JUDAS PRIEST's ROB HALFORD gets 'Biblical' in upcoming book
JUDAS PRIEST singer Rob Halford will release a new book, “Biblical: Rob Halford’s Heavy Metal Scriptures”, on November 1 via Hachette Books.
In the follow-up to his 2020 autobiography “Confess”, Halford runs his lively eye over all facets of the hard rock history and the heavy metal world. “Biblical” is an encyclopedia and manifesto in which Halford shares his opinions, memories, and anecdotes regarding every element of the rock and roll work and lifestyle from tours to tattoos, riffs to riders, and drugs to devil horns. In Halford‘s relaxed and honest tone, the book mixes serious and in-depth pieces with whimsical reflections on lessons learned during his fifty years of a life in music. “Biblical” is a handed-down-from-on-high holy tome that transports fans behind the scenes and back into their record collections, to the almighty ways of rock.
“After my penitence with CONFESS, it’s time for me to be BIBLICAL and take our congregation through all the ins and out and ups and downs of what it takes to make the life of the Metal God,” Halford said in a statement. “So get comfy in your pew and prepare for the light of revelations by becoming BIBLICAL!”
In a Rolling Stone interview before the release of “Confess”, Halford discussed when it’s appropriate to declare himself a Metal God. “I really feel it’s when I’m onstage. Everything changes when you hit the stage. Just getting out there and holding a mic, there’s something very tangible that shifts in me and suddenly it’s the Metal God. It’s a bit like when Superman went into the phone booth and came out. Whereas he came out in a cape and tights, I come out in leather chaps.”
Halford recently publicly revealed that he battled prostate cancer during the pandemic. He previously mentioned his cancer battle in the new chapter added to the updated paperback edition of “Confess”. In “Confess”, Halford revealed that he was diagnosed with cancer after experiencing symptoms for at least a couple of years.
In July 2020, Rob underwent prostatectomy, an operation where the entire prostate gland is removed plus some of the tissue around it, including the seminal vesicles. After more cancer was found last year, he went through radiation treatments in April and May 2021 and eventually got then all-clear in June 2021. He also had an appendectomy after a tumor was discovered on his appendix.
“Confess” arrived in September 2020 via Hachette Books. Co-written with Ian Gittins, the book offered readers a compelling, heartfelt and honest look at the struggles Rob has faced with addiction and his sexuality as well as exploring his music and his many brushes with controversy.
Two months ago, Halford told the Phoenix, Arizona radio station KSLX-FM 100.7 about “Confess”: “I was approached in my 30s. ‘Rob, do you want to do a book?’ I’m, like, ‘No, dude. I’ve got more of a life to live.’ And then there’s a little bell [that] goes, ‘Ping! It’s time to do it.’ So we put that together while the pandemic was going on.
“Thank you to everybody that took time to get into the book,” he continued. “It was a real journey of self-discovery. ‘Cause Ian Gittins, who is my guy — Ian did the Nikki Sixx ‘Heroin Diaries’ and a multitude of other great books. He was the master of taking it through the various parts of my life. And we got it done at long last.”
Halford went on to praise Gittins further, saying: “He’s great. He’s a researcher. He pulls his stuff from all these different resources. Once you put a light on in my head, the lips start flapping… So, I’m relieved that, through my sobriety, I thought I had lost so much of this stuff in those murky years, but he was able to get me through that time, which we included in the book. So, yeah, we didn’t miss anything; we didn’t cut any corners. The difficulty came when we sent all these hundreds of thousands of words to the publisher, and then the editing team goes in. I’m, like, ‘You cannot take that out. It’s gotta stay in.’ We had quite a bit of material left over — for the right reasons. That’s why editors edit. So we’re utilizing that in another project that we’ll be talking about later on this year,” he added, apparently referring to “Biblical: Rob Halford’s Heavy Metal Scriptures”.
In “Confess”, Halford discusses in detail what it was like becoming the first metal icon to announce he is gay in 1998 during an MTV interview, despite knowing about his sexuality since he was 10. Although his bandmates and their management knew he was gay and were accepting, he was advised to be discreet given the macho hetero nature of the metal world. He also opens up about surviving sexual abuse, as well as his struggles with depression, substance abuse, sobriety, and the suicide of one of his former partners. He also talks about how his own suicide attempt in 1986 led him to the rehab program that saved his life.
A year and a half ago, Halford told Sonic Perspectives about the book’s title: “I would like to feel there are parts of this book which are relatable to others. Everybody is the same, as we all share similar life experiences. There are so many things that happen to us; we are almost identical no matter where we are from. I’ve traveled the world and seen how our music can touch people from all walks of life and professions. Confessing these stories or episodes is important, and it gives the reader a look-see into this guy that you only see from one point of view.”
Halford is not the first member of PRIEST‘s classic lineup to release a book. Former JUDAS PRIEST guitarist K.K. Downing released his autobiography, “Heavy Duty: Days And Nights In Judas Priest”, in September 2018 via Da Capo Press.
In 2009, original JUDAS PRIEST singer Al Atkins released his autobiography, titled “Dawn Of The Metal Gods: My Life In Judas Priest And Heavy Metal”. JUDAS PRIEST bassist Ian Hill penned the foreword to the book, which was written with Neil Daniels — a freelance rock writer and heavy metal fan who befriended Atkins during the writing of Neil‘s book “The Story Of Judas Priest: Defenders Of The Faith” (Omnibus Press).