British metal gods Judas Priest took their unusual name from a Bob Dylan song, The Ballad Of Frankie Lee and Judas Priest, from Dylan’s 1967 album John Wesley Harding, and in the new issue of Classic Rock magazine, which celebrates the Birmingham band’s 50th anniversary, Priest frontman Rob Halford shares his memories of his one meeting with the legendary American singer-songwriter.
“I met him for about three minutes when [Halford’s solo band] Fight were doing a show at the Sony Studios,” Halford recalls. “One of the label people said: ‘Bob Dylan’s in the next room. Do you want to meet him?’ I’m like: [enthusiastically] ‘Yeah, who doesn’t want to meet Dylan?’
“So this guy takes me round to this room. And there’s Bob, he’s got five or six chicks hanging out with him. This record guy goes: ‘Bob, here’s somebody I’d like to introduce you to, it’s Rob Halford, he’s from the British heavy metal band Judas Priest.’ And Bob goes: [spot-on Dylan impression] ‘Heeeeey, what’s goin’ on? What’s happenin’?’ And I go: ‘Hey Bob, it’s really nice to meet you.’
“He goes: ‘Where ya from?’ and I say, ‘I’m from Birmingham.’ And he goes: ‘Birmingham? [pause]. How’s Ozzy doing?’ Then I was whisked off.”
Elsewhere in the interview, Halford declines to spill the beans on the much-anticipated follow-up to Priest’s 2018 Firepower album, insisting “management will kneecap me.” He does however reveal that the band have had one big writing session for the album, and that their new material sounds “great”, adding “they were really instinctive.”
For more revelations from Halford, including his thoughts on Judas Priest’s most “randy” songs, plus interviews with every member of the band, pick up the new issue of Classic Rock magazine, which also features The Who, Elton John, Motorhead, Stone Temple Pilots, Led Zeppelin, Jane’s Addiction and more.