40 years ago today, Judas Priest came shrieking out of turntable speakers for the very first time with their debut disc, Rocka Rolla. Rob Halford, Glenn Tipton and Richie Faulkner discussed the band’s first studio outing recently when they stopped by VH1 headquarters.
There was a time when having crazy long hair was a major prerequisite for being a rock ‘n’ roll dude. With the coming of the Beatles, guys started growing their tresses and wearing it like a badge of non-conformist honor. But soon the long locks trend totally took over and went mainstream . What’s a rebellious soul gonna do to stand out? Start rocking the cue-ball look, of course!
Judas Priest are for all intents and purposes the first modern heavy metal band. Earlier groups laid the sonic and stylistic blueprints but Priest codified the various strains, melding Led Zeppelin’s wailing sense of grandeur to the dark heaviness of Black Sabbath and matching speeds with Deep Purple at their fastest. They were the first to proudly proclaim themselves a “heavy metal” band and pioneered the leather and studs look, which quickly became the defacto image for all subsequent metal groups. Influenced by punk and his extracurricular activities in the S&M underground, Judas Priest singer Rob Halford was the first to cover himself from head to toe in black leather and other kinky accouterments as immortalized in the classic song “Hell Bent for Leather.” In honor of this weekend’s premiere on VH1 Classic of the new live concert film Judas Priest: Epitaph, we present Rob Halford’s 20 Most Hell Bent For Leather Looks.
Tune in to VH1 Classic this Memorial Day for Metal Mania Weekend with the hardest hitting video blocks and special programming all weekend long including the broadcast premiere of Judas Priest: Epitaph this Saturday, May 25 at 8/8C.
We had to recruit Evan Seinfeld (Attika7) for one of the toughest TMS Top 5 lists we’ve have ever done on the show: Best Screams on a song. There are so many shrieks and shrills out there in the music world, including the ones we can never forget, like the haunting scream in “Child In Time” by Deep Purple and “Angel of Death” by Slayer (Side note: This one still scares Jim Florentine to this day.) We could easily debate Top 5 Rob Halford Screams, not to mention those of Sebastian Bach, but then we remembered it’s called the TMS Top 5, not Top 100 – So, here’s our top 5:
“Metal dudes are people, too!” you shout, and we hear ya, we honestly do. But here’s the thing — we like to live under the fantasy, however inaccurate, that metal dudes just do totally awesome metal stuff all the time. We want to believe that metal dudes go around biting the heads off bats, smashing guitars, sticking it to the man and headbanging ALL THE TIME. The same way we like to believe that pop stars all eat, sleep and go to the gym in their elaborate costumes, rappers freestyle battle each other in the street and country singers all know how to lasso like cowboys.
Obviously, the illusions we live under (yes, we’re twisted, we know, but being twisted is like, SO metal), are unrealistic, and we have to admit we get a perverted sense of pleasure when the wall does come down. So if you want to see what metal dudes are doing when they’re not being metal, and just being sort of, well, regular, click through to our gallery below! Beware: there are images of James Hetfield WEARING A KNITTED SCARF! Slipknot‘s Corey Taylor READING BOOKS! Megadeth‘s Dave Mustaine HANGING OUT WITH A GEORGE W. BUSH IMPERSONATOR! If this is all just too much for you and all you want is to see metal guys being, like, totally metal, then check out National Metal Day on VH1 Classic, airing all day today!
[Photos: Getty Images]