I can remember it like it was yesterday, but it was about 40 years ago now.
I was standing in my childhood bedroom in front of my record player, headphones filling my head with glorious sound. The song was Judas Priest’s “Victim Of Changes,” and it was really the litmus test for an aspiring vocalist. The band’s singer was Rob Halford (now referred to as The Metal God) and he could do it all. A song with soft lows to soaring highs, I sang along with every note and nuance. The song climaxes with a long note that sits higher than Everest’s peak, and on this particular day I would receive a surprise after I emptied my lungs. Unknowingly, I had my brother, his wife, my mother, and my father all applauding behind me. A mix of pride and embarrassment washed over me, but I remember my brother saying, “You know every little detail, it’s amazing!” That’s because Rob Halford was my musical hero.
Fast forward to last night. I had an assignment to photograph Rob Halford and Judas Priest. It felt like a dream come true to have my camera in hand, while having my idol singing in front of me. Rob Halford is now 70 years old, but his voice still climbs every mountain and soars from every peak. It was the band’s 50th Anniversary Tour and as they ran through a 2-hour set of classics, they sounded just as incredible as they did in my headphones that day.
As Halford sang that last note from “Victim Of Changes” last night, I thought about the impact of it all. Just that one note has lived with me and created a rippling effect throughout my life.
And, as I looked over at my son standing next to me, I knew it wasn’t only me.
One more thing… I also did a complete review of the concert and a photo slideshow for my music website, if you’re interested. It’s at DrMusic.org under the concert reviews tab.