JUDAS PRIEST - Celebrate A 50th Wedding Anniversary!
by Martin Popoff

"The main thing is that obviously we were very close in the early days, family-like, really," says Judas Priest axeman K.K. Downing, down the line from Prague, on the chain of events that have found the mighty Priest back together with metal god Rob Halford. "Rob knew my family and I knew his family well and it was actually Rob's mom and dad's 50th wedding anniversary - which is obviously the big one, isn't it? - where we got together. I was invited to that and of course Rob was there and that was the first time I'd seen him in many, many years. And we didn't discuss anything about anything at the time. It was just a celebration, a big bash."

Bassist Ian Hill was there, and K.K., in saying how that broke the ice for the three of them, intimates that this resulted in a bit of a lag in the patching of relations for guitarist Glenn Tipton, Glenn having had other engagements in Spain at the time. In any event, we all know now that all is well, with the band touring greatest hits style for now in Europe, a bright shiny new record (almost) in the can.

"It's so close to being done, it isn't funny," enthuses Downing. "We've got a few days of guitar overdubs, and maybe one day of vocals to do. But it's there, it's pretty much complete, we've played it to the record company. But obviously, we're on tour now in Europe and it's going fantastic. We must have played to about 10,000 people last night; it was sold out last night here in Prague. Luckily we brought the record company out, Sony, and the promoters, so we're talking about putting on a worldwide tour, releasing the album in early November, and then get Christmas out of the way, and then we've already put dates in in the UK and already put some dates in in Japan."

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