In a latest interview with Goldmine journal, JUDAS PRIEST singer Rob Halford — who has roared onstage astride a Harley-Davidson for the intro to “Hell Bent for Leather-based” for many years — defined how a motorbike grew to become part of the band’s stay act. He stated: “There was a second once we first had the music ‘Hell Bent For Leather-based’, and we’re at a membership, someplace in U.Okay., nonetheless making our sound occur in any venue we may play in. And we pulled up and there have been bikers parked outdoors the venue, down the alley and stuff. I stated out of the blue, ‘It will be very cool if we may carry a motorbike out throughout ‘Hell Bent For Leather-based’.’ I am going and converse to a few bikers and instructed them what the concept was. ‘Yeah, yeah. However his is not that large. Use mine.’ So, I had the bike, and I had a leather-based jacket. I put a leather-based jacket on, and it was like an epiphany. It was a really unplanned epiphany. Every little thing appeared to really feel 100% related at that exact present. After which that was it. You stroll off stage going, ‘One thing’s occurred’ — you recognize. Now we’ve the entire manifestation of the look, the sound, the texture, it has all coalesced by that bike. It was like a easy ‘On The Waterfront’ second. Marlon Brando and all this stuff which have already preceded you, however in a non-musical means. Right here it’s. And that is all she wrote. The followers liked it. They completely went ballistic.”
On the final present of the tour supporting PRIEST‘s 1990 “Painkiller” album, Halford was knocked off the motorbike he by a misplaced prop. He broke his nostril and was rendered unconscious, inflicting him to overlook the final music of what can be his remaining present with the band for greater than a decade.
In an interview with Hellbound, Halford said about his nightly ritual of cruising out on stage on a motorbike, “The entire affiliation with bikes and JUDAS PRIEST goes again to ‘Hell Bent for Leather-based’ — every time that music was written… Once we had been touring in England, we thought that it could be cool if we may carry the bike on stage once we did the music, because it appeared like the appropriate factor to do. So once we would go to a metropolis we’d ask one in all our crew to see if there have been any motorbike guys or ladies that had parked their bikes and will we use their bikes and provides them a few t-shirts, or purchase them a drink and that sort of factor.
“Once we acquired to America, we mainly requested our administration firm to contact Harley-Davidson and instructed them what we needed to do,” he continued. “They had been actually excited concerning the affiliation of their bikes with this heavy metallic band from the U.Okay. They gave us the 1981 low-rider for a greenback. Previous to that, they’d give us Harleys after which we’d give them again on the finish of the tour. The official one that you just see now, which has been personalized — the body, the wheels, the engine all the inner stuff are the unique parts. So we’ve had that bike since then.”
Concerning the connection between bikes and rock and roll, Halford stated, “In my thoughts, in speaking about america, it is all about Harley-Davidson. There has simply been this ongoing relationship in rock and roll with Harley for so long as I can keep in mind. The roots of bikes and rock and roll tradition goes again all the best way to Marlon Brando in that film ‘On The Waterfront’ I believe that it’s nonetheless related in as we speak’s rock world. I’ve seen guys like AVENGED SEVENFOLD in different metallic bands which might be utilizing bikes on stage. The MÖTLEY CRÜE boys are utilizing bikes of their movies. We’re utilizing bikes in our movies however Harley-Davidson is a very powerful model for us. They’re American and the symbolize America, regardless that for awhile Harleys had been made in Japan, which was a bit uncommon however ultimately they moved again to the States the place they belonged.
“Harleys are the right American motorbike to be related to rock and roll music. And I’ve all the time stated that the Harleys are synonymous with heavy metallic as a result of like heavy metallic, Harleys are large and loud and brash they usually odor they usually piss some individuals off, they usually have all the identical attributes that heavy metallic does. So it is a very shut correlation between rock and roll, heavy metallic and bikes. It is the independence, the insurgent streak — all of these are hooked up to being on a Harley.”