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October 1978 December 1978 February 1979
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KILLING MACHINE/
HELL BENT FOR LEATHER

 

     "Judas Priest tears off the cloth and puts on the leather."
- Columbia Records promo ad, 1979

     "We felt that we wanted to put more tracks on this album and I think it had got to the point where a lot of heavy metal bands were putting sort of three tracks on one side with four on the other, doing great big dramatic numbers, and we just wanted to get as much of our style across to the people as we possibly could on a 12" platter; and so we did sort of five tracks a side - 10 tracks, which really is a good cross-section of our material. We feel it's the best album to date. It gives people a really good inside and cross-section of our music. We're really pleased with this album."
- Glenn Tipton, radio interview, July 11, 1978

 

BAND MEMBERS:


Judas Priest L-R:
K.K. Downing: Lead Guitars
Les Binks: Drums
Robert Halford: Lead Vocals
Ian Hill: Bass Guitar
Glenn Tipton: Lead Guitars
 

Direction: Dave Hemmings, Arnakata Ltd.

ALBUM:

Delivering The Goods Rock Forever Evening Star
Hell Bent For Leather Take On The World Burnin' Up
The Green Manalishi (With The Two-Pronged Crown)
Killing Machine Running Wild Before The Dawn Evil Fantasies

RE-MASTERS Series Bonus tracks:

Fight For Your Life Riding On The Wind (Live)

  • Released as KILLING MACHINE October 1978 by CBS Inc. (UK Cat. # 83135) and
    Epic/Sony Music Group (JPN Cat. # 25-3P-28 )

  • CD released July 31, 1990 by Columbia Records (UK Cat. # 32218)

  • THE RE-MASTERS UK/European CD released October 22, 2001 by Sony Music/Columbia Records (UK Cat. # 502129)
  • Released as HELL BENT FOR LEATHER February 1979 by Columbia Records (US Cat. # 35706)

  • CD Released July 31, 1990 by Columbia Records (UK Cat. # 35706)

  • THE RE-MASTERS North American CD released November 6, 2001 by Sony Music/Legacy Records (US Cat. # CK 86181)

Produced and Engineered by James Guthrie; Co-Produced by Judas Priest
Recorded August 1978 at Utopia, Basing Street and CBS Studios, London
Mixed at Utopia Studios
Assistant Engineers: Damian Korner, Andrew Jackson, Kevin Dallimore, Andrew Clark

Certification: RIAA Gold November 10, 1989
Chart position: UK #34; Billboard 200 Pop Albums #1
28
Evening Star: Billboard Top Pop Singles #67
Take On The World: Billboard Top Pop Singles #14

SINGLES:

  • Evening Star/Beyond The Realms Of Death (Live) released in 1978 by CBS Records Inc. (UK Cat. # 7312)
    This live version of Beyond The Realms Of Death is from Agora Ballroom, Cleveland, Ohio May 9, 1978

  • Take On The World/Starbreaker (Live) released in December 1978 by CBS Records Inc. (UK Cat. # 6915)
    This live version of Starbreaker is from Agora Ballroom, Cleveland, Ohio May 9, 1978

  • Before The Dawn/Rock Forever released in 1978 by CBS Records Inc. (UK Cat. # 6794)

  • Rock Forever/The Green Manalishi released in May 1979 by CBS Records Inc.

  • Rock Forever/Hell Bent For Leather/Beyond The Realms Of Death released in 1979 by CBS Records (UK Cat.# S JP 1 promo only)

  • The Green Manalishi (With The Two-Pronged Crown) (Stereo)/The Green Manalishi (With The Two-Pronged Crown) (Mono) released in 1979 (US Cat. # 3-11000 promo only)
     

ARTWORK:

Cover Design: Roslav Szaybo
Photography: Bob Elsdale

       

Emphasizing the new look of the band, CBS Records' graphics designer Roslav Szaybo placed a studded leather biker headgear and bloodstained shattered goggles on a mannequin head to produce the cold "killing machine" look of the title. And when Columbia Records had the title changed for America, the image seemed to fit all the more!

 

Roslav retained the logo he created for Stained Class, but added another point to the "Judas" electric underline (giving it 6 "jaggies" instead of 5) and a shorter bridge to "Priest". This would go on to be the most well-known and celebrated logo in Priest's history.

PROMO VIDEOS:

Killing Machine is the first album that Judas Priest made actual lip-sync promotional videos for. Though never before publicly released, they have appeared on TV and as clips on the METAL WORKS video. Most of the footage is from the 1978 and early 1979 world tours. Some is from lip-synced BBC TV appearances on TOP OF THE POPS and some is "staged" footage.

  • Take On The World - Two versions exist, one from a live performance at the Pavilion in Brighton, England and one from TOP OF THE POPS, both lip-synched.

  • Killing Machine - Live footage with dubbed in audio track and audience noise.

  • Rock Forever - Staged footage with K.K., Glenn and Ian lip-syncing the backing vocals!

  • Evening Star - Lip-synced TOP OF THE POPS performance on an "Evening Star" stage set, complete with hanging "star"!


"Evening Star" on TOP OF THE POPS
 
     "The first video we ever did was 'Take On The World', which was made at the Brighton Pavilion..."
- Rob Halford, Heavy Metal Times, November 1982

     "Top Of The Pops, everyone used to mime on there. Basically because there were so many acts on it, it would have been logistically impossible to have everyone playing live. You'd spend a week trying to record it. You would set up in the afternoon, do soundchecks. And I think there were only a couple of bands on. It wasn't too much of a nightmare getting in there with changeovers. There are pads put on the drums and you use plastic cymbals. And then there was a playback, not too loud. We were never really good at miming, I must admit. We were a live band and we hated doing it. It was against our philosophy. On the two occasions when we did Top Of The Pops, we were playing our hometown, Birmingham, on the same evening. And on both occasions we were late. They forgave us the first time, but I don't think they ever forgave us the second time, the following tour, when exactly the same thing happened. They say, we'll get you on first, we'll record your part first, and you'll be able to get back. Because obviously, the recording was in London at the BBC studios there. And the last time, they had helicopters and aircraft standing by but the weather was bad. It was a nightmare really. We were a good couple of hours late. But the audience, God bless them, they sort of sat there and waited for us."
- Ian Hill, Hardradio, December 2003

     "During those early years we took any chance afforded us to get in front of a cameras to push our metal - we never thought about what our antics were achieving - we just went on and roared! Climbing into the van - gear in the back - we would hurtle up and down the M1 motorway in the UK - or get a ferry (emptying the bar whilst underway!), battling force 10 gales across the English Channel or the North Sea in the middle of winter - making a date with many an unsuspecting TV studio!"
- Rob Halford, ELECTRIC EYE DVD booklet, 2003

The TOP OF THE POPS videos for "Take On The World" and "Evening Star" are currently available on the ELECTRIC EYE DVD 2003 Sony Music Entertainment/Columbia Music Video (UK Cat. # 2021939, US Cat. # CVD 51411)

OCTOBER 1978: Bring forth the leather!

The music was not all that was streamlined on KILLING MACHINE... As part of the rollout campaign, the band would have a new image to coincide with the album cover and songs within, thanks to an idea from Rob Halford. Though only the band members and management knew at the time, Rob had a personal bent towards a leather makeover:

         

     "That was another turning point for the band. Rob was very instrumental in laying down laws and codes for what heavy metal bands should wear at that point in time. The whole leather image stemmed from that era and now it's just accepted that's what goes with heavy metal. Up to that point, it was spandex and satin trousers, or even jeans and T-shirts."
- Glenn Tipton, Heavy Duty official biography, 1984

     "I am running around onstage in leather and chains. 'Hello!' But it was all about finding an image that identified with the power of the music. You couldn't put on a tutu and play Judas Priest songs."
- Rob Halford,
New York Daily News, July 13, 2004

     "The imagery I created was simply out of a feeling that what I was doing before the leather and studs and whips and chains and motorcycles didn't fit me. Priest was going onstage in very flamboyant saggy pants. It was very extroverted and fluffy in its visual tone, but I didn't feel right. I've got great videos of me wearing outfits that I stole out of my sister's closet. I couldn't figure out what to wear. How do I dress with the music that sounds this way?
     "So I said, 'OK, I'm a gay man, and I'm into leather and that sexual side of the leather world - and I'm gonna bring that onto the stage.' So I came onstage wearing the leather stuff and the motorcycle, and for the first time I felt like, God this feels so good. This feels so right. How can I make this even more extravagant, because this music is so loud. It is so larger than life. So the first place I went to was a leather shop in London called Mr. S. I remember going in there and seeing these harnesses and wristbands and cock-ring-type things. I just introduced myself to the owners and explained what I was looking for, and they started to make things for me.
     "I thought to myself, 'Do you realize what you're doing here? I mean, you've got the whole thing going - the body harness, the handcuffs. You've got the whip, you've got the chains. This is like some total S/M fetish thing going on!' But nobody seemed to have a problem with it, and everybody was crazy for it, so we kept doing it."
- Rob Halford, The Advocate, May 12, 1998

     "Isn't it ironic? I could never get into S&M. We're about more than Madonna."
- Rob Halford,
New York Daily News, July 13, 2004

     "I can remember one day Rob said, 'I know a guy who makes a lot of leather gear' - although I didn't question it at the time - and his name was Mr. S somewhere in London. So me and Rob got on a train and we went to Mr. S and we got fitted for some gear - that's all I can tell you really. It went on from there, but a lot of tickling went on in the fitting, I can tell you that!"
- K.K. Downing

     "I used to go to my local S&M-shop in London. You know, I've always been a bit of a sado-masochist - I like pain. That's why I've got all these tattoos now. I'm always looking for new areas of pain and darkness. But. you know, when we first began, heavy metal didn't have an image or a look. And we didn't either. If you look at some of the early pictures of Judas Priest, we're dressed in silk and lace shirts and that kind of stuff. But I always felt as though that wasn't really the true representation. When you're playing real hard, bludgeoning power-chords and blood-curdling riffs, you wanna look as though you're doing it!
     "
It's like going to see Hamlet and the guy just stands there in his underwear! It's just not the same; you gotta wear the clothes! You want to make an image that works with the music, so I took a lot of ideas from sex-shops with whips and chains and all that kind of stuff, and slowly started to develop it into the show, and it became more and more empowering, and that's the way the look should work with the music."
- Rob Halford, Radio MCB, February 2, 1991

     "Up to that point, we may have worn some leather pants, or we may have worn a leather vest. The Hell Bent For Leather thing was just sort of a natural progression. It was strange, really; it felt like when we were offstage we were five people, but when we donned the leather and set foot onstage, we were Judas Priest!"
- Glenn Tipton, Revolver, September 2003

     "We went through many, shall we say, contemporary images. It was a whole catalog of different looks and styles. It was cool at the time, believe me. I know it doesn't look like it, but it was cool at the time, high-heeled boots, satins and all the rest of it. We were individuals. There wasn't any real coherent plan. We didn't sit down and say, this is the image we have to portray. We just got on with our own images. It wasn't until the leather came along that it sort of fit perfectly with what we were trying to do. The leather and studs and heavy metal were really made for one another."
- Ian Hill, Hardradio, December 2003

     "I think now, as far as image and identity are concerned, we've got the whole thing down pat and it's pretty solid. I don't think we'll ever really deviate to any degree from our physical presentation because you know how important it is to maintain a certain level of imagery, so that when people think of Rob Halford, or whomever else in the band, they instantly paint a mental picture of the way you are rather than just your music. They remember the whips and the motorbikes. The whole process of imagery now, I think, is important or even more important than it has been in the past. I think the identity side of it is crucial to a certain extent. Bands don't get anywhere if they're faceless. You can have the greatest sounding album in the world, but if people can't relate to an individual or to the group as a whole in their appearance, then the band isn't really getting anywhere."
- Rob Halford, Heavy Metal Times, November 1982

     "I wear leather off stage as well as on, but I'll sometimes put on a track suit."
- K.K. Downing, Rockline magazine, 1984

The look would set the pace for other bands to follow, and follow they did! Many British heavy metal bands donned their leather armor; Iron Maiden's Paul Di'Anno for example, would even emerge dressed in an outfit quite similar to Rob's, while guitarist Dave Murray resembled a blond leather-clad K.K. Downing:

     "There are certain bands doing things that are very innovative and fresh, and then there are others who - dare I say it - are doing a little more than ripping us off. They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but sometimes it goes too far. There are a lot of bands out there who've taken the leather look a bit too close for comfort. I'm not just talking about small-time bands either. You'd think a band like Iron Maiden, for example, would try to be a little more original in their approach. I have nothing against them personally, but sometimes I feel a little uncomfortable about their image."
- K.K. Downing, 1984

In spite of K.K.'s reservations, Priest did retain the rightful status of being the originators of the look. It was also important that metal now had an image, and it came not a moment too late!

     "Whereas bands before looked like extensions of the hippie culture, Judas Priest’s dangerously tight leather look and aggressive stance changed that."
- Ali the Metallian, Editor-In-Chief at Metallian.com, Xposed, January 2004

The punk rock scene had reached its stride in England and heavy metal needed to make an impact at this opportune juncture. But with bands like Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath falling apart, it was not going to be easy...

     "That was a crap time, really. There was practically nowhere for us to play. Everybody was becoming punk or new wave. The only bands that could tour were us and UFO. It was difficult for a time. We had to ride the storm out."
- K.K. Downing, Guitar World, September 2004

Then along came Halford, decked out in more leather, chains and studs than the punk crowd, and stealing the show. Almost overnight, a new wave had begun... No, not skinny ties and keyboards... This was the New Wave of British Heavy Metal (or NWOBHM for short, a term first coined by Sounds magazine editor "Big Al" Alan Lewis and printed by writer Geoff "Deaf" Barton in the May 19, 1979 issue), waving the metal banner and taking no prisoners! KILLING MACHINE even had enough of its own element of punk's reckless abandon and pop's radio savvy to help push heavy metal to the top of the charts!

      "I believe we are part of the new wave. After all, we are fast, aggressive and exciting, which is what it is all about."
- Glenn Tipton, World Tour program, 1979

     "I like to think that we're influenced by everything. You can't close your eyes and ears. I remember those days: the energy of punk, the visuals - it was all exciting. We might've nicked a little bit of that along the way."
- Glenn Tipton, Guitar World, September 2004

Not only did this new order of metal invade England and Europe, but the following year, it would take a firm hold on America, whose hard rock acts would bow at the feet of the British masters. School was in session!

DECEMBER 1978: Priest "Take On The World"

In December, the label released the band's second single, "Take On The World" which broke the UK's Top 20 charts by the start of 1979:

     "Any band, I don't care who they are, always wants single success. We've always maintained that we're an album oriented band, but there's nothing better than having a hit single, because it allows people who might not usually listen to you to hear you for the first time."
- Rob Halford, Heavy Duty official biography, 1984

Soccer fans also began chanting the anthem at matches around England, and it broke the band to TV for the first time since 1975. It was the band's first appearance on the weekly hit show Top Of The Pops, but the show's producer was against Rob using his bullwhip as a stage prop:


     "In actual fact, it was the Osmonds who objected
. Donny and Marie were on the same show and they said that if the whip wasn't taken off, then they were going home! They were a much bigger attraction than us, so we didn't really have any choice but to drop it. Funnily enough, I was in the make-up room at the same time as Marie Osmond and it was very amusing because there she was with her hair in curlers, being made up. I sat down and was told, 'You don't need anything, you're OK' - usually they have to cover up any greasy spots or zits. I'll never forget this, but Marie looked over and just smiled... Even with curlers and no make-up, she is a stunner!"
- K.K. Downing, Heavy Duty official biography, 1984


In fact, the bullwhip, spikes, handcuffs and chains that Rob wore brought their share of complications when the band toured Canada, where such things are illegal. The fans and even Rob himself had heavy metal/S&M accoutrements confiscated as "weapons" at the Canadian border in the mid 80's. In a 2000 interview, Rob was shown a security photo of all the items confiscated at the May 28, 1984 Vancouver show, to which Rob recognized several of the pieces:

     "...Yeah, and I got this one - that's in the wardrobe case; I've used these chains...
     "I'd try to get on airplanes, commercial flights with stuff like this in my bag. I remember on more than one occasion when I'd get to the security and they'd go through my bag and find whips and chains and cuffs. And I would actually have to give them to the pilot. And they'd say, 'We'll give you this when you're getting off the plane.' So I guess there was a pilot at thirty-five thousand feet having fun in the cockpit while I was stuck in the back with my peanuts and warm coffee."
- Rob Halford, Nardwuar, 2000

     "Of course I wear this stuff offstage. Yes, I have an ongoing wardrobe - my S&M wardrobe goes with me everywhere, and that's the first thing I unpack when I check into a hotel, and order room service right away, and have a good time."
- Rob Halford

     "I like to remain somewhat anonymous. I could never handle the whole Britney Spears syndrome of being noticed everywhere. I enjoy being able to shop at Ralph's without being bothered. So the leather getup is really an onstage uniform. You don't wear a three-piece suit to go play basketball."
- Rob Halford, Eastbay Express, July 28, 2004

     "S&M is quite a deep thing ritually. It's as heavy as the Hell's Angels, with imitations and everything else. Before I started wearing this stuff, I didn't really realize that it was so deep - it's just that I don't take it that seriously. In the States you come up against quite a few weirdoes - you know, they'll come to see you backstage as they're intrigued by the image. But they tend to take it far deeper than it should be taken. I came up against a couple of 12-foot wide Angels in Chicago... I also seem to recall us motoring by a Chapter House in Milwaukee - it was in the middle of nowhere but looked really threatening. There must have been 150 motorcycles parked outside.
     "S&M and Hell's Angels both seem to be closely guarded sort of sects. But if any Angels or whatever do happen to latch on to you, they're usually very hard to get rid of.
     "Most of the Angels still seem to congregate around Blue Oyster Cult in the States. I remember last year when UFO were playing support to the Cult, Glenn and K.K. met up with Phil Moog and he told them about a special Blue Oyster Cult party at some Chapter House somewhere. Glenn and K.K. decided to go... but when they turned up, they ended up staying for about 30 seconds. Apparently it was like a complete orgy inside - the place reeked with dope, people were walking about with broken arms, their faces ripped apart... it was like a living hell. And K.K., with his immaculately groomed, long blond hair, couldn't get out of there quick enough!"
- Rob Halford, 1979

"I was never into that part of gay culture, but obviously I was aware of it... It's the irony of ironies."
- Rob Halford

Even the stage show itself brought its share of controversy for Rob and the band:

During the 1979 tour, when the band played "Genocide", Rob would use his bullwhip on the front rows of the audience - or so it seemed to the media who were shocked at the seeming behavior! Consequently, there were bad reviews and outrages against the act in magazines such as Sounds, to which Rob responded:

     "I thought your review was a bit over the top. My act was just pure theatrics, it wasn't meant to go any deeper than that. And anyway, I wasn't actually whipping them. God no, if I was I'd be thrown in jail for GBH [Grievous bodily harm], wouldn't I? No, like I say, it was just a pure theatrical extension of the musical and lyrical content of 'Genocide'."
- Rob Halford, Sounds, May 26, 1979

     "I'd be on stage and I'd see somebody that was getting into the whip and, 'You like this do you? Here's some more!', and I'd start wailing on their ass. It's amazing how people will get into a good thrashing - we all need a good thrashing now and again."
- Rob Halford, VH1 Behind The Music, September 2001

Soon after, the band had buttons made up that proclaimed, "I've been whipped by Rob Halford" and the fans went crazy for them!

Another prop used by Rob during the song "Genocide" was a machine gun, which he would "fire" upon the audience:

     "He used it in the late '70s through the British Steel tour. Fire marshals forbade the use afterwards. It was taken out of the set as a result of the flying casings. Rob brought it on stage for 'Genocide'."
- John Baxter, Halford manager, August 17, 2003

     "I saw Rob use the machine gun twice. The first time was at the Palladium in New York City on November 4, 1979 and the second was at The Stage West, in Hartford, Connecticut on July 4, 1980. I remember at the Hartford show, he shot it off at the end of "Genocide", and I believe the same was for the NYC show. It was such a cool thing to add to the show!
     "It did fire blanks; the casings flew about the stage, but he just shot it for a few seconds though."
- Eyewitness, 2003


Rob "I'm just a killing machine" Halford (middle picture
© 2005 David Swayne)

FEBRUARY 1979: A new title...

From October through November '78, the UK got to experience the reborn and fine-tuned Judas Priest, but the album had not yet been released to the US market. An early '79 US tour was set to coincide with the North American release of the album and CBS Records wanted to make a couple of changes to help promote things. The first change was to add a cover song to use for radio play. Of course Priest always liked to cover British hits with their own signature style, so after considering several titles (Gary Sharpe-Young mentioned the title Rolling Stones' "Gimme Shelter" in Metal Forces magazine, though K.K. denies this song was ever attempted by Priest), they laid down Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac classic "The Green Manalishi", which went on to become a staple of their concert sets ever since:

     "We said that we would only include it on the LP if we were satisfied that we'd put our own stamp on it. In the end, it came out very well and in actual fact it's one of those songs that we always have to play on stage."
- Glenn Tipton, Heavy Duty official biography, 1984

     "Judas Priest throughout the '70s were considered a very dark band by our record company. There was basically somebody every other week who would have a hit success with a cover, so they thought it was a quick trip to the top to do a cover. Fortunately for us, that never happened. But we did a good enough job with the covers that they became likable songs in concert. Lots of people to this day probably hear us play those songs and think that they are actually Judas Priest songs."
- K.K. Downing

     "Sometimes as a band, people recommend songs to us and say, 'Why don't you try and do a version of this?' And inevitably, some of them we say, 'Yeah, Okay'. Like 'Better By You', that Gary Wright number. But there's a lot of this we've done. We've finished them and we said, 'No, it's not right' and they're out the window. 'Diamonds And Rust' is one of the ones we felt we did a good job of - it was still Judas Priest. We don't let anything go out on an album unless we all agree that it is typical of the band, does the band justice, it does the song justice and we feel we've at least equaled or bettered the original, as I think we bettered 'Better By You'. It was better by us...
     "In all honesty, it was a sort of another crack at a single, which bands inevitably do.; Van Halen did 'You Really Got Me' and they did a good version."
- Glenn Tipton, radio interview, July 11, 1978

The other change had to do with the album's title.

CBS/Columbia Records did not like the violent title Killing Machine for the American market, citing the title as having "murderous implications" that were too offensive to have displayed on store shelves (department store such as K-Mart were big opponents to the title), so the title of the Glenn Tipton song "Hell Bent For Leather" (appropriate for the band's image) was chosen instead, and the album was released in the States in February 1979, along with the US tour as planned.

A little known fact is that Rob also wrote a book around this time that never has been published. Sebastian Bach brought it up in his interview with Rob on VH1's Forever Wild, but that portion was cut from the show:

     "The only part that got cut from the show that bummed me out was where I asked Rob about the book he wrote back in 1979. He told me it was called 'Library of Tears', and the plot was something like some sick guy that collected people's tears and sorrow in jars and lived off their misery (or something like that).
     "Sounded pretty interesting and I sure would love a copy of the book!"
- Sebastian Bach, January 28, 2002

     "Well the 'TEARS book goes way back. It's a long story, but I knew some writers in the UK in the mid '70s, one of which was a white witch. She encouraged me to write this book, so I did. She read it and enjoyed it., but that's as far as it went, and over time I seem to have misplaced it. However, when I go home to the UK over the holidays, I have a couple places to search, so we shall see..."
- Rob Halford, online chat, November 16, 2002

     "I looked when I was back in the UK but didn't have time for a full search. It's around someplace."
- Rob Halford, online chat, August 16, 2003

JULY 1979: Tom Allom comes aboard; Les Binks leaves

"Colonel" Tom Allom had engineered the first four Black Sabbath albums and was working for the same management company as Judas Priest (Arnakata Management) in the summer of '79, when Priest decided to make their first live recording. Allom was asked to be the producer because of his heavy metal experience, but it would form a relationship that would last a decade:

     "In the early days, most of the bands I worked with as a producer were managed by the same lot that managed me - Mike Dolan and his brother Jim (Arnakata Management). That’s true of The Strawbs, which is where I really cut my teeth as a producer, and then also with The Tourists. Next, came the Judas Priest live album, which they got me to mix because of my Black Sabbath background, and they also managed Pat Travers - so it was all very in-house and incestuous."
-Tom Allom, Music Journal, February, 2002

     "When we first met Tom, it took us a few days to get used to him because he's very upper middle-class and we're basically all Brummies. But once we broke that initial barrier down, we found him to be a great lad...Tom has a lot of assets, but essentially he's a great diplomat and if there are times when he needs to make criticism about anything, he knows just where to step in and step out. He's a great all-rounder and the sounds we get he enhances and makes better. He knows exactly what's required from us and what our fans expect."
- Glenn Tipton, Heavy Duty official biography, 1984

During this period while the live recordings were being mixed, the band and Allom noticed something they wanted to change in both their live and studio approach: The live show was where Priest had their most dynamic impact, but the drumming of Les Binks was from a more technical approach that had served them well in the studio, yet was not in step with the live energy of their performance. It was also decided that Priest wanted to bring the assault of their dynamics into their next studio releases as well, but the change would not be suited to Les Binks, who agreed that he would not be able to alter his style. Therefore, Judas Priest and Les Binks amicably parted company:

     "Les was a great session drummer, but when it came to playing live he didn't quite suite the band. We needed someone who could hammer the hell out of his kit with plenty of power and feel. So we parted company..."
- Glenn Tipton, Heavy Duty official biography, 1984

     "For the new album, we needed a more basic type of drumming, but Les said that he would have to change his style in the process, so he had to leave the band - in excellent terms needless to say."
- Rob Halford, 1980

AUGUST 1979: Dave Holland joins

     "...We auditioned a lot of drummers and then Dave came along and clicked straight away."
- Glenn Tipton, Heavy Duty official biography, 1984

     "You know, Dave was the man for Judas Priest. He kept it simple, pure, and direct. Very much a feel and timing player like Charlie Watts (Rolling Stones) and Ringo Starr.”
- Rob Halford,
Edge Magazine, May 2003

     "I actually heard about the job from someone who was working for the group's British promoter. I thought they had probably already decided who they wanted to hire and, when I went along for the audition, I really felt that I was simply going through the motions. But, a couple of weeks later, I got a phone call telling me that they definitely wanted me to join the band. Everybody was very pleasant and I think they were really determined to work with a permanent drummer, rather than having to keep dealing with changes."
- Dave Holland, Turbo Fax tourbook, 1986

     "I think it was intentional on the part of the other guys to get in a solid rock drummer to help foster a more direct and marketable approach, rather than stick with a more technical player like Les Binks. Just how much influence I personally have had on the Priest direction, however, is difficult to gauge. I know that I haven't changed to fit in with them, nor have they to fit in with me, so I guess they just got the right man for the job."
- Dave Holland, Kerrang, 1983

     "We always had a large repertoire, so the drummer had to fit in more with what the rest of us were doing. The drummers just fell into their roles straight away. I've gotten along well with all of them musically and personally."
- Ian Hill, Bass Guitar, October/November 2004

Dave came to Priest from a recording background, having a hit with Pinkerton's Assorted Colors ("Mirror, Mirror") as well as albums and touring with Trapeze, Justin Hayward and Glenn Hughes. Upon joining Judas Priest however, he was immediately put to the test on a US tour as openers to the renowned Kiss!
 

     "I think that for any drummer joining a new band, especially an already successful band, the responsibilities are enormous and this was no exception when I joined Judas Priest in August of 1979. As well as making the most important step in my career, it was of course also a very exciting time..."
- Dave Holland, Point Of Entry tourbook, 1981

LYRICS AND LEAD BREAKS:

Delivering The Goods Rock Forever Evening Star Hell Bent For Leather Take On The World Burnin' Up
The Green Manalishi (With The Two-Pronged Crown) Killing Machine Running Wild Before The Dawn
Evil Fantasies Fight For Your Life

     "It's difficult really to say where songs do spring from. One of the things we certainly haven't had happen to us, we've not been really influenced by America and we're proud of the fact that we're British. I mean, all over the world people try and emulate the British sound and they can't do it..."
- Glenn Tipton, radio interview, July 11, 1978

1. Delivering The Goods
G. Tipton/R. Halford/K.K. Downing
Lead: Glenn
Performed live in 1979
Available live versions: Unleashed In The East (1979)

     "...The title really sums up what Priest are all about on stage..."
- Glenn Tipton, Metal Works liner note, 1993

Feeling like we're, ready to kick tonight
No hesitating, my bodies aching
Looking for some action, satisfaction all right
Charging, vein faced, as active as one-hundred solid proof
Mega town, Leviathan, we're ready to hit the roof

You better watch out and hold on tight
We're heading your way like dynamite
Delivering the goods
Delivering the goods

Shake down, rock 'em boys, crack that whip strap mean
Pulse rave, air waves, battle lies in every place we've been
Stealing your hearts all across the land
Hot blood doing good, we're going to load you with our brand

Have your way
Stealing your hearts

Well we don't pull no punches, we aim where the crunch is
The bound to do most damage to your brain
If you're looking for it mellow
you're nothing more than yellow
Gonna do it again and again
We'll beat you to submission
So you might as well surrender
You do gotta learn your lesson
'Cause there ain't nobody here to defend your heart

Faster, higher
'Til it seems that we're gonna break
Oh shootin' further, giving more than you're ever gonna take
Weaving with your heads
Crushed out on the floor
Begging for mercy
Be careful or we'll do it some more

2. Rock Forever
G. Tipton/R. Halford/K.K. Downing
Lead: Both harmonizing
Performed live in: 1979

Available live versions: Unleashed In The East (1979)
 
When the day is over
I like to ease my mind
By jucin' up my system
With the beat of a heavy kind
I smack a bottle open
I crank the hi-fi high
I'm in-a seventh heaven
Ooh I can touch the sky
 
I'm in love, so in love
And I can't stop talking 'bout my rock forever
 
It's got the movin' to me
just that I can't explain
It's like a brilliant sunshine
After standing in the pouring rain
My skin begins to tingle
Ooh right on down my back
It's really got me fevered
Pounding my senses flat
 
Rock rock rock forever
Rock rock rock forever
Rock rock rock forever
Rock rock rock forever
I can't stop talkin' about
Rock
Now get it right, boys

So when you get those blue days
Here's just what to do
Switch into this lifeline
And feel it rushing through
Before you know it, blue days
Are better left behind
By juicin' up your system
With this beat of a heavy kind

3. Evening Star
G. Tipton/R. Halford
Split lead: Glenn/K.K. - slow echo; Glenn

In the early '80s, Paradise Valley, Arizona resident Danny Zelisko started up what would become one of the biggest concert promotion companies in the southwest states of Arizona, New Mexico and Las Vegas. Is it any surprise where he came up with the name EVENING STAR PRODUCTIONS? OK, so it may have been the clear desert skies that inspired the name, but Zelisko was also a fan of rock music, including this song by Judas Priest! Danny is now president of Clear Channel Entertainment's Phoenix office and a partner with Alice Cooper in Alice's COOPER'STOWN.


Danny Zelisko

I traveled to a distant shore
I felt I had to go
An inner voice had called me there
But why I did not know
I saw the evening star rise up
Shining out to sea
And now I understand at last what it means
What it all means

Evening star, I can see the light
Evening star, guiding me so bright

I used to tempt fate
I couldn't see straight
I faltered through my younger days
Never knowing where I was going
Then something helped me penetrate the haze

Now I am stronger
The haze no longer
Ruins my future destiny
Such inspirations and new sensations
Pull up these string ties chasing me

I'm home once more, much better for
The things that I have found
Much wiser now, so simple how
Each time I turn around
I see the evening star rise up
Shining out on me
And now I understand at last what it means
What it all means

4. Hell Bent For Leather
G. Tipton
Lead: Glenn
Performed live in: 1979-2002, 2004-2005
Available live versions: Unleashed In The East (1979), Judas Priest Live (Video 1983, DVD 2004), Priest...Live! (Video 1987, Re-Master 2001, DVD 2003), '98 Live Meltdown (1998), Live In London (Video 2002, audio 2003), Long Beach Sports Arena, California (broadcast bootleg, 1984), Veterans Memorial Coliseum, New Haven, Connecticut (broadcast bootleg, 1988)

The title of this song is rumored to have been taken from the Blues Brother's remake of "Rawhide", where the first verse starts out, 'Rain, wind and weather/Hell bent for leather...'

Seek him here, seek him on the highway
Never knowing when he'll appear
All await, engine's ticking over
Hear the roar as they sense the fear

Wheels! A glint of steel and a flash of light!
Screams! From a streak of fire as he strikes!

Hell bent, hell bent for leather
Hell bent, hell bent for leather

Black as night, faster than a shadow
Crimson flare from a raging sun
An exhibition, of sheer precision
Yet no one knows from where he comes

Fools! Self destruct cannot take that crown
Dreams! Crash one by one to the ground

There's many who tried to prove that they're faster
But they didn't last and they died as they tried

5. Take On The World
G. Tipton/R. Halford
Lead: No specific lead break
Performed live in: 1978-1979

You got to leave your seat, you gotta get up upon your feet
You're gonna move ya to the rhythm till you never can stop
We got the power, we got the music, and you bet that you can use it
We're gonna take rock-bottom, we're gonna take it to the top

Put yourself in our hands, so our voices can be heard
And together we will take on all the world
Put yourself in our hands, so our voices can be heard
And together we will take on all the world

Move a little nearer, you know you gotta follow your leaders
As we need you, like you need us for sure
We're gonna drive you, we're gonna ride you, we're gonna get right inside you
And if you wanna keep going, just shout out for more!

Sing your song, we'll listen to you
Sing your song, the spotlights are you

6. Burnin' Up
G. Tipton/K.K. Downing
Lead: K.K.

You stitch me up good, and you cut me down
So I string you up to keep you hanging around
You dish the hot stuff up but you keep me waiting
So I'll play it dirty 'til your body is breaking

We've got to make love, the time is right
We've got to make love tonight
'Cause we're burnin' up

You make me greedy, you won't feed me my food
But I'll make out easy, 'cause I see straight through you
You cool me off and hot me up and that's not right
'Cause you'll get hungry in the heat of the night

And then we'll make love, just when it's right
And when we make love tonight
We'll be burnin' up

I know you feel the same
I know you feel the flame
Staring deep inside of you
Burnin' you up, breaking you down
Breakin' you out in a cold sweat
And as you lose control, of your very soul
Your desire takes over
You'll feel the heat sway
You're round to my way
And suddenly you'll know that you're burnin' up

 7. The Green Manalishi (With The Two-Pronged Crown)
P. Green (original recorded by Fleetwood Mac)
Split lead: K.K./Glenn/K.K./Glenn
Performed live in: 1979-2002, 2004-2005
Available live versions:
Unleashed In The East (1979), Judas Priest Live (Video 1983, DVD 2004), '98 Live Meltdown (1998), Live In London (Video 2002, audio 2003), Long Beach Sports Arena, California (broadcast bootleg, 1984), Veterans Memorial Coliseum, New Haven, Connecticut (broadcast bootleg, 1988), US Festival (1983), Live Aid (1985)

     "I thought I had too much money to be happy and normal. Thousands of pounds is just too much for a working person to handle all of a sudden, and I felt I didn't deserve it."
- Peter Green,
The Penguin Biographies

     "I nearly died one night, in my sleep. I don't know if you've ever had the experience; I've had it a couple of times and I'm inclined to think it's an experience that people have. But I was lying in bed, I was dreaming, and this little dog jumped up at me and it scared the shit out of me because this dog had died, and had been dead for a long time. It was a stray dog that I brought to the house and just looked after. And it was strange, kind of spooky, like voodoo. And it was a strange little dog. And I was dead and I couldn't move. I couldn't say, 'I'm dead' - It wasn't available - so I just fought my way back into my body...
     "I thought, 'It must come alive' and it did. So I woke up and looked round - the room was really black - and I found myself writing the song. It was about money. The fear I got that the reason this was happening to me was that I had earned too much money and I was separate from all the people.
     " 'The Green Manalishi' was money; they still call it green-backs and things like that, don't they? When you haven't got any money you aren't worth anything to anybody.
     "The line, 'Don't you come creeping around, making me do things I don't want to do', goes off on a mythological definition level, but it starts, 'You're the Green Manalishi with the two-pronged crown/All my trying is up, all you're bringing is down'. It's about money."
- Peter Green, Interview, 1983


Peter Green


Manalishi

     "It comes out of Hinduism, and Indian religious belief. Basically, it's the Far East version of the almighty prince of darkness - my old friend and good buddy SATAN (joke!)."
- Rob Halford,
Toronto Canoe online chat, 2000

Now when the day goes to sleep and the full moon looks
And the night is so black that the darkness cooks
And you come creeping around, making me do things I don't want to do

Can't believe that she needs my love so bad
Come sneaking around, trying to drive me mad
Busting in all my dreams, making me see things I don't want to see

'Cause you're the Green Manalishi with the two-pronged crown
All night dragging us up, or you're bringing us down
Just taking my love, and slip away
Leaving me here, trying to keep from following you

8. Killing Machine
G. Tipton
Lead: Glenn
Performed live in: 1978

I never give no answers, I never tell no lies
I never walk a straight line so I never get surprised
I don't ask no favours so I won't get abused
I learned to win when I was young
So I'm never ever gonna lose

They pay me the money and I'll do the job
I got a contract on you
I got a contract, on you

I never ask no questions, I never speak my mind
I always found that silence helps to keep me and my kind alive
I take care of business, It takes care of me
I look after myself and do it well
'cause somebody's always looking for me

What manner of man am I?
A gun, lump sum and then I move on
What manner of man are you?
Stab a friend's back to jump a queue

I do what I do 'cos I can't do nothing better
You do what you do, just defendin' yourself
'cos you ain't got nothin' better to do

I got no place, no name, I'm just a killing machine
I kept the population down, if you know what I mean
I never stop in one place, I move about the cities
Got expensive tastes, but I hasten to add that
I'm the best that there is

9. Running Wild
G. Tipton
Middle lead: Glenn; end lead: K.K.
Performed live in: 1979-1980, 2001-2002
Available live versions: Unleashed In The East (1979), Live In London
(Video 2002, audio 2003)

I move as fast as I can
I like to get around
I'm crazy like a madman
My feet don't touch the ground
I move amongst the night life
And they just step aside
Cause when they see me coming
They know I'm running wild

Dead or alive there's nothing
That bothers me at all
I take on all comers
They back off or they fall
They raise their hands to stop me
I laugh and I defy
Cause what's the point in living
Unless you're living wild

No chains can hold me down
I always break away
I never hear society
Tell me what to do or say
I taste the life that pleases me
And raise a storm for all the world to see
I never stumble, never fall
Never stop for rest
I rebel but I walk tall
And I demand respect

I move amongst the nightlife
And they just step aside
Cause when they see me coming
They know I'm running wild

I'm running wild
I'm running wild
Get outta my way
I'm running wild
I'm running wild
You better believe it

10. Before The Dawn
G. Tipton/R. Halford/K.K. Downing
Lead: K.K.

K.K.'s solo in this song seems quite inspired by Michael Schenker...

     "Michael Schenker went to buy this 1964 Gibson Flying V Limited Edition for himself the day after I had bought it from a little shop in Birmingham."
- K.K. Downing, Guitar Player Magazine, July 1983

Before the dawn, I hear you whisper
In your sleep "Don't let the morning take him"
Outside the birds begin to call
As if to summon up my leaving

It's been a lifetime since I found someone
Since I found someone who would stay
I've waited too long, and now you're leaving
Oh please don't take it all away

11. Evil Fantasies
G. Tipton/R. Halford/K.K. Downing
Lead: licks K.K., slide lead Glenn, end K.K.
Performed live in: 1979
Available live versions: "Living After Midnight" 12" B-side (1980)

We turn and face each other
My fingers pull your hair
You wince and jerk my wrist off
I bite my lip and stare
Your stance at once defiant
I'm rigid to your pose
You clench your teeth in anger
My loving swells and grows

You give me evil fantasies
I wanna get inside your mind
Come on and live my fantasies
I'll show you evil you can't hide

You're dragged into my vision
Trapped, serving to my need
Maybe imagination
Is where my dark side feeds
You slide your nails down in me
I raise my structure high
You pout, I snarl, you whimper
And wave compassion by

Gonna take you, gotta get through
Gonna make you, do what I want

You're dragged into my vision
Trapped, serving to my need
Maybe imagination
Is where my dark side feeds

12. Fight For Your Life
RE-MASTERS Bonus Track
G. Tipton/R. Halford/K.K. Downing
Intro and licks: Glenn; Glenn and K.K. harmony; split lead: K.K./Glenn; Glenn and K.K. harmony

Get a grip on the action
I'm moving heaven and earth
Don't let go of the action
Push for all that you're worth

No denying
It goes against the grain
So Defying
You're screaming again

Fight for your life
Fight for your money
Fight for your life
Fight for your money

Time for steel, stop at nothing
Looking fate in the face
We don't take no for an answer
Grab the lead in the race

Rock hard with a purpose
Got a mind that won't bend
A hard resolution
That is true to the end

All songs published by EMI Songs Ltd.
Lead breaks are taken from the 1982 World Vengeance tour program

TOUR DATES 1978:

Rob Halford - v, Glenn Tipton - g, K.K. Downing - g, Ian Hill - b, Les Binks - d
Tour Manager: John Blackburn

The setlist is unknown, but "Killing Machine" was played during this time.

British "X Certificate Tour" with support act Lea Heart 
DATE VENUE CITY, STATE COUNTRY NOTES
October 23 BBC Studios London England
October 24 King Georges Blackburn England
October 25 City Hall Newcastle England
October 26 Civic Hall Wolverhampton England
October 27 Hammersmith Odeon Theatre London England Bootleg audio exists
October 28 BBC Radio London England Bootleg audio exists
October 29 Victoria Hall Hanley England
October 30 Queensway Hall Dunstable England
October 31 The Dome Brighton England
November 1 Guildhall Portsmouth England
November 2 City Hall Sheffield England
November 3 De Montford Hall Leicester England
November 4 University Lancaster England
November 6 Empire Theatre Liverpool England
November 7 Odeon Edinburgh Scotland
November 8 Apollo Glasgow Scotland
November 9 St. Georges Hall Bradford England
November 11 Assembly Rooms Derby England
November 12 Hippodrome Bristol England
November 13 Odeon Birmingham England

K.K. the hometown "Sinner"
November 14 Apollo Manchester England
November 17 Hammersmith Odeon Theatre London England Bootleg audio exists
November 19 City Hall Newcastle England
November Bournemouth England
November Sofia Gardens Cardiff England
November City Hall Sheffield England
November 24 Wirrina Stadium Peterborough England
December 15 Stage One Buffalo, NY USA Bootleg audio exists
December 16 Palladium Theater New York, NY USA Bootleg audio exists

TOUR DATES 1979: Killing Machine/Hell Bent For Leather Tour


1979 UK Tour Program

Rob Halford - v,  - Glenn Tipton - g, K.K. Downing - g, Ian Hill - b, Les Binks - d
Tour Manager: John Blackburn

SETLIST (Orange titles are from the current album)

From the February 15, 1979 Nakano Sunplaza Hall, Tokyo, Japan show (Recorded for Unleashed In The East):
Exciter
Running Wild
The Ripper
Diamonds And Rust
Rock Forever
Beyond The Realms Of Death
The Green Manalishi (With The Two-Pronged Crown)
Delivering The Goods
White Heat, Red Hot
Sinner (With K.K. Downing's Solo)
Evil Fantasies
Victim Of Changes
Genocide (With Glenn Tipton's Solo)
Starbreaker (With Les Binks' Solo)
Hell Bent For Leather
Take On The World
Tyrant

From the November 4, 1979 Palladium Theater, New York, NY broadcast:
Hell Bent For Leather
Delivering The Goods
Running Wild

The Ripper
Beyond The Realms Of Death
Sinner
The Green Manalishi (With The Two-Pronged Crown)
Diamonds And Rust
White Heat, Red Hot
Victim Of Changes
Genocide
Starbreaker
Take On The World
Tyrant

DATE VENUE CITY, STATE COUNTRY NOTES
January 25 BBC Studios London England "Take On The World" lip-sync performance for Top Of The Pops
Japan Tour
February 10 Koseinenkin Hall Tokyo Japan Recorded on UNLEASHED IN THE EAST
February 13 Festival Hall Osaka Japan Bootleg audio exists
February 14 Bootleg audio exists
February 15 Nakano Sunplaza Hall Tokyo Japan Recorded on UNLEASHED IN THE EAST; Bootleg audio exists
45-date US Tour as support to UFO, Angel, Pat Travers, Wireless, Axe and Point Blank
February 27 Agriculture Hall Allentown, PA USA Support to Angel
February 29 Louie's Rock City Falls Church, VA USA Bootleg audio exists
March ?? Crossrads Bayleys, VA USA
March ?? El Mocambo Toronto Canada
     "The stage was tiny and had the whole back wall, floor to ceiling of Marshall stack amplifiers. The lights finally went down and dry ice came pouring out everywhere. The band members shapes could be made out, standing in a line facing the drums, when the drums erupted and the lights came on...'Exciter' came blasting full volume and the show was on. Rob Halford was standing right in front and practically over us between the stage monitors, but we couldn't hear his singing very well. The guitar amps were drowning everything out until we stuck our heads in front of Rob's front monitors. We then heard the best, loudest singer on earth!
We were sweating, headbanging and in absolute heaven. I had never seen such an excellent band before.
     "Glenn was in dirty, faded blue jeans and a red, silk shirt. K.K. was in black leather pants and a black silk shirt, Ian was in a jean jacket and jeans and Rob was in ripped blue jeans, no shirt and a small, black, leather jacket. Les Binks was hidden behind his massive drums. There was no motorbike, no explosions - just one hell of a metal show. I will never forget that night and I have been a Priest fan ever since...
- Eyewitness, July 28, 2004
March 11 Mudd Club New York, NY USA Invitational gig, with Andy Warhol in attendance
March 15 Music Hall Houston, TX USA Bootleg audio exists
March 22 Civic Center San Antonio, TX USA

     "Once in San Antonio the tour bus broke down so we got a helicopter in and that broke down and then another helicopter came and that broke down, so we had to say to ourselves, 'Is somebody trying to tell us something?'"
- Glenn Tipton, UKRocknet, 2002
March 29 Starwood Club Los Angeles, CA USA Bootleg audio exists of the March 30 show. All three shows sellout
March 30
March 31
April 10 Yakima Valley College Washington, DC USA
April 11 Medford Armory Medford, Oregon USA
April 13 Paramount Theater Seattle, WA USA
April 21 San Diego, CA USA Bootleg audio exists
May 4 International Amphitheatre Chicago, IL USA
May 6 Sports Arena Milwaukee, WI USA Bootleg audio exists
European tour as support to AC/DC; British tour support from Marseille
May 12 Apollo TheatreGlasgow Scotland
May 13 Empire Theatre Liverpool England Bootleg audio exists
May 14 Assembly RoomsDerby England
May 15 Apollo TheatreManchester England
May 16 Odeon Theatre Birmingham England  
May 17
A second appearance on Top Of The Pops for the song "Evening Star" caused the band to be over an hour late for the May 17 Birmingham show. They repaid the fans with a sincere apology followed by an electrifying set!
May 18 Victoria HallHanley England
May 19 New TheatreOxford England
May 20 Colston HallBristol England
May 21 De Montford HallLeicester England
May 22 GuildhallPreston England
May 23 City HallNewcastle England Bootleg audio exists from the May 23 show
May 24


Pictures
©
Rick Walton
May 25 City Hall Sheffield England  
May 26
May 27 Gaumont Theatre Southampton England
May 28 Hammersmith Odeon Theatre London England Bootleg audio exists from the May 28 show
May 29

     "At the first of the two Hammersmith shows, Rob did his infamous whipping the audience over their heads bit and someone grabbed the end of the whip and very nearly pulled him in. He had to be rescued by a roadie!"
- Eyewitness
May 31 Odeon Theatre Birmingham England Bootleg audio exists
July 1 Dalymont Park Dublin Ireland Support to Status Quo; Rob almost got arrested over the use of a motorcycle onstage:
     "That was in Dublin - it was our first ever concert in Ireland, and because of the situation in Ireland, as it is today, the police took the very naive view that something of this entrance on the motorcycle would provoke people or cause some sort of violent backlash or whatever within the crowd, which we thought was completely stupid, obviously, and so we were literally put into a position of saying, 'Well if you don't let us use it, then we're not going to do the concert - it's as simple as that. If you don't let us do the concert, you're going to have more than a backlash!' I mean this was a threat because we wanted to give them what they expected. We weren't going to give them anything less than what we said we were going to give them a few weeks before in the local papers. So we were in the position backstage with them all milling around the dressing room and we can't come out because they know we're gonna use the bike - so we were just going to sit there and not do the show then. It got to the point where the crowd weren't going to get ugly or violent by any means, but I think that's the whole reason that they let us use it, and of course, it went down a storm. The kids loved it and it was a great show and everybody had a good time and there was no problems and there was no fights and it was probably one of the best days that Dublin has had for probably a long, long time, you know, cause kids came from across the boarder in the North as well, which is a real trouble spot right now. So we just kept the promise that we were going to give them what we said we would."
- Rob Halford

     "We were opening for Status Quo... I borrow a friend's Harley and decided to use it for the show, but the police said that I was 'Breaking the Law'. The show started, and when nobody was looking, I took the Harley and went to stage! The crowd went crazy! And I've been close to jail!"
- Rob Halford, Top Rock, 1994

10 week 2nd leg US tour with the first 4 weeks as support to Kiss

1979 Tour T-shirt

     "Touring with Kiss was a mind blowing experience! I played with Kiss on their last tour where they were playing in make up and we played to 20,000 people a night, 7 days a week! I would go to the soundcheck when all the band members didn't have the mics on, and Gene Simmons was dating Cher at the time, and Cher would ask me who made my clothes!"
- Rob Halford

     "There's no doubt that some of the stuff that Kiss were doing rubbed off on us, but basically I think that all we learned from them was a few ways to put on bigger shows. We never did, and we never will, want to become another Kiss. The fact of the matter is that kids pay a lot of money for concert tickets. We won't charge them any more than the going rate, but we do believe in giving them a spectacular show."
- Glenn Tipton, Heavy Duty official biography, 1984

     "There's two types of American rock: There's the Kiss glam rock, which bases a lot of importance on its show and its effect and then there's the West Coast rock - the Eagles, which is very refined musically, and there's no in between. Whereas British rock bands, they lack a little bit of finesse; they've got that raw edge, but that raw edge really gives Britain its excitement. Americans can't go onstage without everything being perfect. We can and it adds that excitement to the stage appearance.
     "We take a pride in our albums and we take a pride in our stage sound, but if the atmosphere that we create while jumping around and really getting into the music sacrifices a little bit on the sound or a little bit of maybe a few harmonies here and there, we don't mind because we know we're creating an atmosphere..."
- Glenn Tipton, radio interview, July 11, 1978

     "When we did that tour with Kiss, I think that it probably did them more harm than good in some ways. Where what they did was going slowly out-of-date and what we did was fast coming-in-date. We were more touchable, reachable, more street if you like at the time, believe it or not, in the denim and leather, as opposed to the untouchable superhero people. We had real faces and real names."
- K.K. Downing, Goldmine magazine June 5, 1998

September 1 Nassau Coliseum Uniondale, NY USA
     "My first Priest show was September 1979, Nassau Coliseum in New York, where they opened for Kiss. As a fourteen-year-old, to see this was to see heaven, and I have not looked back since! This truly was my initiation to the wonderful world of metal! Long Live Judas Priest!"
-
Eyewitness
September 3 New Haven, CT USA Bootleg audio exists
September 8 Paramount Theater Asbury Park, NJ USA
September 11 Forum Arena Los Angeles, CA USA
September 14 Riverfront Coliseum Cincinnati, OH USA
September 16 Freedom Hall, State Fair Louisville, KY USA It's reported that at least half the crowd was over 30 or under 12 - few teens!

    
Photos by Hunter Goatley

September 16 Freedom Hall, Kentucky State Fair Louisville, KY USA At least half the crowd was over 30 or under 12
September 20 Civic Center Evansville, IN USA

     "Eventually, we arrived in Fort Wayne on September 18, where Judas Priest took over Holiday Inn. There was no gig that evening as only Kiss played that night, so the time was passed in the pool, on the pinball machines or - for the most part - in the bar. Some people opted for a relatively early night, but Glenn Tipton, K.K. and myself visited a local club, along with some of the Kiss crew. On entering we couldn't see much action, but things livened up as our arrival was announced by the message: 'Some of Kiss are here tonight!' The result was somewhat embarrassing, as people started to gather around. A quick decision had to be made: 'You be Ace, you be Paul, and I'll be Gene'. K.K., who's usually mistaken for Rod Stewart, was safe - no one in Kiss has blonde hair."
- Steve Gett, Melody Maker, September 28, 1979

September 22 Universal Amphitheater Chicago, IL USA Bootleg audio exists
September 24 Mecca Arena Milwaukee, WI USA Bootleg audio exists
     "Alright! We wanted the best, we got the best when my dad took us to see Kiss on September 24,1979. What we did not expect was the King of Rock N' Roll (Rob Halford, not King Diamond) to ride out on his HOG in Harley Davidson's home town! Never heard Judas Priest before that. I remember wondering who this "Judas Priest guy" was, not knowing that Judas Priest was one of the best metal BANDS of all time (I sure knew it afterwards!) and not a solo performer. There was one concert banner of Priest in a sea of Kiss banners. To the Milwaukee Priest fans who carried it through the arena, I salute you..."
- Eyewitness report

It was at this final show opening for Kiss in the town where Harley Davidson motorbikes were made that Priest began to incorporate a Harley Davidson motorbike into the set for the first time. Arnakata Management landed a promotional deal by which the bike was purchased for the grand total sum of one US dollar! Previously, they had used a British make bike (possibly a Triumph Bonneville) in their European shows, but the American motorcycle company was looking to revive their sales once again and Priest were the ticket in Harley Davidson's marketing strategy.

     "I think it was our then management company that approached Harley Davidson, and they were well up for it you know? They were going into a bit of a slump and they figured that Priest could give them a bit of publicity and so they did us some amazing deals. The first bike we got cost us one dollar because it was just a contractual thing you know, and we used that for one tour and gave it away in a competition. And the next one we had, which I think was in 1982 or '81, I've still got."
- Rob Halford

     "I’ve owned Harley Davidsons since pretty much the late ‘70s. I do ride them, but the one that’s in the picture is the one that I keep at my home in Phoenix, Arizona."
- Rob Halford, Sleazegrinder

     “Well, the leather didn’t come along until Priest released the Hell Bent For Leather album. I just started to coordinate what I wore with that theme since there was no definitive look for metal at the time. The motorcycle kicked off from that whole approach and style. I think that really was in the forefront and I feel very proud that I helped to create that metal illusion - that’s when metal looked as good as it sounded.”
- Rob Halford, EDGE magazine, May 2003

     "I always felt that bikes, especially Harleys, are in the same dimension as metal. You know, it's loud and smells and pisses people off - all the right attributes for metal music."
- Rob Halford, Classic Albums British Steel DVD, 2001

     "I'm a biker as well as a heavy metal maniac, and there's a lot of biker friends that I know who are like 50-60 years old, and they wear leather and jeans and studs, and they look really strong, tough and powerful! And I have no problem with it.
     "
When I'm 80, I'll probably be terrorizing people in my electric wheelchair covered in leather and studs down the high street, hahaha!"
- Rob Halford, Radio MCB, February 2, 1991

     "The motorcycle is sort of like Angus Young's school pants. It's definitely cartoonish. But it's what the fans expect, and what they'll get."
- Rob Halford, Eastbay Express, July 28, 2004

Ian Hill remembers that while visiting the Harley-Davidson offices several years later, the band members were all presented with custom leather Harley jackets as a 'thank you' for all the promotion the band had provided. And one of Rob's custom 1982 Harley low riders was donated to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum and put on display in the "Bang Your Head: Three Decades of Hard Rock and Heavy Metal" exhibit, along with a stable of leather costumes worn by the singer.

It is also reported that Rob's first motorbike mishap also occurred during this American leg of the tour in Minnesota, though the date is still unknown:


     "Another incident the band may want to forget from that Hell Bent For Leather tour was when Rob Halford rode his Harley Davidson onstage at the Metrocenter in St. Paul/Minneapolis, Minnesota and promptly drove straight into the orchestra pit! Fortunately for the singer, this nasty incident only resulted in cuts and bruises!"
- Garry Sharpe Young, Rock Detector

After touring with Kiss, Priest headlined their own US dates for 6 weeks, with support from Point Blank.

September 30 Memorial Hall Kansas City, MO USA
October 3 Music Hall Houston, TX USA
October 5 U.T.A. Texas Hall Arlington, TX USA
October 11 Civic Center Laredo, TX USA
October 14 El Paso Civic Center El Paso, TX USA
October 17 Coliseum Arena Seattle, WA USA Bootleg audio exists
October 19Gardens USA
October 23 Civic Center Santa Monica, CA USA
October 26 Hammond Civic Center Hammond, IN USA
October 30 Ontario Theater Washington, DC USA Bootleg audio exists
     "The October 30 date in Washington, DC was actually a 'second' show, sort of.  The concert was originally scheduled for October 31 (or maybe November 1).  A friend and I got tickets for that show and it quickly sold out.  The promoters added October 30 as a second show for folks who couldn't get tickets for the originally scheduled one.  Well, the 'second' show went off just fine but then Rob apparently scratched his cornea (that's what the papers said) and the 'first' show was cancelled (and never rescheduled) so we didn't get to see them at all."
- Eyewitness report
November 3 Capitol Theatre Passaic, NJ USA
November 4 Palladium Theater New York, NY USA Broadcast on WNEW-FM; Bootleg audio exists

European tour as support to AC/DC

     "AC/DC, one of my favorite bands, and we toured with them back in Europe many years ago. They're a great band - between the eyes!"
- Glenn Tipton, Metalla, 1997
November 11 Forest National Brussels Belgium
November 12 Jaap Edenhall Amsterdam Holland Bootleg audio exists
November 13 Sartory-SaalKöln Germany
November 14 Ellenriederhalle Hannover Germany
November 16 Grungahalle Essen Germany
November 17 Kurnachtal-Halle Würzburg Germany
November 19 Niderbeiernhalle Passau Germany
November 20 Stadthalle Offenbach Germany
November 21 Westfallenhalle 3 Dortmund Germany
November 23 Messehalle 8 Hamburg Germany Bootleg audio exists
November 24 Circus KroneMünchen Germany
November 25 Festthalle Bern Switzerland
November 27 RT Halle Regensburg Germany
November 28 Oberschwabenhalle Ravensburg Germany
November 29 Freiheitshalle Hof Germany
December 1 Friedrich-Ebert-Halle Ludwigshafen Germany
December 2 Hemmerleinhalle Nürnberg Germany
December 3 Eissportahalle Berlin Germany
December 4 Stadthalle Offenbach Germany
December 6 Parc de Exposition Metz France
December 7 Palais des Sports Reims France
December 8 Foire Commerciale Lille France
December 9 Pavillon de Paris Paris France Bootleg audio exists
December 10 Parc de Exposition Grenoble France
December 12 Maison des Sports Clermont-Ferrand France Bootleg audio exists
December 13 Palais des Sports Montpellier France
December 14 Theatre de Verdure Nice France
December 15
Bootleg audio exists

US tour dates are taken from the Hell Bent For Leather T-shirt


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