On June 27, AndrewHaug.com, Australia's first-ever dedicated 24/7 rock and metal online radio station launched by Andrew Haug, the former host of Triple J Australia's "The Racket" radio show (originally "Full Metal Racket"; 2001-2011),conducted an interview with JUDAS PRIEST singer Rob Halford. You can now listen to the chat in the YouTube clip below.
Asked about the recent controversy surrounding IRON MAIDEN frontman Bruce Dickinson's apparent condemnation of Halford's use of a teleprompter during live performances, Rob said: "Well, the first thing I'll say about that is Bruce Dickinson is a good mate of mine; I love him to death. I think he's an incredible singer, he's a great showman, he's in a wonderful band, IRON MAIDEN, who are one of the biggest metal bands in the world. And as far as what people say about each other, I don't think it really means that much, to be quite honest. We say whatever we say, depending on the day and the emotion that we're at. I know Bruce's heart is in the right place, and he just said what he said, and that's all there is to it to comment, in that respect."
A teleprompter, or autocue, is a display device that prompts the person speaking with an electronic visual text of a speech or script, and it is usually used by singers — including Halford and BLACK SABBATH's Ozzy Osbourne — who are getting on a bit and have a large body of work to remember.
"I never realized that people were using autocues," Dickinson told The Guardian in a recent interview. "What the fuck is that all about? People pay good money and you can't even remember the sodding words."
He continued: "The daftest one I ever saw was [JUDAS PRIEST's] 'Breaking The Law'. It's on the fucking autocue. 'Breaking the law, breaking the law/Breaking the law, breaking the law/Breaking the law, breaking the law/Breaking the law' — guess what? — 'breaking the law.' It's ludicrous."
In a 2010 interview with the QMI Agency, Halford spoke about how using a teleprompter helped him when he was asked to fill in for Ozzy with BLACK SABBATH for a show after Osbourne was taken ill. "[Like Ozzy], I use a teleprompter now too because I do so many things," he said. "I can't remember. I wish I was like my mate Bruce Dickinson and could do everything, but I need that safety blanket."
During the 2005 edition of Ozzfest, the traveling festival's founder, Ozzy's wife and manager Sharon Osbourne, famously cut the venue's public-address system and the main stage's power on at least three occasions during MAIDEN's performance at the tour's final stop in Devore, California because she said that Dickinson was "talking shit about my family, night after night," and was being "disrespectful" to her husband during Bruce's "nightly outbursts from the stage" by saying that "we don't need a teleprompter' (like Ozzy)."