Judas Priest guitarist Richie Faulkner has undergone a second heart operation

Richie Faulkner onstage
(Image credit: Olly Curtis/Future Publishing)

Judas Priest's Richie Faulkner has undergone a second heart operation. The guitarist originally went under the knife almost exactly a year ago after suffering an onstage aneurysm during a show at Louder Than Life Festival in Louisville, KY, and now surgeons have carried out further repair work.

"Just before we toured Europe, scans showed a hole in one of the connections between the synthetic graft and my own aorta that was causing a leak," wrote Faulkner on social media. "The blood from the leak was forming an 8cm sack that was surrounding my heart.

"The doctors were okay for me to tour Europe, but as soon as I got back I had to go under again for another open-heart surgery. So three days after we played Belgium, they went in, removed the sack and fixed the leak."

The band's final show of their European jaunt was an August 7 headlining slot on the main stage at Lokerse Feesten, a ten-day festival held in Lokeren, East Flanders. 

Faulkner went on to give a positive prognosis, saying, "So I’m now six weeks post the second open heart surgery, feeling well and strong and looking forward to seeing you all again on the next leg of the US 50 Heavy Metal Years tour starting in a few weeks.

"My surgeons were always confident that it was enough time for me to recover and get back out on the road and it seems like they were right. We had to lose Aftershock Festival in order for me to recover, but it looks like it’s still gonna be a kick-ass festival."

The US leg of Judas Priest's 50 Heavy Metal Years kicks off at the Toyota Oakdale Theater in Wallingford, CT, on October 14. Tickets are on sale now.

Judas Priest 50 Heavy Metal Years US Tour 2022

Oct 13: Wallingford Toyota Oakdale, CT
Oct 15: Albany MVP Arena, NY
Oct 16: Boston Music Hall Fenway, MA
Oct 18: Uniondale Nassau Veterans, NY
Oct 19: Wilkes-Barre Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza, PA
Oct 21: Kalamazoo Wings Event Center, MI
Oct 22: Detroit Masonic Temple Theatre, MI
Oct 24: Cincinnati The Andrew J Brady Music Center, OH
Oct 25: Waukegan Genesee Theatre, IL
Oct 27: Green Bay Resch Center Theater, WI
Oct 29: Moline TaxSlayer Center Moline, IL
Oct 30: Mankato Mayo Clinic Event Center, MN
Nov 01: Sioux City Tyson Events Center, IA
Nov 02: Rapid City The Monument, SD
Nov 07: Ontario Toyota Center, CA
Nov 08: Tucson TCC Arena, AZ
Nov 10: Loveland Budweiser Events Center, CO
Nov 12: Park City (Wichita) Hartman Arena, KS
Nov 13: St. Charles The Family Arena, MO
Nov 15: Corbin The Corbin Arena, KY
Nov 17: Southaven Landers Center, MS  
Nov 18: Baton Rouge Raising Canes River Center, LA
Nov 20: Oklahoma City Paycom Center, OK
Nov 22: San Antonio Tech Port Center & Arena, TX
Nov 23: San Antonio Tech Port Center & Arena, TX
Nov 25: Dallas The Factory: Deep Ellum, TX
Nov 26: Corpus Christi Concrete Street, TX
Nov 28: Edinburg Burt Ogden Arena, TX
Nov 29: Houston 713 Music Hall, TX

Fraser Lewry

Online Editor at Louder/Classic Rock magazine since 2014. 38 years in music industry, online for 25. Also bylines for: Metal Hammer, Prog Magazine, The Word Magazine, The Guardian, The New Statesman, Saga, Music365. Former Head of Music at Xfm Radio, A&R at Fiction Records, early blogger, ex-roadie, published author. Once appeared in a Cure video dressed as a cowboy, and thinks any situation can be improved by the introduction of cats. Favourite Serbian trumpeter: Dejan Petrović.