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ELECTRIC EYE Toronto Gallery Exhibit

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ELECTRIC EYE DVD

First Priest product to be released since the reunion with Rob Halford was announced

*Features all the key promo videos, the 1986 Dallas concert and 6 rare BBC performances, plus a booklet with a band message and photos taken from the videos.

*Most of this material has not even been available on VHS for many years - now back on DVD by huge public demand!
- Press release, September 19, 2003

BAND MEMBERS:

Rob Halford: Vocals
Glenn Tipton: Guitars
K.K. Downing: Guitars
Ian Hill: Bass Guitar
Scott Travis: Drums

(Also featuring drummers: John Hinch, Les Binks and Dave Holland)

Manager: Bill Curbishley (Trinifold Management Limited)
Management Co-ordination: Jayne Andrews

DVD

  • Released November 24 by Sony Music Entertainment (UK Cat. # 2021939) and
    December 9, 2003 by Sony Music Entertainment (US Cat. # CVD 51411)

Collection compiled by Fiona Ball, Phil Savill and Jayne Andrews
Audio Re-mastered to 5.1 by Ade Pressly at Strongroom Studios

Promo Videos:
Living After Midnight
Breaking The Law
Don't Go
Heading Out To The Highway
Hot Rockin'
You've Got Another Thing Comin'
Freewheel Burning
Love Bites
Locked In
Turbo Lover
Johnny B Goode
Painkiller
A Touch of Evil

PRIEST...LIVE! Filmed in Dallas, Texas during the 1986 'Fuel For Life' Tour:
Out In The Cold
Locked In
Heading Out To The Highway
Breaking The Law
Love Bites
Some Heads Are Gonna Roll
Sentinel
Private Property
Desert Plains
Rock You All Around The World
Hellion/Electric Eye
Turbo Lover
Freewheel Burning
Green Manalishi (with the two-pronged crown)
Parental Guidance
Living After Midnight
Another Thing Comin'
Hell Bent For Leather
Metal Gods (studio track to credits)

BBC Television Performances:
Rocka Rolla - Old Grey Whistle Test (April 25, 1975)
Dreamer Deceiver/Deceiver -
Old Grey Whistle Test (April 25, 1975)
Take On The World - Top Of The Pops (January 25, 1979)
Evening Star - Top Of The Pops (May 17, 1979)
Living After Midnight - Top Of The Pops (March 27, 1980)
United - Top Of the Pops (August 28, 1980)

     "ELECTRIC EYE tries to cover the video recordings of Priest, like from 'Breaking The Law' to the last pieces. It is like the METALOGY release but it is the video history of the band. It is a really cool thing to enjoy plus there are pieces that the public has never seen. The BBC has a remarkable historical archive, anything from their TV or Radio, they have it archived. They were very kind and helpful in providing this content.
     "The PRIEST...LIVE! video was included because that was a full complete show that we had. To some people, TURBO was a controversial record due to its musical direction, but it turned out to be a spectacular tour and one of our most successful
records. Everything about it, the stage, the show, the clothes, all of it was documented. It was just another piece that we wanted to get out to our fans."
- Rob Halford, Metal Exiles, July 25, 2004

ARTWORK:

Design and artwork: David Axtell @ L-Space Design

     "Yes that is the official cover for the ELECTRIC EYE DVD. I am still working on the DVD, finalising everything, and have to say it is looking fantastic - I'm sure you'll love it!"
- Jayne Andrews, Management Co-ordinator for Judas Priest, October 2, 2003

EXHIBIT:

A Toronto gallery showcases works based on songs by Judas Priest. The show, ELECTRIC EYE, a fundraiser for Toronto's Sis Boom Bah gallery, features 49 works in various media by 49 artists, each of whom was assigned a song by Birmingham's heavy-metal pioneers.

*CURATORIAL STATEMENT*

Judas Priest rose from the gritty, working-class steel town of Birmingham, England, and became one of the biggest bands in the world. Judas Priest are considered the groundbreaking inventors of true Heavy Metal music." -official Judas Priest website.

49 artists from 5 cities (Montreal, New York, Toronto, Vancouver and London) come together at sis boom bah to plumb the cultural depths of the inventors of 'true Heavy Metal'. For this gallery fundraiser, each artist was given a Judas Priest song, with no two artists sharing a track. They were invited to create one piece; a visual and conceptual response to their song. These are not metalheads (at least not most of them). From dozens of albums, spanning a 30-year career, Judas Priest are an inseparable part of the contemporary musical landscape. The only band to ever be taken to court for driving teenagers to suicide, Judas Priest were once considered the devil incarnate. With powerful musical compositions and stage theatrics, many citizens were capable of believing they would drive their children to unspeakable horrors.

a dark angel of sin preying deep from within come take me in -from 'A Touch Of Evil' 1990

The falsetto shrieks of Rob Halford, once defining working class machismo, eventually came to cry: 'I'm a big homo dressed in faggot leather chaps, fuck me, fuck me.'. Our collective hindsight shouts, 'How did we not know?'. Their enigmatic lyrics and identity flip-flop can seem to parallel or proceed contemporary dialogue, year by year. In as early as 1978, Halford was already screaming 'Hell bent, hell bent for leather' and by 1986, his identity was clear:

On and on we're charging to the place so many seek in perfect synchronicity of which so many speak We feel so close to heaven in this roaring heavy load and then in sheer abandonment, we shatter and explode. I'm your turbo lover tell me there's no other I'm your turbo lover better run for cover -from 'Turbo Lover', 1986

Beyond gender identity and sexual politics, the steady and politically charged erosion of privacy in urban centers seems eerily present in the show's title track:

You think you've private lives think nothing of the kind there is no true escape I'm watching all the time ... I take pride in all your secret moves my tearless retina takes pictures that can prove -from 'Electric Eye', 1982

The subject of John Heyn and Jeff Krulik's must-see 1986 documentary HEAVY METAL PARKING LOT (www.planetkrulik.com), Judas Priest inspired the best and the worst in people. Who was this enigmatic band? Who are these 49 artists (check the website for bios)? And who gives a fucking shit, anyway? Lets ROCK!

...ram it down, ram it down, straight through the heart of this town. ram it down, ram it down, razing the place to the ground -from 'Ram It Down', 1988
- Sis Boom Bah, 2004

The museum's curator, Matt Crookshank, works in commercial computer animation, helping to make the Pillsbury Dough Boy giggle. But it was his desire to take an "underground gallery" and use the opportunity to exploit heavy metal's oppositional qualities. Of his formative years in Chatham, Ontario, Matt says, "It was metal or die."

     "A lot of the artists hate Judas Priest. I especially enjoy when they don't like the song or they don't like the band, because it forces them to do something uncomfortable - it gives you something to fight with. I always feel that a bit of struggle and a bit of discomfort produces really good things, like how diamonds come from crushed coal."
- Matt Crookshank, The Globe and Mail, July 12, 2004

Andrew Morrow, a Toronto painter who produced the work "White Heat, Red Hot" for ELECTRIC EYE, admits that he grew up listening to balladeers such as Elton John and Billy Joel, and that the song he was assigned "doesn't speak to me." The 1978 tale of "solar gladiation", where warriors fight with "seventh-dimensional skill", inspired a piece where a red hot rod covered with white flames sits in the foreground, set off against a white wasteland where two polar bears are locked in battle...

     "It's a little ridiculous," Morrow says of both the painting and the song, "but I mean that in a fun way. This is the mystery for me with metal, because I don't know if it's self-consciously silly. Are they really loving the lyrics, thinking, 'This is exactly what I want to talk about,' or is it tongue-in-cheek?" 
- Andrew Morrow, The Globe and Mail, July 12, 2004

James Mejia, on the other hand, grew up as a teenage "metalhead" and Judas Priest fan in Toronto. His set of drawings, which depict nature turned against itself, contain an element of menace that many of the other artists seem to have disdained. Mejia says he was trying to represent where singer Rob Halford "was coming from" when he wrote the song "Leather Rebel".

Artist Will Munro, who runs Vazaleen, Toronto's infamous queer club night, arrived at ELECTRIC EYE's opening wearing a hooded cape that he made out of a Judas Priest concert flag. His work, inspired by the song "Turbo Lover", takes the phrase "crazy cock rock" to a new level. Munro has painted onto a pair of jockey shorts what he calls "a weird chrome alien creature with wings riding a motorcycle that is actually a dragon" across the front - on the back is "a city melting in lava." At once dangerous and silly, it captures the aesthetic of the band and the exhibition perfectly. If Munro doesn't unload his underwear (at $350), he isn't terribly worried:

     "If I don't sell it, I'll probably get it signed."
- Will Munro, The Globe and Mail, July 12, 2004


2002-2003
Steel & Leather Productions, U.S.A.