JUDAS PRIEST's ROB HALFORD Looks Back On His 'Very, Very Dangerous Back Surgery'

October 11, 2020

In a recent interview with LiveSigning.com, JUDAS PRIEST singer Rob Halford was asked how often he rides his motorcycle when he is not touring. He responded: "I don't hardly ride at all now — not since my back operation, which I had some years ago. I had this horrible, horrible herniated disc that was pushing on my sciatic nerve. People that have had sciatica — I'm sure there's some people watching now that have had sciatica — oh, man. It's brutal — it's absolutely brutal. So I had to have back surgery in Birmingham some years ago — five years ago now, maybe six years ago.

"You may remember if you saw me in New York, I was walking around with a walking stick, and Richie [Faulkner, JUDAS PRIEST guitarist] was pushing me in a wheelchair, 'cause it was so bad," he continued. "I was doing promo for some PRIEST things. I couldn't stand up straight, it was so bad. So I had this amazing surgeon, Spencer Harland, who did this very, very dangerous back surgery. 'Cause we did all the x-rays and the MRIs and blah blah. And he goes, 'Well, we can try the manipulation,' and blah blah blah, 'but it could months and months and months.' I said, 'I don't have time. I've gotta get back on the road.' So we did the operation.

"I'll never forget this. Before the operation, he came into the room and sat at the end of the bed. He said, 'Are you ready?' I [said], 'Yeah, I'm ready to go.' He said, 'I'm just gonna read you the bill of rights.' 'What is that?' 'It's a medical thing in the U.K.' 'Okay.' 'You may not wake up.' [Laughs] 'What?' 'You may not wake up.' 'Okay.' 'You may become incontinent.' I'm an old guy; I'm getting there already. And all these things… And I'm going, 'Oh, my God. I'm lying here in excruciating pain, and now he's throwing this stuff at me.' I said, 'Let's just do it, Spencer. Let's go. Let's do it.' So, three hours, four hours later, I wake up [and] the pain is completely gone. It was unbelievable. But as a result of that, my back is significantly weaker now. Like when I told you about trying to pick up a box of books, I can't do that; it's just too troublesome for me. My back's now in good shape now, compared to how it was.

"So, as a result of that, sadly, I don't ride anymore."

Halford is promoting his autobiography, "Confess", which arrived on September 29 via Hachette Books. The book has 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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