Happy 60th Birthday Rob Halford, Part-Time San Diegan
Rob Halford turns 60 today (August 25). The singer and his Judas Priest bandmates celebrated "with a big Harley cake plus a few gifts and cards when [they] were all together in Berlin," according to a posting on the group's official web site.
Having been with Judas Priest since the early 1970s, Halford left the band in 1992, whereupon they hired Tim "Ripper" Owens from a Priest tribute band.
The subsequent self-named heavy metal band fronted by Halford has recorded in San Diego, though their titular leader is the only part-time San Diegan. Having first lived her in 1999, he currently maintains a Hillcrest apartment and cites his regular haunts as Mission Hills, Banker’s Hill, and Golden Hill.
Halford has a couple of tattoos obtained locally. His Pain tattoo was done by Gilbert Lynch at Master Tattoo on 5th Avenue, and his arm dragons were done by Dutch at Jade Tattoo in Hillcrest.
Even after he reunited with his Priest brethren, Halford has maintained a solo band and career. In late 2010, Halford and his self-named solo band embarked on a U.S. tour with Ozzy Osbourne, supporting the album Halford IV -- Made Of Metal.
Halford’s December 2010 gig at 4th and B was within walking distance of his home. Around the same time, a video for the song “Like There’s No Tomorrow” was released, from his solo band’s album Halford IV - Made Of Metal.
On January 16, 2011, Halford appeared on A&E TV’s Private Sessions, to tell host Lynn Hoffman stories from the road, explain the concept of metal therapy, and to talk about the release of Judas Priest’s British Steel 30th Anniversary package.
As for the reunited Judas Priest, although they announced that their 2011 - 2112 Epitaph world tour would be their final tour, guitarist Glenn Tipton said “This is by no means the end of the band. In fact, we are presently writing new material.”
“It is very emotional,” he says in a press statement about guitarist K. K. Downing quitting Judas Priest in early 2011. “You could just as easily [have asked] that same question, which you may have done, when I was away from the band, and Ripper, my good friend Ripper, was holding the mic for me. You just have to carry on.”
A 2011 Ronnie James Dio tribute album includes Halford covering “Long Live Rock ‘N’ Roll,” along with Dio tracks performed by Glenn Hughes (Deep Purple), Dave Grohl (Foo Fighters), Lemmy Kimister (Motorhead), Alice Cooper, Sebastian Bach (Skid Row), and Chris Jericho (Fozzy).
After Halford appeared on the 2011 American Idol finale with Judas Priest and contestant James Durbin, he told MTV News “It’s just a dream come true for Priest, for metal and, mostly, for James Durbin.”
A 5.1, multi-camera, HD live-concert film, Halford Live At Saitama Super Arena, will debut worldwide October 10. The Blu-ray release features a Rob Halford commentary.
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