Judas Priest frontman Rob Halford has opened up about the way it felt as a closeted homosexual man to observe the androgynous glam steel scene of the Nineteen Eighties take over.
In a brand new interview with Final Traditional Rock, Halford remembers his shock on the success of glam steel, given the homophobia of the Nineteen Eighties.
“When you consider the glam rock motion, what it was, particularly, two bands that actually pushed that for me had been Mötley Crüe and Poison — and, to some impact, Cinderella possibly some Winger, L.A. Weapons,” Halford says. “There was a number of stuff coming by means of at that second within the glam rock period. And undoubtedly Sebastian [Bach, then-Skid Row singer], you realize, when guys appeared like women. And that labored.
“I may by no means fairly determine that out, due to the homophobic stuff that was happening within the 80s. And there’s all these guys with make-up on, trying … I’ve to observe my phrases right here, however you realize what I’m saying? Trying in a selected method, that everyone else is like, ‘Yeah, man, they’re actually hardcore,’ and all that sort of stuff. After which me as a closeted homosexual man, it’s like, ‘Am I lacking one thing right here? How am I not capable of come out for concern of shedding my profession and my band, however these guys are going on the market trying like they do, and everyone’s falling over them?’ Not everyone, however, you realize, simply the overall notion of the imagery was simply, everyone has to look that method. Everyone has to decorate that method. It [was] a outstanding time in heavy steel and rock to consider in a broader sense.
“And I really like these guys,” he continued. “Whereas we’re speaking, I have to get the message throughout that I really like these guys. I really like their music, I really like what they achieved and every thing. They’re very, essential. And possibly there was a way of alternative inside the LGBTQ neighborhood as a result of these guys had been there then, doing what they did. Perhaps they opened a little bit tiny chink within the door for acceptance. As a result of a number of guys used to go to the exhibits trying like that. One among my associates right here in Phoenix within the 80s used to place the make-up on and the hair and every thing. They might appear like that, after which they’d exit to see these bands.
“So when it comes to the anthropological facet, the social connection between trying like that and it being cool and accepted with none pushback was fairly outstanding. It’s a extremely fascinating a part of that point in heavy steel. And I embody myself — not completely, in that respect, however when you have a look at [Priest’s] Turbo [album], you have a look at the best way that we’re trying, have a look at the best way Glenn’s [Tipton, Priest guitarist] acquired his hair and Ken’s [K.K. Downing, then-Priest guitarist] acquired his hair, we had been all in that very same melting pot, actually. The 80s was a outstanding time for steel, glam rock, rock, no matter you need to name it. The visible presentation was extraordinary.”
Halford got here out publicly on MTV in 1998, throughout a interval when he had left the band. In a 2010 interview with the Guardian, Halford mentioned:
“I understood that it may have been harmful. Folks had been fascinated, however what would the knock-on impact have been? Because it turned out, after I got here out of the closet I used to be away from Priest. Again within the Nineteen Eighties, although, I believe there may completely have been a backlash. You shield your pursuits, do not you? I used to be additionally fascinated with the remainder of the band.”
Halford additional discusses his experiences in his memoir Confess, which was printed in 2020. Judas Priest are presently engaged on a brand new album, and later this month can be inducted into the Rock & Roll Corridor of Fame.