Watch: JOE LYNN TURNER Performs Rock Classics With Bulgarian Rock Band AXAT
September 16, 2022
Former RAINBOW and DEEP PURPLE singer Joe Lynn Turner joined the Bulgarian rock band AXAT on stage this past Wednesday (September 14) in Vratsa, Bulgaria to perform several classic songs. Video of his appearance can be seen below.
Earlier this month, Turner said that it has been "absolutely liberating" to finally drop the hairpiece he has worn since the age of 14 after being diagnosed with alopecia at three years old.
The singer, who turned 71 last month, went public with his new look on August 25 in a series publicity images released to promote his upcoming solo album, "Belly Of The Beast". In a press release for the LP, Joe said that he started wearing the wig to deal with "emotional and psychological damage from cruel bullying in school."
"In a way, it's a blessing and a curse," Joe admitted. "I have nothing to prove, and I can wear a wig — or not. I am free to do what I want. I'm a grown man, and I'm getting to be an older man.
"Many men in this business eventually come to the decision to continue to 'wear hair' or shave their head which is very fashionable today. Either way, it takes a lot of personal courage. Assholes in high school trying to kick me around made me stronger and gave me the necessary motivation and strength to rise above the rest. Anger and pain are a great tool. If applied correctly, it could develop you to become the best version of yourself. Instead of running away, I was 'hiding in plain sight.'"
In a new interview with the "Rock Of Nations With Dave Kinchen And Shane McEachern" podcast, Joe spoke about what it has been like finally ditching the wig after all these years. He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "It's absolutely liberating. First of all, I'll give a little background. It was an open secret. It wasn't like I was trying to fool people or ever denied it or anything. In fact, I never thought it was that important, but certain, shall we say haters, or whatever, these bigots, these bullies, they would always take a shot at me, which I always thought they were just pretty jealous, really, to be honest with you. And then it said more about them than it does me. That's not my kind of people. What about the music? That's what's important."
He continued: "I knew this was on my so-called bucket list before I was gonna leave this planet. And while we were making this record, I started to feel, 'Something has to happen.' And my partner, wife, co-manager — she's amazing — she just said, 'Now's the time, man.' And I said, 'You know, you're right.' Even though I was trepidatious about it — of course, she would know naturally I would be a little fearful, because you're putting your foot in an unknown territory — she said, 'You know what? Once you're yourself, people love you more.' And she was damn well right. Once you're yourself, people love you more, because you come out and say, 'This is me. I've got nothing to hide. I've got nothing to prove. Take your shots. Do what you've gotta do. And hey, by the way, here's the record. Now what?'"
Alopecia areata is a disease that happens when the immune system attacks hair follicles and causes hair loss. Hair follicles are the structures in skin that form hair. While hair can be lost from any part of the body, alopecia areata usually affects the head and face. Hair typically falls out in small, round patches about the size of a quarter, but in some cases, hair loss is more extensive. Most people with the disease are healthy and have no other symptoms.
Alopecia became a topic of discussion in the mainstream media in March when actor Will Smith slapped comedian Chris Rock at the Oscars ceremony. Will's wife, the 50-year-old actress Jade Pinkett Smith, experienced hair loss due to alopecia and has always openly shared her struggle. The confrontation took place after Rock made a joke, calling Pinkett Smith "G.I. Jane" in reference to her bald head, which she has previously explained is due to alopecia. The shocking incident saw Will storm on stage to hit Chris following the offending comment before returning to his seat and yelling "keep my wife's name out of your fucking mouth" shortly before he collected his best actor gong for his role in "King Richard".
A few hours after Joe first posted his new photos on social media, fellow ex-RAINBOW singer Graham Bonnet took to his Facebook page to share one of the images and he wrote in an accompanying message: "Hi all. Graham here. I'm posting this photo of my friend Joe Lynn Turner because I was moved to tears today when I saw it.
"Joe exemplifies the meaning of rockstar. His bravery is staggering. This industry is ruthless (especially in our genre),particularly when it comes to hair. I still hear the tale about Ritchie Blackmore posting a guard at my hotel door to keep me from getting a haircut. BTW, that never happened, although he was so pissed when I did visit the barber.
"But I digress...... I don't know if Joe will see this but I want him to know how proud I am of him and how moved I was at his honesty.
"You have blazed a trail today, Joe. If you are reading this, I want you to know that I never realized what a beautiful man you were until I saw this photo."
Joe was the singer of RAINBOW between 1980 and 1984 and he sang on the album "Difficult To Cure", which featured the band's most successful U.K. single, "I Surrender".
During Turner's time with RAINBOW, the band had its first USA chart success and recorded songs that helped define the melodic rock genre.
1990 saw Turner reunited with RAINBOW leader Ritchie Blackmore in a reformed DEEP PURPLE for the "Slaves And Masters" album.
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