Halford recalls his miracle clean-up moment

Judas Priest frontman Rob Halford says getting clean and sober in the 80s dramatically improved his ability to perform on stage - and says his life since then has been a "miracle."

And the Metal God says he can clearly remember his first gig without drink or drugs, saying it was one of the “most amazing shows he’s ever done.”

Halford tells Classic Rock Revisited: “I was sick of waking up every morning and feeling like shit. I think I came to an understanding that I wasn’t at my full capacity – I was being held in place by booze and drugs.

“I will always remember the first show I did clean and sober. It was one of the most amazing shows I’ve ever done. It was in Albuquerque, New Mexico. I literally felt elevated as everything was coming with such clarity.

“I was able to really listen to, love and enjoy the performance of Judas Priest, without having all the other things in front of it. Since that day, it’s been a miracle.”

But Halford admits it’s not easy to take control back amid life on the road. “There are temptations galore from the moment you wake up to the moment you go to sleep,” he says. “I think we’re some of the strongest people, my friends and my sober brothers in metal.

“We’re way stronger now than we used to be. We’re giving the best of ourselves now, more than we ever could before. I think that’s the blessing of being sober.”

Judas Priest released 17th studio album Redeemer Of Souls this year. The frontman recently insisted it will come to be regarded as “one of the greatest metal records ever made,” adding: “I think 10 years from now, this will be revered – and I don’t say that lightly.”

The band launch a North American tour in October.

Scott Munro
Louder e-commerce editor

Scott has spent 35 years in newspapers, magazines and online as an editor, production editor, sub-editor, designer, writer and reviewer. Scott joined our news desk in the summer of 2014 before moving to the e-commerce team in 2020. Scott keeps Louder’s buyer’s guides up to date, writes about the best deals for music fans, keeps on top of the latest tech releases and reviews headphones, speakers, earplugs and more. Over the last 10 years, Scott has written more than 11,000 articles across Louder, Classic Rock, Metal Hammer and Prog. He's previously written for publications including IGN, the Sunday Mirror, Daily Record and The Herald newspapers, covering everything from daily news and weekly features, to tech reviews, video games, travel and whisky. Scott's favourite bands are Fields Of The Nephilim, The Cure, New Model Army, All About Eve, The Mission, Cocteau Twins, Drab Majesty, Marillion and Rush.