Thankfully, he came through the surgery okay. “From what I’ve been told by my surgeon,” Faulkner said in a previous statement, “people with this don’t usually make it to the hospital alive.”

In a prior update in early October, Faulkner indicated he was at home and beginning his recovery. Now, in a new post issued last night via Priest’s social media channels, Faulkner says that the recovery is going well and he’s even been playing guitar every day.

Here is his full statement:

“Hello there maniacs!

“I just wanted to post, and I’ve had many of you asking for an update on how my recovery is going.

“I was able to return home from hospital 10 days after my surgery to continue recovery at home.

“It has now been 7 weeks since the night it all happened and I’m feeling very strong and positive. My incisions have healed very well and I can definitely see the light at the end of the tunnel. I’m walking well and moving freely, I’m pretty active and I’m starting cardiac therapy very soon. I’m playing guitar everyday and with the love and support of my family, the continued support from you guys and the inspiration that i get from the guitar, I’ll be back on stage in no time! My surgeons are very pleased with my progress and have all reserved front row tickets for the next Priest show haha

“It’s Thanksgiving this month, and whether you celebrate it or not, I have a lot to give thanks for this year; Including all of you for your patience, your love and your support. Lots of love and I’ll see you down the front soon, horns held high.

We continue to wish Faulkner all the best in his continued recovery and hope to see him back on stage ASAP.

Judas Priest are scheduled to play support on Ozzy Osbourne’s tour of Europe and the U.K. next year, although what Faulkner’s condition will be like then — as well as that of Ozzy, who has had his own medical issues — remains unclear. Dates are as follows:

Jan. 26 – Germany – Berlin Mercedes-Benz Arena [Tickets]
Jan. 28 – Czech Republic – Prague O2 Arena [Tickets]
Jan. 31 – Switzerland – Zurich Hallenstadion [Tickets]
Feb. 02 – Hungary – Budapest Budapest Arena (no Judas Priest) [Tickets]
Feb. 05 – Spain – Madrid WiZink Center [Tickets]
Feb. 08 – Italy – Bologna Unipol Arena [Tickets]
Feb. 11 – Germany – Mannheim SAP Arena [Tickets]
Feb. 14 – Germany – Hamburg Barclaycard Arena [Tickets]
Feb. 17 – Finland – Helsinki Hartwall Arena [Tickets]
Feb. 19 – Sweden – Stockholm Friends Arena [Tickets]
Feb. 21 – Germany – Dortmund Westfalenhalle [Tickets]
Feb. 24 – Germany – Munich Olympiahalle [Tickets]
Feb. 27 – UK – Nottingham Motorpoint Arena [Tickets]
Mar. 01 – Ireland – Dublin 3Arena [Tickets]
Mar. 04 – UK – Birmingham Resorts World Arena [Tickets]
Mar. 07 – UK – London The O2 [Tickets]
Mar. 09 – UK – Manchester AO Arena [Tickets]
Mar. 12 – UK – Newcastle Utilita Arena [Tickets]
Mar. 14 – UK – Glasgow The SSE Hydro [Tickets]

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