Rob Halford

Family

Former Jobs/bands

Other Instruments

Publications

Homes

Automobiles

Metal God Title

Guest Appearances

Born Robert John Arthur Halford on August 25, 1951 in his aunt's house in Sutton Coldfield, Warwickshire, England (the same county from which William Shakespeare was birthed) and raised in Walsall, England

Walsall, borough, metropolitan county of West Midlands, central England, is an industrial center known for its manufacture of leather goods, coal mines, limestone quarries and steel foundries. During the Middle Ages it was a major market center and the leatherworking industry became prominent in the 17th century:

"...a steel, coal mining, heavy engineering kind of environment, a very extreme, industrial kind of place. It's also the leather capital of the U.K., which I didn't realize until my later years at school. Leather for horse saddles and other horse-riding gear, for example. It seems almost Spinal Tap-esque that I come from a place of metal and leather."
- Rob Halford,
Mobile Entertainment, June, 2002

An armour plated raging beast
That's born of steel and leather
-
"Heavy Metal", Ram It Down, 1988

Favorite Judas Priest album:

     "There are at least four significant ones. Sad Wings of Destiny, British Steel, Screaming for Vengeance and Painkiller. Screaming for Vengeance was Priest's first big multi-platinum album, and it had a special tone, sound and feel. At that moment, after being together for so many years, we had found a groove. That's what happens with bands that have made many releases together."
- Rob Halford, Mobile Entertainment, June 2002

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FAMILY:

Rob's sister Sue was once married to Ian Hill and Rob's younger brother Nigel was the drummer for Voodoo Sioux, famous for their 'Peyote Trance' demo. The Voodoo Sioux album S.K.R.A.P.E. was released in 1995.

                                                

Sue Halford 2001                                                    Nigel Halford 2002                                Nigel Halford on drums 2002

Voodoo Sioux's first gig was held at a local school charity show were the main event was an auction-off of Judas Priest memorabilia, conducted by Sue and Nigel for a worthy cause! Nigel now plays in the classic rock covers band Tranzam.

"When my last band 'Voodoo Sioux' broke up in the late 90's I didn't play for a while but I guess it's in my blood! So I ended up playing classic rock covers with Tranzam. Our current set includes tracks by Van Halen, Whitesnake, Thin Lizzy, Journey, Pink Floyd, Queen, Judas Priest! Etc... We will never 'set the world alight' but it's great fun and we enjoy it - that's the main thing!"
Nigel Halford, via email, June 2003

     "Hey guys, all the best from the Metal God. Looking forward to jammin' "Breaking The Law" with you someday. Keep it turned up loud! Cheers, Rob."
- Rob Halford, Tranzam Guestbook, September 7, 2003

                         

Young Rob with mom, dad and sister Sue                                           Rob and sister Sue in their youth

Rob with mom and dad at their 50th wedding
anniversary 2002

As for raising a family of his own:

"It's possible. My brother has a new baby girl. We do need a boy to carry on the 'Halford' name! I think if I did, I would make one as opposed to the other way around...figure that out."
- Rob Halford, online chat, November 16, 2002

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FORMER JOBS/BANDS:

(Dates are approximate, based on interviews and documentaries)

Thark (1966) No known recordings exist.
Abraxis (1967) No known recordings exist.
Athens Wood (1970 ) No known recordings exist.
Lord Lucifer (1971) No known recordings exist.
Hiroshima (1972 -1973) A few demos possibly exist, but have nothing has reached the bootleg market.

During his youth, Rob also took on several odd jobs before getting settled into a career in rock 'n' roll:

"I used to work in a clothing store and a porno shop. I was also a stage lighting engineer."
- Rob Halford

In fact, the porn shop clerk experience came into play again recently as Rob was given a cameo as a Santa Monica, California porn shop clerk in the film SPUN:

                                                                        

"When I had my audition, [director Jonas Akerlund] said, 'As soon as I saw this bit about the porno clerk, I thought of you.' And I said, 'That's crazy, because before I joined Priest, I actually was a porno clerk.' When I told him, he practically fell off his chair!
     "When we were shooting the scene on location in the porno shop, Mickey actually told me that he worked at this same shop in his early acting career. I was like, 'Is this fate? Is this destiny?' "
- Rob Halford

This Is Spinal Tap remains a film favorite of Rob's for it's too true-to-life satirical portrayal of the heavy metal genre:

"I think every band has a Spinal Tap DVD in their tour bus collection..."
- Rob Halford, VH1 I Love The '80s, 2003

And what about a future career in acting?

"I see myself in The Sound Of Music actually - you know, doing that twirling bit at the start that Julie Andrews used to do with the helicopter shot. That's me: The hills are alive with the sound of the Metal God!"
- Rob Halford

OTHER INSTRUMENTS:

"I tinkled around on the piano with my dad as a kid, but if I had stuck to it, I probably wouldn't be doing what I'm doing now... I do like to play though. I bought a guitar just before Christmas - a Gibson SG. I believe it's a Standard, and I really got into it for a short time and then left it home. I wish I had it now. If I don't bring it on the road it'll sit under my bed the whole time. At least I could be learning..."
- Rob Halford, Sounds, February 11, 1978

"I can also play bass, keyboards, and drums - all very badly - just enough to help me compose".
- Rob Halford, SonicNet chat, April 1, 1998

"I can physically play the guitar and get the essential guts of the idea across. I can crank out an idea in terms of conveying a creative message. I wrote the War of Words record, the first album by Fight. I'm told by guitar players that I should go onstage and play, because I'm a pretty solid rhythm guitarist. But I'd get all my fingers mixed up and get really embarrassed, so I won't play onstage. I'm guitar-shy."
- Rob Halford,
Mobile Entertainment, June 2002

Rob dabbles with multi-instruments, playing harmonica on "Rocka Rolla" and "Cheater" on Priest's debut album and guitar on Fight's

                                                                                

Rob on acoustic guitar in the studio during the
Crucible sessions via webcam

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PUBLICATIONS:

Rob once owned a now defunct entertainment magazine in the late '80s out of Tempe, Arizona called Where It's Hot that dealt with the local music and arts scene, as well as national entertainment news and interviews.

                                                                                

Rob holding up an issue of Where It's Hot

Rob also wrote a novel in 1979 that was never published titled Library Of Tears. Skid Row's Sebastian Bach brought it up in his interview with Rob on VH1's Forever Wild:

"The only part that got cut from the show that bummed me out was where I asked Rob about the book he wrote back in 1979. He told me it was called Library of Tears, and the plot was something like some sick guy that collected people's tears and sorrow in jars and lived off their misery (or something like that)... Sounded pretty interesting and I sure would love a copy of the book!"
- Sebastian Bach, Sebastianbach.com, January 28, 2002 update

"Well the 'Tears' book goes way back. It's a long story, but I knew some writers in the UK in the mid '70s, one of which was a witch, a white witch. She encouraged me to write this book, [so] I did. She read it and enjoyed it, but that's as far as it went, and over time I seem to have misplaced it. However, when I go home to the UK over the holidays, I have a couple places to search so we shall see..."
- Rob Halford, online chat, November 16, 2002

"I looked when I was back in the UK but didn't have time for a full search. It's around someplace."
- Rob Halford, online chat, August 16, 2003

And plans are also underway for a future autobiography from the Metal God:

"I want to write an autobiography. I've been talking about it for years and years. I'm just trying to find the right person to sit down and put it together with. I don't want it to be like a ghost written book, where someone pretends to be you. I was talking to Lemmy a few weeks ago and he said, 'Why not do what I do: sit on a couch and just talk into a tape machine with somebody throwing these bullet point questions at you?' I asked how long he's been doing that. It's been months and months, but now he's got enough to go because it's reality based instead of somebody pretending to be in your world - it's coming directly from you. I think it would be interesting to read. I need to get all this information out before it disappears. Old age, you know?"
- Rob Halford, Powerplay, July 2002

"...I think it's a very kind of natural thing for people to do...after having spent such an incredible amount of time doing this wonderful metal music for the past 30 odd years, I've got a wealth of stories and information to share with people around the world and I've been trying to get this off the ground for a couple of years, and eventually it will happen....yeah, it'll just be 'The Life of the Metal God', and I think it's going to be great. I mean, as I said, this has been a terrific journey for me to make.
I've met so many incredible people, from the wonderfully talented musicians that I've played with to the great people in other bands, and obviously guys like Bob (Coburn, host of Rockline) and everyone out there in 'radio world' that have meant a lot to me and 'video world' - MTV and VH-1 - but at the top of the list is the fans, 'cuz it's you guys that have made it all happen for me.
So, I'll do it, y' know. Bear with me and it will show up in your local bookstore."

- Rob Halford, Rockline, July 22, 2002

 

"I am absolutely not a materialistic person. I have no interest in cars, houses and clothes. So my most prized possession would be my voice."
- Rob Halford, Powerplay, July 2002

"I'd rather see someone who ran about and got the crowd involved in having a good time than spent the whole gig standing around being note perfect. Someone who fucks up just a little bit is much more fun to see."
- Rob Halford

"I do not often listen to my own music; I get bored. When I say bored, I mean all I want to do is write new songs all the time. So once its done, I'm ready to do more."
- Rob Halford, online chat, August 16, 2003

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HOMES:

An international dweller, Rob keeps an apartment in Amsterdam, Holland and frequents a small home back in Walsall, England near family and friends where he was raised. Rob does not have U.S. citizenship and he maintains homes outside of the country for tax purposes, though he did find himself in trouble with the U.S. Internal Revenue Service:

Rob in tax trouble?

THE INFORMER

His Next Hit: "Taxing Machine"

The Internal Revenue Service wants $567,813 in back taxes from British
heavy-metal rocker Rob Halford, 49, former lead singer of Judas Priest.
In a U.S. Tax Court lawsuit, Halford admits spending most of 1994 to
1997 in the U.S., but says he maintained a home in Walsall, England,
and under a U.S.-UK tax treaty, he wasn't a U.S. resident for tax purposes.
His 1994 U.S. return declared a $2,213 loss; the IRS says he really
made $845,985. Halford, famously controversial for suggestive albums
like Killing Machine, now tours the U.S. with a new group modestly
named after himself."
--Janet Novack, Forbes, Vol. 168 Issue 1, p.26, July 9, 2001

                                                                                               

Rob to the IRS: "The piano stays - you can't take my music!"

And while he does not have US citizenship, he does have a couple of homes in the States:

"My home base is San Diego, even though I still have a big house in Phoenix. And I've got my house in England and my apartment in Amsterdam, so I'm all over the place really. But San Diego is a really cool, eclectic, bohemian city that I love to spend time in. My roots of operation, the core of my business, is in England, but I don't spend that much time there, mate, because I have an American band."
- Rob Halford,
Mobile Entertainment, June 2002

On Judas Priest's first tour of the United States in 1979, one city caught Rob's attention with its western charm and desert plains: Phoenix, Arizona would become a favorite Stateside hangout for Rob, who would spend many wild nights, hot and crazy days on the Valley Of The Sun's local heavy metal scene, as he took one of it's bands, Surgical Steel under his wings.

"I just like to hang out in rock 'n' roll clubs! I find the daytime very boring and as soon as the sun goes down, you'll find me in a bar watching bands. I love to check out new groups... I love Britain, but America just happens to appeal to me as a musician."
- Rob Halford, Heavy Duty official biography, 1984

One night in 1981, Rob made a guest appearance with Surgical Steel for a couple of Priest numbers and laid a special announcement on those in attendance: not only did he love the people of Phoenix, he loved the city so much that he was going to make it his home! It wasn't until six years later in1987 that Rob officially made the Arizona desert his new home, purchasing a large house in the hills of the Lincoln Heights subdivision of Paradise Valley, an upscale suburb of the Greater Phoenix area:

"One of the great things in rock 'n' roll when you start to travel is you get to come to some incredible places, and when I first came out to Phoenix, which I think was around '79, it just blew me away, because look: you got cactuses - got cowboys and Indians walking around the streets. It just... for a kid growing up in the Midland regions of England and watching the old Western programs and what I view on television, and to actually come and see this place and physically experience it - it really does exist - it just fascinated me; so off and on during the return visits to this part of the world, I became more and more attached and made a lot of friends here. So I kinda made semi-permanent roots here since I bought this home about two years ago...Home is still England folks! Home is still the hometown of Walsall, which is that side of Birmingham in the Midlands region...So it's maybe two or three months in America and most of the time back home in England or in southern Spain, so it's like three different places basically that you find Priest working out of as far as recreation and "work" goes..."
- Rob Halford, Hard 'N' Heavy broadcast, 1990

       

A rare look inside the Phoenix abode, circa 1989...                                                         Rob chats on the phone by the pool...

                                                                                

Aerial view 2002

Detailed information is made public at the Maricopa County Assessor web site. The results for Rob Halford's Phoenix home are found here.

Rob formed two bands in Phoenix, the hardcore Fight in the mid '90s and the experimental Two in the later half of the decade. But in 1999, Rob had a "resurrection", returning to his metal roots with his namesake Halford. To get back to the street level connection with the fans and the music, Rob moved his U.S. residency from his mansion in Phoenix to an apartment on 6th Avenue in the Hillcrest suburb of San Diego, California's Balboa Park district (actually about two blocks from the Park Manor Hotel where the band worked on writing Crucible in Room 303 - hence the title of the opening track.

"San Diego is now home base for me, like a lot of Britains living here. I still have a home in the UK, and I'll be heading out there to see friends and family for the holidays. I've been in this apartment for three years, and it was a good thing for me to do. This newest band is a metal group, and I moved from Phoenix, where I lived for many years. It took me from the house on the hill and got me back on the streets, here on the corner of Sixth Avenue. Practically every day you'll find me walking around Hillcrest, going up for lunch and dinner, and the coffee shops, and so forth."
-
Rob Halford, San Diego Reader, January 2002

     "I'm from the James Hetfield 'Where I lay my head' mindset. But quite honestly, I'm very content spending time here in America. I live in San Diego."
- Rob Halford, Metal Edge 'Roundup', November 2000

     "One of the reasons I moved to San Diego was because I was sick and tired of driving around Phoenix all the time. I couldn't go anywhere without getting in the car."
-
Rob Halford, Mobile Entertainment, June 2002

Rob says the hot temperatures of Phoenix forced him to stay in an air-conditioned car when he needed to get around, whereas in San Diego, he is able to keep in shape by going for walks in the cooler air and quiet neighborhood. And although Rob resides in San Diego, he still maintains the Phoenix "house on the hill", where he returns for writing sessions and rehearsals:

"My house is full of cassettes and records. I have an important collection of bootlegs. I have hours and hours of video and audio recordings. I've filmed all the Priest and Fight rehearsals. I collect everything."
- Rob Halford, Hard Rock magazine, June 2000

"In fact, I have hundreds of songs back in Phoenix, Arizona I have written over the years..."
- Rob Halford, Online chat November 16, 2002

"Judas Priest are gonna have like three months of solid writing together. We'll split it between the US, UK and Spain... Ken and Glenn know I'm over here in San Diego - it may be San Diego, it may be Phoenix, we haven't really come to that point yet..."
- Rob Halford, BW&BK, October 2003

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AUTOMOBILES:

Like the other guys in Priest, Rob loves his cars as well as his bike:

"My current ride is a 1996 metallic-burgundy Chevy Impala SS with a stock audio system. They don't make that model anymore. When I was in Phoenix, I had a Chevy Suburban with about $10,000 worth of car-stereo equipment in it. It was so fuckin' loud and clean and pure that I couldn't even think! I'm a car nut, and have spent millions of dollars on them. I've had Lotus Turbo Esprits, Aston Martins, Jaguars, Jensens, and high-end Fords — race-track vehicles that were street legal. I'm also a Chevy freak. But I seem to have simplified my life in recent years, so, right now, I just have the Chevy Impala SS. I'm looking at maybe getting a new Cadillac CTS, which is a beautiful car. For now, I just like a big, roomy car. I like to sit back, sink into the seat, turn up the stereo, and get lost in the moment while driving."
- Rob Halford, Mobile Entertainment, June 2002

"I'm still riding the 1981 Harley Davidson low rider that I used on stage with Judas Priest."
- Rob Halford, USA Today, April 11, 2001

And Rob's favorite song to listen to while driving?

" 'Turbo Lover' from Judas Priest's Turbo is a great driving song. It was written in regard to the twin turbos in Porsches. Also, 'Heading Out to the Highway,' 'Freewheel Burning,' 'Hell Bent For Leather,' and other great Priest songs were kind of inspired by getting behind the wheel."
- Rob Halford, Mobile Entertainment, June 2002

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METAL GOD TITLE:

Possessing an incredible five-octave vocal range, the fans started calling Rob Halford the Metal God during the PAINKILLER era, and around the time of Fight, the press were hailing him "the metal god with the golden scream"!

"Rob has like — I've counted them — something like sixteen different voices, man."
- Roy Z, Producer and guitarist for Halford, 2002

"It was kind of bestowed upon me by all the metal fans that have supported me over the years. It's a cool nickname to have."
- Rob Halford,
Kerrang!, February 2001

     "Being called a 'metal god' is nice — Elvis was only the King! When I look back at what I've been part of, it's very satisfying. But life's a continuing process."
- Rob Halford, AnarchoCyberSludge, 1995

And while "Metal God" has been Rob's nickname for over a decade, it recently became an official trademark of Rob's when plans for a movie by the same title were announced. Rob's lawyers took legal rights to the title to protect his status with the fans and then warned the movie's producers of impending legal action if they carried through with their title. Instead, the movie was retitled and released as Rock Star.

But according to the film's producers, the title was changed because they wanted it to have a wider appeal to the public, thinking "Rock Star" would be a bigger draw than a title with "Metal" in it. So they say the title change has nothing to do over any legal threats from Rob's camp.

By the way, Rob says he enjoyed the movie Rock Star as much as the audiences did:

"It's a real laugh. The journalists that have asked me about this in America are all bent out of shape; they were expecting something real and substantial; and like a lot of things out of Hollywood, it's just fantasy. I think the reaction to the movie is quite affectionate because it shows just how much they think about the whole incident - me leaving this incredible metal band, then somebody replacing me. People were expecting more of a reality based movie."
- Rob Halford, Powerplay, July 2002

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GUEST APPEARANCES:

As backing vocalist:

Krokus - Headhunter (1983) - "Are You Ready To Burn", "Stayed Awake All Night", and "Russian Winter"
Dio -
Hear 'N' Aid (1986) - "Stars"
Ugly Kid Joe - America's least Wanted (1992) - "Goddamn Devil"
Brings - Hex 'N' Sex (1997) - "Hex 'N' Sex"
Queens Of The Stone Age - Rated R (2000) - "Feel Good Hit Of The Summer"

As lead vocalist:

Surgical Steel  - demo (1984) - "Smooth And Fast"
Pantera - Buffy The Vampire Slayer soundtrack (1992) - "Light Comes Out Of Black"
Pantera - Live March 14, 1992, Irvine, California - "Metal Gods" and "Grinder"
Skid Row - Live on Hangin' With MTV and released on B-Side Ourselves (1992) - "Delivering The Goods"
Black Sabbath - Live November 14 and 15, 1992, Costa Mesa, California - Both entire sets
Paul Gilbert - Guitar clinic, along with Fight guitarist Russ Parish, 1993 - "Bloodstone" and "Helter Skelter"
Fight - Live on the "Let The Fight Begin" world tour 1993-1994 - "Sweet Leaf" and "Symptom Of The Universe"
Fight w/guest Sebastian Bach - Live November 19, 1993, Asbury Park, New Jersey - "Bloodstone"
Fight w/guest Sebastian Bach - Live January 16, 1994, Limelight, New York, NY - "Devil's Child"
Bullring Brummies: Rob Halford (ex Judas Priest, Fight) - vocals; Geezer Butler (Black Sabbath) - bass; Bill Ward (Black Sabbath) - drums; Scott "Wino" Weinrich (St. Vitus, The Obsessed) - rhythm guitar; Brian Tilse (Fight) - guitar; Jimmie Wood provides harmonica - Nativity In Black (1994) - "The Wizard"
Pantera - Live 1994 - "Metal Gods"
Metallica - Live August 21, 1994, Bicentennial Park, Miami, Florida - "Rapid Fire"

Skid Row - Subhuman Beings On Tour!! (1995) - "Delivering The Goods" (different version from B-SIDE OURSELVES)

Anthrax - Live March 12, 1995, Los Angeles, California - "Rapid Fire" and "Solar Angels"

     "On March 12, 1995, Anthrax played the Board AID Kick-Off to benefit LIFEbeat at The Palladium in Los Angeles. Anthrax preceded Helmet, the headliners. Wax and the Bosstones were the opening acts. Anthrax introduced some new songs there and had a special guest, Rob Halford formerly of Judas Priest and Fight. Scott Ian has actually known two people who have died from AIDS, for which the show was a benefit."
- Metal Storm

Gimp/Two - Live June 22, 1996 New York, New York - "N.I.B." and "Paranoid"
Tony Iommi - In mid 1996 it appeared that Tony Iommi was once more working with vocalist Rob Halford for an album project, although the former Judas Priest vocalist still had commitments to his new industrial project Two. These sessions were subsequently put on ice and Iommi began recording solo material with his old ally Glenn Hughes and former Trapeze and Judas Priest drummer Dave Holland for a projected solo album. Before this project was finalized however, and from out of the blue, Black Sabbath, with it’s classic line up, relented to fan pressure and reunited.
Pansy Division - Live July 25-26, 1997, San Diego Gay Pride Festival, Marston Point, Balboa Park, San Diego, California, - "Breaking The Law"

                                                                                                   

                                              Rob with Pansy Division 1997                                                           Rob with Pansy Division Twin Peaks San Fransico 1998.

Pantera - Live November 12, 1997 - "Grinder"
w/Alice Cooper, Dave Mustaine and others - March 31, 1998, opening night of the Arizona Diamondbacks' Bank One Ballpark, Phoenix, Arizona - "The Star Spangled Banner"
Sum 41 and Tommy Lee - MTV's 20th Anniversary (2001) - "You've Got Another Thing Comin'"

"I thought that was just so very cool of Sum 41 to do that. You can't really say anything more than a big thank you to them for the opportunity, because it was wonderful. If you go deep into it, it was a very meaningful thing to do."
- Rob Halford, Launch, July 23, 2002

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