Sometimes it’s good to not take “no” for an answer.
My first meeting face-to-face with “The Metal God” Rob Halford (Judas Priest), was thanks to determination and a big, fat chunk of luck!
I wasn’t home the day that he called, so my mother took a message. When I came home that day, there was a note on the kitchen table. I had to save that note, just because I could not believe that for the first time in my life, an opportunity had been given to me, to call the guitarist of my favorite band.
My mom, of course, didn’t have a clue who he was, hence the funny spelling. The note says:
“Daniela call – Sept 27, 1990, 12.30 PM, Spain (phone number) “Kej Kej Downing” (or KK Downing) Judas Priest.
I did the interview with KK, was so nervous I could die, but it went well. I have no idea where that tape is, when and if I find it, I’ll post it.
Here’s a short message from KK to the fans in Sweden, that was for my radio show MCB – if I find the rest of the interview, well, here’s where you’ll find it – eventually.
A few months later, Judas Priest were coming to Scandinavia with the Painkiller-tour. It was in February 1991.
I had been calling CBS like crazy to get a face-to-face interview with Rob Halford but they kept stalling and let’s face it – I’ve never been a big fan of record-companies. You often find yourself dealing with people who should never be allowed to even ever get anywhere near a musician. But what can you do, it’s the way the business works. Thank god they are not ALL like that. Some of them became good friends, but most of them are a pain in the B-hind…
I was tired of the “ifs” and “maybes” so when Judas Priest came to Copenhagen, I went straight to their hotel. I don’t even remember how I found out where they were staying, but it was right next to the train station. I had prepared a short letter that could be handed over to anyone in the band, whoever, crew, management, whatever, where I simply asked for a chance to talk to Rob.
I really didn’t know where to begin or what strings to pull, but I had to start somewhere. I knew what my goal was, and it was going to happen, one way or another. I never really saw another alternative. Rob was there, and I wanted to meet him – it was as simple as that.
So I went to the reception desk. There was nobody in the lobby, I must have picked a perfect time of the day to show up. I asked the guy if he knew of a rockband that had checked in there recently… guys with long hair…? I pulled out any name I could think of, but he was just shaking his head saying he didn’t know. I was in the middle of explaining what Rob looked like, “you know – bald guy? Leather jacket probably…? Rob, Robert…Halford..? No?” when a blonde lady with a long white/grey fur walked up to me. Apparently she had heard me.
– Excuse me – I overheard you. Who are you looking for? she asked.
I explained the situation. That I was a reporter from the newspaper Kvällsposten and I had been trying to set up an interview with Rob through CBS but they still hadn’t been able to give me a yes or no and I REALLY wanted the interiew.
She reached for her purse and gave me her business card. It said “Jayne Andrews”. Judas Priest’s management. There’s the miracle I knew would happen.
– Call me tomorrow and I’ll see what I can arrange, ok?
And you bet I called. This time from Stockholm, where Priest were playing – I wouldn’t miss it for the world.
Like magic, suddenly, I was one of the few reporters that got to speak to Rob that day! I was also the reason why Judas Priest were late for sound check but that’s a totally different story.
I did the interview together with another journalist from Svenska Dagbladet, right after celebrity-reporter Anders Tengner had finished HIS interview with Rob in the bar.
Well okay, there is a whole story to that too, but there will be a part 3 here – with the actual interview (it’s long! I never realized that I had the un-edited version, cause I haven’t listened to it for the past 20 years!)
I might have to divide it into 2 segments for the upload-tool to accept it, but stick around…! :)