[Continued from previous post]
February 2, 1991 – Sheraton Hotel, Stockholm
It was a very cold day and I felt sorry for the poor rocker guys who were standing outside the hotel freezing their butts off, waiting for a chance to get their Judas Priest-albums signed.
I knew what it was like to stand out in the cold like that. I had done it myself on a few occasions. But this time, I actually had an appointment with The Metal God.
My friend Janet was with me as moral support, cause I was pretty much crapping my pants, if you pardon the expression. I was only 21 and I had never met Judas Priest before – and this band had changed my life 8 years earlier. It’s a big deal. And now, I was about to meet Rob Halford, it was mindblowing. I couldn’t have been happier if anyone had offered me a million bucks.
We walked into the hotel-bar/restaurant and I immediately spotted the people from CBS (now Sony Music) and Jayne Andrews, who I had met in Copenhagen two days before, who had arranged this interview for me.
Just as we were about to walk over to the CBS-table, I noticed two familiar faces in the bar. Anders Tengner, a well known Swedish journalist who wrote for musc magazine OKEJ, and…Rob Halford. I was struggling with myself, cause I had to remind myself of one very important fact:
I was there as a journalist, not a fan, I had to fake that typical “journalist-look”.
The “I’m not-impressed“-professional-expression. But believe me, that was the LAST thing I felt like. I felt like I was 13 years old all over again.
Janet and I took a seat at the table with the CBS people and Jayne, for a casual conversation while we were waiting for Rob to finish his interview. I was dead nervous and probably said my “yes” and “no’s” in the totally wrong places but I wasn’t really listening to the conversation. I couldn’t, my heart was racing.
Then, I saw Anders packing his things. He shook hands with Rob and left. I was next…
I wasn’t doing the interview alone – and thank god for that! I felt a lot more confident with the other dude being there, for a change. Normally I would want an exclusive, but in this case, I probably needed Valium more than anything…! :-D
I’m surprised I even managed to say anything at all. And another short piece of info that I still remember very clearly before moving on to the actual interview:
We originally only had about 15-20 minutes to our disposal, and when we were running out of time, I saw Jayne walking towards our table. But for some reason she stopped half-way and went back to the CBS-table.
Later, I asked my friend Janet, who had been sitting there with them, if she knew what that had been all about. She said that Jayne’s intention had been to tell us to finish off the interview, but when she saw the expression on my face, she couldn’t bring herself to interrupt me. So she gave me another 10 minutes. I must have looked like I was talking to god or something. Heck – I WAS! :-)
So, not only did we talk for almost 40 minutes (5 minutes were edited out though, off the record stuff) then there was photos taken, albums signed – and Rob didn’t care that Janye was stressed to get him to the sound check.He calmly walked out to the fans who had probably turned to ice outside, signed their stuff and talked to them. Then he came back, totally cool, and said he was ready to leave.
Needless to say, I couldn’t sleep for DAYS.
I’ve met Rob many times since, and we are now on a first-name basis, which is totally weird to me. I still look up to this man a lot. This was my first meeting with him but hopefully not the last.
From one of my more recent conversations with Rob – 17 years later, many Priest-interviews later :)