JUDAS PRIEST’s ROB HALFORD Looks Back On His ‘GEORGE MICHAEL Moment’

In his new autobiography “Confess”, JUDAS PRIEST‘s Rob Halford reveals that he was once arrested for cruising Venice Beach toilets (in a case of police entrapment), yet the cops didn’t release the information to the media because they were PRIEST fans. Asked by NME what effect he thinks being “outed” would have had on him, the singer — who came out as gay on his own terms in 1998 on MTV — said: “The police did me a favor by keeping it out of the press because it would have been big news. I always refer to that, slightly tongue in cheek, as my George Michael moment. I was lucky, because the sad thing is it makes people who don’t understand the gay community just go, ‘Obviously, they’re all just a bunch of perverts.’ And that’s horrible.

“I’d like to think for the most part if that incident had broken into the press, then a great proportion of my fans would have said, ‘We’ll support you and stand with you.’ A few years later, when I came out on MTV, that was a proven fact because the feedback from around the world was positive — they just wanted me to continue being the singer for JUDAS PRIEST and get on with the job.”

A few years ago, Rob told The Press Of Atlantic City that he expected metal fans to alienate him when he first spoke about his sexual orientation. “I probably deluded myself into thinking I would get rejection,” he said. “Nothing could have been further from the truth.”

He continued: “When you make that choice of stepping out and facing the issue of disclosure, you do create this kind of self-imposed negative fear. It’s unfortunate it still happens today. ‘Do I step out and say I’m a gay guy?’ But you have got to do it and live your life on your terms and no one else’s terms. Don’t say you can’t do this and you are worried about people being offended. If they push you away, then they push you away. Grab life by the horns and tell them, ‘Take me for what I am and who I am and if you don’t like it, that’s your thing. Not my thing.'”

He added: “If I had been in the band at the time … I think when it happened was a good moment. The fans were amazing.”

In April 1998, Michael was caught engaging in a sexual act by an undercover police officer in a public toilet in Beverly Hills. The fallout from his actions made front pages on both sides of the Atlantic, with the U.K.’s The Sun famously running a front-page story headlined “Zip Me Up Before You Go Go.”

“Confess” will arrive on September 29 via Hachette Books. The book has already been described by the U.K.’s The Telegraph as “one of the most candid and surprising memoirs of the year.”

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PARADISE LOST: 25th-Anniversary Reissue Of ‘Draconian Times’ To Include Disc Of Rare And Previously Unreleased Material

The 25th-anniversary reissue of PARADISE LOST‘s fifth studio album, “Draconian Times”, will be released on December 4 via Music For Nations. It will be lovingly pressed onto heavyweight audiophile approved vinyl, housed in a gatefold artwork sleeve, and presented on select and limited vinyl variants. The special 25th anniversary edition also sees the vaults opened to provide a deluxe CD version that comes with a definitive disc of bonus, rare and unreleased material from the “Draconian Times” era. Furnished with new liner notes, delving deep dive into the album’s lyrical themes and exclusive memories from PARADISE LOST, this is a must for fans and completists alike.

Says PARADISE LOST: “We can finally reveal what we’ve been up to. A 25th-anniversary reissue of ‘Draconian Times’! Featuring the content you, our fans, have submitted; exclusive artwork, unheard tracks, memories from all of the band members and more.

Pre-order your copy here. The 2LP red vinyl is exclusive to the band’s official store and all pre-orders of this variant via Omerch will be entered into a lucky dip draw to win a handwritten lyric sheet from vocalist Nick Holmes. Good luck!”

Track listing:

Disc 1

01. Enchantment
02. Hallowed Land
03. The Last Time
04. Forever Failure
05. Once Solemn
06. Shadowkings
07. Elusive Cure
08. Yearn For Change
09. Shades Of God
10. Hands Of Reason
11. I See Your Face
12. Jaded

Disc 2

01. Shadowkings (BBC live session)
02. Sweetness (BBC live session)
03. Once Solemn (BBC live session)
04. Yearn For Change (BBC live session)
05. The Last Time (demo)
06. Forever Failure (demo)
07. Shadow Kings (demo)
08. I See Your Face (demo)
09. Hallowed Land (demo)
10. Hand Of Reason (demo)
11. Last Desire (demo)
12. Masters Of Misrule (demo)
13. Walk Away (SISTERS OF MERCY cover)

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OZZY OSBOURNE’s Granddaughter Tests Positive For COVID-19

Ozzy Osbourne‘s wife and manager Sharon is in quarantine after their two-and-a-half-year-old granddaughter, Minnie, contracted COVID-19.

While co-hosting Monday’s (September 21) episode of “The Talk” via video link, Sharon explained why she was not able to appear live in studio.

“I was meant to be in the studio — I was so looking forward to it — and then, unfortunately, one of my granddaughters has come down with COVID,” she said (see video below).

“She’s okay; she’s doing good,” Sharon continued. “I don’t have it. Her daddy [Jack Osbourne] doesn’t have it. Her mommy doesn’t have it. Her sisters don’t. She caught it from somebody that works for my son. And it just goes to show you — she’s three years of age — that children can get COVID.”

Revealing that she has one more week left of quarantine before she will be back to work on the show, Sharon added: “And as I say, I don’t have it. I keep testing negative, but, you know, you have to be safe.”

Minnie is one of three daughters Jack Osbourne shares with Lisa Stelly. The couple were married seven years before divorcing in early 2019.

Earlier this month, Ozzy said he won’t have a coronavirus vaccine despite his Parkinson’s disease putting him at greater risk. Speaking on Rock Classics Radio on Apple Music Hits, he said: “I’m trying to recover so I can get… The only good thing about this pandemic, I couldn’t work anyway because of my injuries. I’m hoping that I’ll be booking 2022, I think.

“To be honest with you, I don’t think it’s gonna get ship shape until the end of next year. I think this winter is gonna be fucking bad, because you’re gonna have the flu. People are, ‘I’m not taking the flu shot.’ You know what?

“You can give me anything, but I’m not gonna be number one on that fucking new vaccine. I don’t know want to be the first one to wake up with a set of fucking antlers in the morning.”

This past July, Ozzy said that he was still “not back to 100 percent” after suffering from several medical issues last year, including a fall, neck surgery and hospitalization for the flu. Ozzy also said that he was looking forward to performing again once he has regained his health and the coronavirus pandemic has subsided.

Last month, Ozzy blasted Donald Trump‘s coronavirus response, saying that America’s 45th president is “acting like a fool.” In an interview with Rolling Stone, Ozzy said: “In my lifetime, I’ve never known anything like this. It’s getting worse, not better. And this guy’s acting like a fool. I don’t really like to talk politics that much, but I’ve got to say what I feel with this guy. There’s not much hope left. Maybe he’s got a trick up his sleeve and he’s going to surprise us all, and I hope he has. [Recently], over a thousand more people died in one day [in America]. That’s fucking crazy. People got to get with this social distancing and mask-wearing or else it’s never gonna go away.”

When the pandemic struck, Ozzy had just released his first solo album in a decade, “Ordinary Man”, which he recorded late last year while recovering from surgery and related illnesses. The BLACK SABBATH singer had previously canceled all his 2019 tour plans, and the rescheduled 2020 shows have also been scrapped.

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ANTHRAX-Branded ‘Stop Spreading The Disease’ Hand Sanitizer Coming Soon

ANTHRAX has created its own hand sanitizer.

The Stop Spreading The Disease hand sanitizer will be made available soon via Global Merchandising Services, which represents the worldwide merchandising rights for the band.

The bottle features a variant of the cover artwork from ANTHRAX‘s second album, 1985’s “Spreading The Disease”.

ANTHRAX drummer Charlie Benante broke the news of the sanitizer’s upcoming availability, writing on Instagram: “Stop spreading the disease #handsanitizer coming soon @anthrax #covid_19 #stayhealthy #clean @globalmerchservices”

ANTHRAX is named after a bacterial disease primarily found in livestock that the Centers For Disease Control And Prevention (CDC) has recognized as a potential agent of bioterrorism.

In 2001, a week after the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center, five letters containing powdered anthrax were mailed to media outlets in New York. Three weeks later, another two letters were sent to U.S. senators. The attacks killed five people in total.

Despite the fact that ANTHRAX had been using the name without controversy since 1981, it was being attacked in the media for appearing insensitive. The band issued a press release jokingly suggesting that it would change its name to “BASKET FULL OF PUPPIES.”

“Before the tragedy of September 11th the only thing scary about ANTHRAX was our bad hair in the 80’s and the ‘Fistful Of Metal’ album cover,” the band said at the time. “Most people associated the name ANTHRAX with the band, not the germ. Now in the wake of those events, our name symbolizes fear, paranoia and death. Suddenly our name is not so cool.”

Hoping to help anyone searching the Internet for medical advice about anthrax, ANTHRAX also temporarily changed the band’s web site (anthrax.com) to contain information about the spread and treatment of anthrax.

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RICHARD FORTUS Says ‘It Was A Difficult Dynamic To Make Three Guitars Work’ In GUNS N’ ROSES

In a new appearance on “The Radical With Nick Terzo” podcast, GUNS N’ ROSES guitarist Richard Fortus spoke about how difficult it has been adjusting to the different musicians that have come through the band since he joined GN’R back in late 2001 or early 2002,

“I love Robin [Finck, guitar]. I loved his playing. I loved working with him. And, obviously, Tommy [Stinson, bass] is like my brother. We were all very tight. And then there was Bucket [a.k.a. Buckethead, real name Brian Carroll], who was just sort of out on his own. But it was very musical, and it was exciting to be a part of. He’s a phenomenal talent. Man, he’s pretty out there. And he definitely can be difficult to work with. I enjoyed working with him, ’cause he’s very musical.

“It was a difficult dynamic to make three guitars work,” Fortus said. “[Buckethead] did an excellent job, because he understood the dynamics of it and how the puzzle pieces have to fit together, and Bucket really understood that. Everything sort of has to have its place.

“When [Buckethead] left and Ron Thal [a.k.a. Bumblefoot] came in, it was a different dynamic, because I think Ron had been used to sort of doing his own thing, with his own band, so he didn’t really get how that worked, or how to make it work. So it was difficult at that time.”

Asked if it’s fair to say that Axl Rose was the “ultimate musical director” or the “band leader” during the initial period after Richard joined GUNS N’ ROSES, Fortus said: “A lot of it was Tommy, and he had sort of been somehow put in that role. And then Axl was always the final arbiter.”

According to Fortus, it was a smooth musical transition when guitarist Slash and bassist Duff McKagan officially returned to GUNS N’ ROSES in 2015.

“I wasn’t uncomfortable in any way,” he said. “You’re cautious at first — you don’t wanna step on anybody’s toes; everyone’s sort of feeling each other out. Duff and I had worked together before and were friends. And it fell together really quickly and very naturally. I think we have so much musical background in common, as far as where we came from and the bands that we sort of grew up listening to and the progression of our musical interests — with the whole background in older music and then punk rock and our love for THE [ROLLING] STONES. As far as with Slash and I, it really came together very naturally and in a really easy way.

Richard went on to call Duff one of his “favorite” people. “[He’s] really just a great dude,” he said. “Just so much fun to hang out with and talk to. Very smart.

“This is sort of a dream scenario for me in that I’m playing with guys that all take it as seriously as I do and are as committed and dedicated,” he added. “And that’s really rare and awesome to be a part of.”

Fortus admitted that the chemistry between Slash, McKagan and current GUNS N’ ROSES drummer Frank Ferrer wasn’t as immediate.

“I think that was the toughest fit, when those guys came back,” Richard said. “For Duff — well, for both of them — sort of adapting to Frank and trying to get him to adapt to them. It wasn’t as natural. But it has ended up working out well.”

Fortus got his big break when his band PALE DIVINE opened for THE PSYCHEDELIC FURS. This led to Fortus forming the band LOVE SPIT LOVE with PSYCHEDELIC FURS frontman Richard Butler and Ferrer. In 2000, Fortus and Ferrer became touring members of the reformed PSYCHEDELIC FURS before Fortus hooked up with GUNS N’ ROSES. Ferrer himself joined GN’R in 2006.

GUNS N’ ROSES is now reportedly working on a new studio album — the first under the GUNS banner since 2008’s “Chinese Democracy” and the first to feature Slash, Rose and McKagan since 1993.

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