IAN HILL Says JUDAS PRIEST's Heavy Touring Schedule In Early Years Cost Him Two Marriages

October 2, 2022

In a new interview with the WSOU 89.5 FM radio station, JUDAS PRIEST bassist Ian Hill spoke about how he and his bandmates used to release studio albums every year or every other year in the first couple of decades of the group's existence. "It was a prolific [period], and we were young," he said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET). "We wanted to do it. We had this boundless enthusiasm. As soon as we finished a tour, we couldn't wait to get into a recording studio and start it up all over again. And that continued, really, right up to probably 'Painkiller'. There was a bit of a gap between 'Ram It Down' and 'Painkiller'. But that's the way it was. In hindsight, it cost me two marriages [laughs], 'cause you're never home. I missed my first son almost completely, his growing up, and I look back at it, and it was a really, really sad thing. Not that it's affected him in any way. We've always been very close, but he was very much brought up by his mom. Yeah, like I say, it's the enthusiasm and the incentive; you've got this drive behind you. And you can't imagine yourself not doing it. That's the thing — you have time off and you think, 'Oh, now what do we do?' … It's changed a bit now — we're all getting older now — and we can't keep up [that accelerated pace of touring and recording] anymore. But we still do as much as we can."

Hill married PRIEST singer Rob Halford's sister, Sue, in 1976 and they divorced in 1984. Together they have a son, Alex, who was born in 1980. Hill lived in Florida while he was married to his second wife, Letitia. They had a daughter with the same name.

Ian is joined in PRIEST's current touring lineup by Halford, guitarists Andy Sneap and Richie Faulkner, and drummer Scott Travis.

Hill is the sole remaining original member of PRIEST, which formed in 1969. Halford joined the group in 1973 and guitarist Glenn Tipton signed on in 1974. Rob left PRIEST in the early 1990s to form his own band, then came back to PRIEST in 2003. Founding guitarist K.K. Downing parted ways with the band in 2011, and was replaced by Faulkner.

The members of PRIEST have dealt with various health setbacks in recent years. 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 his autobiography, "Confess". In "Confess", Halford revealed that he was diagnosed with cancer after experiencing symptoms for at least a couple of years.

Faulkner suffered an acute cardiac aortic dissection during the band's performance at the Louder Than Life festival in September 2021. Faulkner was rushed to the UofL Health - Jewish Hospital where the cardiothoracic surgery team needed approximately 10 hours to complete a life-saving surgery.

Tipton was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease eight years ago — after being stricken by the condition at least half a decade earlier — but announced in early 2018 he was going to sit out touring activities in support of "Firepower". He was replaced by "Firepower" producer Sneap, who is also known for his work in NWOBHM revivalists HELL and cult thrash outfit SABBAT.

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