Judas Priest is a constant in the heavy metal world. The face of the band is since 1973 – with a twelve-year interruption – Rob Halford, who is also no longer to be imagined as a frontman without. Now he has published his very open biography and does not mince his words, nor does he leave out dirty details. With I confess the Brit tells a partly very typical, partly somewhat different story of a working class kid whose singing talent is discovered at an early age. His vocal range is said to span 4 1/2 octaves, which fans appreciate. But the road wasn’t that easy. Halford tells of a childhood of hardships, loving parents and also strict values that were instilled in him. It was not easy to find his own way. The beginnings as a musician, the meeting with Judas Priest and the beginning of a great career – in short: The way to Metal God.
Halford describes everything very unsparingly. What sounds like this romantic musician’s story of the poor working-class child to the successful singer of Judas Priest, was everything else simple. Of course, these beautiful, shiny sides are described, but Halford tells just off what everyone so obviously already knew, he takes the reader into the shadows of his soul and abysses of his life. Alcohol and drug excesses, too much sex, too many trips, too much of everything, too little of himself. There followed an uphill battle against addiction and also his own ego, though again nothing is glossed over. I confess – in the truest sense of the word. At the same time you get to know a piece of the band’s history, told and described in a different way, after all it’s a subjective point of view and not the polished more or less neutral version that illuminates a complete band.
During the journey one embarks on while reading, one is also confronted with the search for sexual orientation, the back and forth of a man who first had to find his place and himself. What is largely taken for granted in this day and age is an achievement over decades. Halford himself hasn’t walked an easy path, has faced rejection and hostility, as so many have. That’s a negative that can’t be chalked up to him, but to the readers of the biography, because when the work was published – and for some time before that, when the biography was announced and promoted – the focus was on one issue: Halford’s homosexuality. As if it was the most important topic and would say anything about this man. That Rob Halford is homosexual is not so new, but that the topic is brought into focus in
such a way, is. So what? That sexual orientation says nothing about him, doesn’t take away from his singing talent, nor does it make him a different person. It’s still Rob Halford, lead singer of Judas Priest, stepping on stage and bellowing a deep “Breaking the law” into the mic until he switches into the legendary Halford Screams, a person who sings, lives, loves, no matter who. There’s no need to tread on anything and no need to define anyone by it.
I confess is more than just a biography, it is a journey to himself, through the heavy metal world to the top. A must for all fans, but also worth reading for those who like to experience a piece of history and learn about life’s journeys. An absolute hit!
Rob Halford – Ich bekenne
Heyne Hardcore, 2021
Hardcover: 24,00 €