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Let The Fight Begin Summer 1993 December 1993 Early 1994
MUTATIONSChristmas Ride

1993 1994

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WAR OF WORDS

     "This isn't Priest Part II. It's a new band with a totally different, modern vibe happening."
- Brian Tilse, AnarchoCyberSludge, 1995

     "I hate musical labels. But Fight offers a new approach to the sounds of hard rock/metal. On some of the new arrangements, for example, we've tuned our guitars down for much heavier riffs."
- Russ Parrish, AnarchoCyberSludge, 1995

     "Fight is a gut feeling, these musicians don't want to be chips off the old block. I want them to stimulate me."
- Rob Halford, AnarchoCyberSludge, 1995

BAND MEMBERS:

 

Fight L-R:
Brian Tilse: Guitarist, Keyboard, Backing Vocals
Scott Travis: Percussionist, Backing Vocals
Rob Halford: Vocals, Guitar
Jay Jay: Bassist, Backing Vocals
Russ Parrish: Guitarist, Keyboard, Backing Vocals

Management: John Baxter, EMAS

ALBUM:

     "You'll be able to get the new album soon; it's coming out and you can blow your brains out at home with it."
- Rob Halford, Mason Jar pre-tour warm-up show, August 1993

     "The album title is not related to my exit from Priest. Basically, we talk about the First Amendment of the American Constitution. About the right to talk about anything you want."
- Rob Halford, Top Rock, 1994


Into The PitNailed To The GunLife In BlackImmortal Sin
War Of WordsLaid To RestFor All EternityLittle Crazy
ContortionKill It
Vicious
Reality, A New Beginning

Hidden Track:
Jesus Saves

  • Released September 14, 1993 by Epic/Sony Music Entertainment (US Cat. # EK 57372) and (UK Cat. # 4745472)
    and (JAP Cat. # ESCA 5819 - includes bonus Kill It Dutch Death Mix)

Produced by Rob Halford
Co-Produced by Attie Bauw
Engineered by Attie Bauw
Mastered by Rob Halford and Attie Bauw
Mastering Assistant: Lucas Van De Mee
Assistant to Rob Halford during recording phase: Andrew Sheppard
Recorded at Wisseloord Studios, Trompenberg, Hilversum, Holland, Netherlands

WAR OF WORDS was written and produced entirely by Rob Halford, though the band did add their own playing styles to the final product.

Attie Bauw was a sound engineer on the Judas Priest PAINKILLER album while working at Holland's Wisseloord Studios. he has in fact spent most of his professional life in the studio working with a diverse list of artists, including The Scorpions, Bootsy Collins, The Gathering, Simple Minds and many others. Rob Halford recognized and appreciated Attie's ear for mixing:

     "Attie Bauw helped me produce WAR OF WORDS. He was the sound engineer of PAINKILLER, and he is a master at this!"
- Rob Halford, Top Rock, 1994

     "Attie is an untapped genius. He's got an amazing ear for sound."
- Rob Halford

Attie is the only Dutch producer to have received Grammy nominations for "Producer of the Year" and "Best Engineered Album" for his production work on WAR OF WORDS.

Chart position: Billboard 200 #83
Nielsen SoundScan: 223,385 units sold, though John Baxter shares a much higher number around the world:

     "WAR OF WORDS has sold roughly 400,000 copies. I don't know what MUTATIONS has sold. I'd guess at 150-200k. Those are international figures as well."
- John Baxter, live chat, April 30, 1995

PROMO SINGLES:

  • Nailed To The Gun (Album Version and Bulletproof Mix)/Kill It (Album Version and Dutch Death Mix) released on CD in 1993 by Epic/Sony Music (US Cat. # ESK 5353).
    Remixes by J.G. Thirlwell and Attie Bauw

  • Little Crazy (Album Version and Straight Jacket Mix) released on CD in 1993 by Epic/Sony Music
    (US Cat. # ESK 5496).
    Remix by Attie Bauw

  • Little Crazy (Acoustic performance from MTV's Headbanger's Ball) released on CD in 1993 by Epic/Sony Music
    (US Cat. # ESK 5632).

  • Immortal Sin (Album Version and The Tolerance Mix)/Vicious (Album Version and Backstabber Mix) released on CD in 1994 by Epic/Sony Music (US Cat. # ESK 5599).
    Remixes by Attie Bauw

PROMO VIDEOS:

  • Nailed To The Gun - Directed by John Baxter and filmed outside a warehouse in downtown Phoenix, Arizona

     "I was at that filming and laugh whenever I watch it. I remember when we were all kinda waiting around for things to begin and Rob walks out to the crowd with his bodyguard and thanks us for showing up... just a very cool moment.
     "The director asked certain people to jump the fence and get into the mosh pit, and I remember that on the first take, the top of the chain link fence just collapses, breaking almost in half from all the bodies furiously scrambling over it - a truly funny moment. What had happened was the director selected people to be inside the fence, people to be outside the fence, and about five people to jump over the fence... Well, the people who were outside the fence took the opportunity to ALL jump over and the bloody thing just collapsed under the weight of about 15 people!
     "The whole shoot went on until about 4 o'clock in the morning and some of Phoenix' finest showed up to keep an eye on the shoot. The video director starts wandering around and lamenting that, 'Something is missing'... He snaps his fingers and then gets on the bull horn....There is an effect in the video - particularly when some geezer in a stars-and-stripes leather jacket is climbing the fence - that the set is bathed in red and blue police lights... Those lights are from an actual Phoenix Police car!"
- Eyewitness, April 13, 2004

  • Immortal Sin - Directed by John Baxter and filmed in Chicago

     "I directed 'Immortal Sin' in Chicago. That was because we all wanted to do something basic."
- John Baxter, live chat, April 30, 1995

  • Little Crazy

     "For the first two Fight videos, I chose the locations but not the director. That was Epic's choice. We could have vetoed their choice, but I went along with them."
- John Baxter, live chat, April 30, 1995

ARTWORK:

Packaging Design and Layout: Rob Halford and John Baxter
Layout Assistance: R. Cratty and J. Flinn
Photography: Neil Zlozower

Band photo from CD sleeve and promo poster

LET THE FIGHT BEGIN!

The seeds of Fight were actually planted as far back as 1991, when Rob experienced the refreshing and evolutionary metal sound of Pantera during one of the shows on their COWBOYS FROM HELL tour. Inspired, Rob invited the band to open for Judas Priest on the 1991 European leg of the PAINKILLER tour. This forged a relationship with the band and helped fuel Rob's desire for a more aggressive American metal sound.

Then as Priest began rehearsals for their Operation Rock 'N' Roll North American tour in Canada during the summer of '91, Rob took pen to paper and guitar in hand and began writing new material, influenced by the hardcore direction of American metal bands rising up in the new decade. No metal-monster or sci-fi fantasy lyrics; this was going to be about real life - where the fans lived every day!

     "We want to create a reaction, I've had this need to push and stretch and explore all the available arenas of music within the framework of metal and hard rock. I'm finally able to fulfill all the extra possibilities that I've been carrying around inside me.
     "Twenty years ago I could not imagine writing these songs
. But it's time to put aside fantasy and fiction and reach for the real and honest."
- Rob Halford, AnarchoCyberSludge, 1995

What would have been nothing more than a solo project on the side soon became more complicated as Rob began to branch out with his new-found direction...

On March 3, 1992, Rob took the opportunity to join his new friends Pantera on stage in Irvine Meadows, California where they performed Priest classics "Grinder" and "Metal Gods". This led to the two parties collaborating on a song Rob had written called "Light Comes Out Of Black", which was released on the Buffy: The Vampire Slayer film soundtrack in July.

     "That track was on the BUFFY: THE VAMPIRE SLAYER soundtrack and it never really got a chance. I recall vividly the day we got together in the studio in Dallas to put that down - it was a blast. It was very spontaneous. I played Dimebag the idea over the phone a couple of days beforehand and he was like, 'Yeah! Come on down! Let’s have some beers and rock out!' "
- Rob Halford, Metal-is, April 19, 2001

    "We did this with Pantera last year from a movie that sucked but it's a great song, it's called 'Light Comes Out Of Black'!"
- Rob Halford, Mason Jar pre-tour warm-up show, August 1993

LYRICS:

Light Comes Out Of Black
R. Halford
Performed live in: 1993; 2000-2001
Available live versions: LIVE INSURRECTION (2001)

Innocence is calling
Raptures in the past
Craving for salvation of the mind

Serenity is calling
Seeking only truth
Vision block forever left behind

Light comes out of black
Stand and face the fear
Give him eye too eye
Walk the walk right here

Images unraveling
Saw through the disguise
Crystal clear and shining through and through

Liberation traveling
Bringing down the wall
Universe waking coming too

Let the fight begin
Watch the power soar
Work the magic now
Free forever more

Now feel the light
Lifting up and rising all alive
Now feel the light
Keep the faith inside and I'll survive...

For Rob Halford, light did indeed seem to come out of black, but it was about to get darker before the dawn...

Sadly, on December 8, 2004, former Pantera, recent DamagePlan guitarist Dimebag Darrell Abbott was taken from us when a gunman shot him 6 times at point-blank range while Dime was playing an opening song in Ohio. Rob Halford had the following tribute to Dimebag to share:
 
     "Hello everyone. My deepest condolences go out to everyone affected regarding the passing of Dimebag. His musicianship was superb and his original style was and will remain an inspiration to players worldwide. His friendship can never be replaced.
     "I first met Dime in 1991. I was in Toronto preparing for the PAINKILLER tour. I had MuchMusic TV on and saw this guy talking about metal and wearing a BRITISH STEEL T-shirt. From what he was saying and the Pantera video that aired I knew right away that this man was a guitar god!
     "I called MuchMusic and spoke to Dime and that night went to a club and hung with the band. We jammed 'Metal Gods'. From that point on, he and the rest of the band became solid friends. My gut feeling was that this band would be huge.
     "So Pantera toured with Priest all over Europe. Many a night I would stand off stage and watch them tear up city after city, leaving everyone stunned by their intense performances. It was a thrill to watch and hear Dime invent and advance with his playing. Soon the world became Panterarised!
     "Of course, so much has happened since those early times and I feel that it's important now that however we take the turn of events in recent years we all stay true to the same belief that Dimebag had about his love of metal, which was to play your heart out and be real wherever you are! Some things that happen in life make no sense at all, but out of pain comes strength, and I know the metal community will take that strength and use it as an enduring memory for Dimebag.
     "Love never dies."
- Rob Halford, RobHalford.com, December 10, 2004

Independence Day, 1992: In preparation for Rob's own independence from Priest, Halford and personal business manager John Baxter form an artist agency called EMAS (Entertainment Management Advisory Services).


Rob Halford's EMAS business card

Things were moving at a fast pace for Rob as interest in Rob Halford the solo artist began to increase:

     "For one reason or another Rob was surrounded by psychopaths who were not a worthy stock of people and they talked him into a solo career. It was a sad day..."
- Ian Hill, Classic Rock Revisited, January 2002

SUMMER 1993: Fight is formed


Meet Jay Jay, Rob's tattoo artist:

Many fans of Fight have wondered what Jay Jay's actual birth name is. By 1995, the true name was kept a secret to add to the rock star mystery persona:

     "My real name is Jay Jay. I don't have a middle name yet. Wanna help me out?"
- Jay Jay, live chat, April 30, 1995

But it wasn't always a "mysterious persona": A bootleg recording of the October 19, 1993 show from Frankfurt, Germany reveals Rob introducing the band towards the end of the show, introducing Jay Jay as "John Brown".

This was later confirmed by Jay Jay himself via email:

     "If you must know, my real name, as plain as it may be, is John Brown; my family calls me Jack though."
- Jay Jay, via email, November 23, 2004

Jay Jay had moved from Ohio to the warmer climate of Phoenix, Arizona where he got a job as a skin artist at HTC Precision Piercing. One of his clients was local resident Rob Halford, who had been doing his own tattoos on himself...

     "I work at HTC in Phoenix, Arizona. I got into tattoos when I was 16 and I've been doing tattoos for more than seven years. The wildest tattoo I've done so far is the Alien on Rob's leg. It was Rob's idea for the Alien tat. After messing up, Rob's abandoned doing his own work. He's still got the kit though. Anyone want to buy it?"
- Jay Jay, live chat, April 30, 1995

Halford spent much of 1992 appearing with artists such as Pantera, Skid Row, Ugly Kid Joe and Black Sabbath, all-the-while writing and recording demos through the early part of '93.  Then one day while Rob was getting a new tattoo etched, skin artist Jay Jay mentioned that he played bass in a local Phoenix, Arizona hardcore band called Cyanide (which had relocated from Toledo, Ohio). A few days later, Rob went to check out a performance by the group and at first, he offered to help the band out, but later he handed them the demo tape he had been working on. After hearing the demo, Jay Jay and fellow Cyanide guitarist Brian Tilse decided to join Rob in his new venture.

     "Jay Jay's store is on my avenue. He was working on me, and he said that he had a band. He asked me to listen to his band playing. When I saw his work with Brian, I asked them if they would accept making a group with me and they accepted... They were drunk!"
- Rob Halford,
Top Rock, 1994

     "Fight's members are a lot younger than me. This is good because they force me to work very hard. They give me enthusiasm and power, so I can be happy with the band."
- Rob Halford,
Top Rock, 1994

 

Jay Jay and Rob Halford Some of Rob's new tattoos

Added to the membership was Russ Parrish, formerly of War And Peace (with Dokken's Jeff Pilson). A graduate of the Guitar Institute Of Technology (G.I.T.), Parrish was brought to Rob's attention by a friend of Racer X guitarist and former G.I.T. instructor Paul Gilbert. Rounding out the lineup on drums was none other than Judas Priest skinman Scott Travis (also from Racer X with Paul Gilbert) and the band was named Fight.

     "I got the name Fight when I was looking at two books: ROGET'S THESAURUS and the OXFORD CONCISE ENGLISH DICTIONARY. I was looking for something tough, powerful and simple. Fight was that word. It means not only a physical fight, but it's a question of trying to win, getting all out of your way... Work hard, very hard!"
- Rob Halford,
Top Rock, 1994

A demo tape was soon cut at Vintage Sound Studio in Phoenix, Arizona and presented to another label under the Sony Music umbrella:

     "I brought it to the President of Epic Records and he loved it. He's really into it."
- Rob Halford,
All The Rage Zine, 2001


1993 press photo

DECEMBER 1993: Rob sues EMI and Judas Priest

Rob's publisher, EMI April Music, claimed Rob still owed them two more albums per their contract. But Rob wanted to break all ties to Priest and have his music published under his own publishing company.

In order to protect his music, a lawsuit was filed on December 20, 1993 in U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, by Halford, his publishing company Ebonytree Ltd., and Phoenix Music Ltd., which serves as the publishing company for his current material.

According to the suit, in 1982 and 1986 Ebonytree Ltd. agreed to give CBS Songs (purchased by EMI) publishing rights to Halford-penned songs on eight Judas Priest albums. The wording of the publishing agreement stated that if Halford made any records independently of the band during the term of the agreement, CBS Songs would get the publishing rights to all Halford-penned songs on those records. EMI claimed that since only six Judas Priest albums had been delivered before Halford left, the agreement was still in effect for two more.

Rob's lawsuit disputes this, arguing that according to the terms of the publishing agreement, if the band has not released an album in three years, has broken up, or no longer records under the name Judas Priest, the agreement is terminated. Therefore, since Halford left the band and it was unclear if the remaining members would make further recordings, the publishing agreement should be considered terminated. The suit asked for a judgment declaring the pares' rights and obligations...

     "The contract was conceived to be of very finite duration, until the eighth Judas Priest album. Now Judas Priest doesn't exist anymore and potentially there will never be an eighth album. Halford is in this limbo state where potentially the duration of this publishing contract could go on forever. The days of slavery are over, and there should be an end to the term of the contract. There have been attempts to work this out with EMI, but they have been ignored. Halford had no choice but to try to get the court to clarify the terms of the agreement."
- Halford attorney Paul LiCalsi, Billboard, January 15, 1994

     "Our point of view is that the band hasn't broken up. Whatever songs he's written belong to us, and we value him as one of our artists. He's been one of our artists for many years. We're kind of disappointed that he left the group, since he was the lead singer, but the fact that he's decided to leave doesn't exonerate him from living up to his agreement with us."
- EMI Music Publishing chairman Marin Bandier, Billboard, January 15, 1994

A Columbia Records spokeswoman confirmed the remaining members were still signed to the label under the name Judas Priest, but Halford's attorney, Paul LiCalsi of Gold, Farrell & Marks, said that Rob had an equal share in the band, but that contact ended, so they could no longer use the name Judas Priest without Halford's consent. Fan magazines reported that if the band did go on, it would have to be called simply "Priest", or go under a completely new name.

     "Yes, that's true that I'm processing Priest. We have a society in the name Judas Priest, so, anything that involves my participation or image, I want to be compensated. I spent 20 years of my life in this band... So I think I am in my rights."
- Rob Halford, Dynamite Magazine, 1994

It appears the lawsuit was never carried out and was more a ploy for Rob to retain his own music - it was never meant to tear down Priest. Rob did use his own Phoenix Music Ltd. to publish the songs on WAR OF WORDS, but has used EMI April Music ever since, and Judas Priest would eventually go forward under their full name. As for their view on Rob's ventures...

     "I really don't have any thoughts on the projects Rob's been involved in since leaving Priest. I said good luck to Rob when he left the band. His heart wasn’t in Priest anymore, and you can’t go and perform with someone whose heart isn’t in the band. That’s why we’re so happy now. The five band members, we are so focused, and we operate as such a unit, it’s frightening. In regards to Rob, I wish him well. He left to pursue different forms of music, and as I’ve often said, far be it from me to decry that. You only live once. You get one chance to do what you want to do in life, and you have to go ahead and do it. I could never walk away from Priest, myself. My heart and soul is in the band. But I’m not going to put anyone down for doing what they want to do."
- Glenn Tipton,
Heavy Metal At The Mining Company, October 3, 1997

     "Not to kick Priest in the balls, but the whole '80s thing of amps and flash bulbs, it doesn't matter to me now. Sincerity and credibility matter most. But, music always goes through cycles...With Priest, there were always barricades, now I'm right down at the kids' level, and I love it."
- Rob Halford

     "When I left Priest I didn't know what was coming next... Musically I've done all I wanted. Continuing with Priest would be bad for the band. It was a personal decision; Fight was just a project when this happened."
- Rob Halford, Top Rock, 1994

Early 1994: Russ Parish leaves, Robby Lochner's brief stint

Earlier in the year, Russ Parrish had departed Fight. Tired of the road and the thrashier street-metal style, he left to pursue other music interests:

     "I just got bored with the music. Wasn't worth the money anymore."
- Russ Parrish, Metal-Sludge, 2002

After leaving Fight, Russ teamed up with Paul Gilbert and Racer X vocalist Jeff Martin to form a cover band/side-project called The Electric Fence:

     "Jeff Martin, Russ Parrish, and I formed The Electric Fence to just play copy songs and have fun in between our 'real' gigs. We actually did quite a few shows in L.A. in the '90s. Some cool video bootlegs are probably out there of us dressing crazy and doing songs from Bowie, Hendrix, The Beatles, Cream, Badfinger, etc."
- Paul Gilbert

In this setting, Russ played the bass while Jeff Martin doubled on drums. The Electric Fence have one recorded song together ("Heart Full Of Soul") on the Jeff Beck tribute JEFFOLOGY. Russ also continued with Paul and Jeff in the Paul Gilbert Band for a 1999 tour of Japan, that also had Racer X bassist John Alderete join them at one point.

Russ' career has since been mostly in and around the Los Angeles, California cover bands market where he has had gigs with heavy metal parody band Metal Shop (featuring former L.A. Guns' vocalist Ralph Saenz and former DLR drummer Ray Luzier - this band also played the role of "Danger Kitty", the fictional metal band in a 2001 Discover® Card commercial), Rush tribute band Moving Pictures and most notably, Van Halen tribute band Atomic Punks (featuring David Lee Ralph Saenz), where Russ started out on bass before moving to the coveted guitar spot.

Shockingly, this metal thrash guitarist has even been seen playing in a disco parody band:

     "Russ plays in a disco band called the Boogie Nights. Russ cut all his hair off, and he's wearing bell bottoms."
- Rob Halford, live chat, April 30, 1995

Russ also has a side/alternative band called The Ducks (now called the Thornbirds), covering everything from Beatles numbers to old Judas Priest songs!


Russ Parrish as Eddie Van Halen


Russ Parrish with the
Thornbirds (minus wig)

Following Russ' departure in early 1994, guitarist Robby Lochner was hand-picked by Rob Halford to temporarily fill the vacancy in order to continue the band's WAR OF WORDS tour. Hailing from Tucson, Arizona, Robby had moved to Los Angeles, California and joined the Los Angeles band Razor. Having won the HotShot Guitar competition in 1993, the members of Razor suggested to Robby that he send a package to Halford's E.M.A.S. agency. Thus, with only five days to prepare and no audition or even a rehearsal, Robby Lochner was on the road with the Metal God and Fight!


Robbie Lochner

But like Russ Parrish before him, Robby soon felt he also had better ground to travel, so he began to audition for some L.A. based bands, won several guitar completion awards in Arizona and California and has released three solo albums. He presently teaches guitar and has a band called Gillian's Crush who are seeking a label.

Meanwhile, Rob would take an interest in Australian thrash metal band Allegiance and his artist agency, EMAS helped the band release and distribute their first album D.E.S.T.I.T.U.T.I.O.N. on Polygram Records in June 1994. Without mainstream radio support, that album went on to top the WA charts!

MUTATIONS COLLECTOR'S EDITION EP

The Live Tracks:
Into The Pit (Live) • Nailed To The Gun (Live) •
Freewheel Burning (Live) • Little Crazy (Live) •

The Remixes:
(Bloody Tongue Mix) War Of Words

(Dutch Death Mix) Kill It •
(Middle Finger Mix) Vicious •
(Tolerance Mix) Immortal Sin •
(Straight Jacket Mix) Little Crazy

  • Released January 14, 1994 by Epic/Sony Music Entertainment (US Cat. # EK 66127) and (UK Cat. # 4745472)
    and (JPN Cat. #
    ESCA 6028)

Produced by Rob Halford
Co-Produced by Attie Bauw
Engineered, Mixed and Mastered by Attie Bauw
Remixes by Attie Bauw
Production completed at the Attie Bauw Studios (Studio Bauwhaus), Amsterdam, Holland, Netherlands

Attie Bauw's "Dutch Death" remix of "Kill It" was "Most Requested Remix on Radio in 1994" in the USA.

Art Direction: Stephen Walker

This  EP CD was made in limited "Collector's Edition" quantity and features the only official live release of Fight tunes performed by the band (from a "Fight Night" syndicated radio broadcast ), as well as remixes of several songs from the debut album WAR OF WORDS.

     "We've literally reinvented the songs we've remixed and I think we've added a new dimension with each remix. So we're giving people a new way into Fight, a chance to hear the band in two distinctly different ways."
- Rob Halford

CHRISTMAS RIDE:

In the Fall of 1994, Rob and guitarist Brian Tilse teamed up with Black Sabbath bassist Geezer Butler and drummer Bill Ward, Obsessed guitarist Scott "Wino" Weinrich, and harmonica player Jimmy Wood to form the Bullring Brummies who recorded a cover of Sabbath's "The Wizard" on the NATIVITY IN BLACK tribute album to Black Sabbath.

Then, just in time for Christmas, Fight released a limited edition holiday promo-only maxi-CD single to radio DJs and program directors featuring "Christmas Ride" and a special holiday greeting from Rob Halford:

     "Hey everybody, this is Rob Halford from Fight wishing you all a crazy heavy metal Christmas and an insane, wild manic New Year!"
- Rob Halford, Christmas Ride promo "Holiday Greeting", 1994

     " 'Christmas Ride' was interesting. I walked into the studio and told the band to write a Christmas song. They looked at me with a laugh, and said, 'O.K.'. Rob, however, wrote the music and words that night. I heard it the next day. The band cut it in two days."
- John Baxter, live chat, April 30, 1995

Though the promo was only distributed to radio stations, there was consideration of including it in the live set and releasing a live version commercially:

     "To the rock Jocks and PD's: This track is for you. Have fun with it. Thanks for the support."
- Rob Halford, "Christmas Ride" CD back sleeve, 1994

    "I don't know if 'Christmas Ride' will be released to the public. Maybe a live version."
- John Baxter, live chat, April 30, 1995

 

  • Released 1994 by Epic/Sony Music Entertainment (US Cat. # ESK 6654)

Produced by Rob Halford and Attie Bauw
Engineered and Mixed by Attie Bauw
Mastered by Lucas Van De Mee

LYRICS:

Christmas Ride
Rob Halford

Here comes the fat man, he's on the run
Shootin' his stuff around but he don't pack a gun
Pumping up the kids, he's a red streak of light
Slamming in the sky, tearing through the night

Christmas ride
Christmas ride

The fat man's cool, got a thing for me and you
When he comes a calling there's a riot running through
Crashing 'round the rooftops, whipping up the snow
Racing like a mad man, go, Santa go!

Christmas ride
(A fat man's coming for you)
Christmas ride
(He'll sleigh your world tonight)
Christmas ride
(Believe in all that he'll do)
Christmas ride

The fat man's coming and he knows no fear
He's a big red rebel with some mean reindeer
Cruising 'round town breaking every law
He'll come back next year to crank it up some more

Christmas ride
(A fat man's coming for you)
Christmas ride
(He'll sleigh your world tonight)
Christmas ride
(Believe in all that he'll do
Or you'll find that pissed red rebel's
Gonna get right out of sight)

Christmas ride
(A fat man's coming for you...)
Christmas ride

LYRICS:

Into The PitNailed To The GunLife In BlackImmortal SinWar Of WordsLaid To Rest
For All EternityLittle CrazyContortionKill ItVicious
Reality, A New BeginningJesus Saves

     "After my last show with PRIEST, I came back to my house in Phoenix and started writing the lyrics to WAR OF WORDS."
- Rob Halford,
Top Rock, 1994

     "We want to make people think about many topics. Music is a very powerful medium for people. It has the ability to change culture and civilization. Establishing a solid bond with our audience is more necessary now than it ever was. The new generation of people who are listening to this kind of music will connect with Fight's material, for we are at the same level as our audience. It's a relationship without barriers."
- Rob Halford, AnarchoCyberSludge, 1995

1. Into The Pit
R. Halford
Performed live in: 1993-1995; 2000-2003
Available live versions: MUTATIONS (1994), LIVE INSURRECTION (2002)

     "Addresses the global power struggle and focuses on the fact that individuals can take on big institutions and win. One is able to confront the largest of issues and overcome them."
- Rob Halford
, Metal Edge, Fall 1993

Bear witness to treason
Abeyance they cower
Compulsion of liars
Addicted to power

Into the pit

Conspiring for sation
Malfeasance on high
Obstruction of duty
Disorder will rise

Possession by force
Reprisal to task
Defenseless no longer
Expulsion by mass

2. Nailed To The Gun
R. Halford
Performed live in: 1993-1995; 1997; 2000-2003
Available live versions: MUTATIONS (1994), LIVE INSURRECTION (2002)

Rob Halford owns firearms and has had training from Phoenix police officers and practices at a local gun club...

     "Nailed To The Gun tackles the issue of weapons in America, doing battles in the street, bullets killing children, people being forced to have guns, like myself. If I were put in a life-threatening situation, I'd be forced to pull the trigger."
- Rob Halford, Metal Edge, Fall 1993

     "It disturbs me to hear about children being killed in their beds by stray bullets. 'Nailed To The Gun' deals with the mass schizophrenia that society has toward guns."
- Rob Halford, AnarchoCyberSludge, 1995

Sig Sauer, victim of a systems non-control
Devour, striking terror into every soul

Communication breakdown onto self destruction
Schizophrenic people breeding hate
Pessimistic thinking from a failed connection
Survival comes when we annihilate

Nailed to the gun

Paranoia, termination sickness zeros good
Blind power, executing humans in cold blood

Degenerating children with an opiate bullet
Poison flows from words out on the street
Trapped inside the home that has become the prison
Dissin' everybody that we meet

Locked and loaded, governmental loss to anarchy
Weapon goaded, magnum is gagging liberty

Cultural collision in an endless frenzy
Numbing minds with threats of violence
Hopeless to the dream of any decent future
Running on sheer fear and ignorance

3. Life In Black
R. Halford
Performed live in: 1993-1995; 2000-2003
Available live versions: LIVE INSURRECTION (2002)

     "Explores a confrontational situation within a relationship. I'm interested in the side of relationships that don't work out. A person finds out they've been giving everything in a relationship and discovers their partner is not giving the same amount. 'Until the last breath in you I'll never forgive'. Terrible, but people do these things to each other."
- Rob Halford
, Metal Edge, Fall 1993

     "This is a cool song about people that fuck each other up with relationships."
- Rob Halford, Mason Jar pre-tour warm-up show, August 1993

Life in black

You never were there for me
No never at all
You never took care of me
You just watched me fall

Life in black

I placed all my faith in you
I needed you here
Christ knows what I've got to do
To rid me of fear

You took me for everything
As long as I live
While There's still one breath in you
I'll never forgive

4. Immortal Sin
R. Halford
Performed live in: 1993-1995; 1997

     "Looks at prejudice that exists towards friendships or situations that may be viewed as strange or abnormal by society. Anything out of the norm is a focus for attack by right-wing religious groups. Our lyrics explore an emotional feeling derived out of being persecuted."
- Rob Halford
, Metal Edge, Fall 1993

     "One thing I don't like is racists, one thing I don't like is bigots, one thing I don't like is homophobes, one thing I don't like is any prejudicial shit..."
- Rob Halford, Mason Jar pre-tour warm-up show, August 1993

Torn by the wrath that burns like a buried flame
Crossed in the heart from this voice that's a nagging pain
Snared to the book of God with a twisted fear
Help me from being damned by a righteous spear

It's immortal sin

Chained with a crooked stare that conceals a lie
Choked on a love that's judged from an evil eye
Lost in a world of hurt through a sense of doubt
Take all the numbing grief let the poison out

5. War Of Words
R. Halford
Performed live in: 1993-1995; 1997

     "It talks about taking on situations or issues, it has some of the same elements as 'Into The Pit'. Some people feel they represent the majority but they don't carry the will of the masses. Its a song that I hope will move people into using the power to vote, writing local politicians, voicing their feelings. Its about the First Amendment and what it represents."
- Rob Halford
, Metal Edge, Fall 1993

     "This is the title track from the record, there's a thing over here called the Constitution, this is the first Amendment stuff that a lot of people will read but they don't think about...so think about it. This is War of Words!"
- Rob Halford, Mason Jar pre-tour warm-up show, August 1993

Congress shall make no law
Respecting an establishment of religion
Or prohibiting the free exercise thereof
Or abridging the freedom of speech
Or of the press
Or of the right of the people peacefully to assemble
And to petition the government for a re-dress of grievances

Revoke this verbal mental muzzle
Protect the freedom of the mind
Speak out against the prejudicial
Extinguish ignorance by mouth

Disarm the bigotry with talk, talk
Incite the darkness from the veil
React to rhetoritic conflict
Object with anger at the law

Denied opinion comes from silence
Remove the pressure of the tongue
Assault by speech toward the discord
Attack the fundamental creed

A War of words
A War

6. Laid To Rest
R. Halford
Performed live in: 1993-1995

     "At first this person is being led on by someone, getting the wrong impression of where they stand. He's pleading for sympathy and you feel sorry for him. But you find out towards the end the guy is a complete jerk. There's a nice twist to it."
- Rob Halford
, Metal Edge, Fall 1993

     "I'm having tough times with relationships, ha-ha, this is another thing about that shit ya know? Think ya found somebody you can trust and they fuck all over ya..."
- Rob Halford, Mason Jar pre-tour warm-up show, August 1993

You never gave me what I craved for
You never took me with desire
Now I'm hanging by a wire

Laid to rest

You left me waiting in your darkness
Full of fear and full of pain
I shall never be the same

So I'm praying with devotion
You'll still take me for a ride
Let me fill you full of pride

7. For All Eternity
R. Halford
Performed live in: 1993-1995

     "Its not about my personal situation with my father, but we had our disagreements. Sometimes parents put up walls and kids can't get through. Kids are developing their individuality and looking for respect as young adults and not little kids. Everyone can relate to this."
- Rob Halford
, Metal Edge, Fall 1993

How can I begin to tell
Emotions can't be shared
You'd walk away than show me that you cared

Building walls around yourself
Letting no one through
You couldn't see my hands reach out to you

For All Eternity
The past keeps haunting me

When I drew inside myself
I did that to survive
The only way to keep myself alive

One day you will realize
How this all began
You didn't see the child become a man

Look back in time
And fell the pain
It's yours and mine
No more again

8. Little Crazy
R. Halford
Performed live in: 1993-1995; 1997
Available live versions:
MTV Headbanger's Ball (Acoustic performance 1993); MUTATIONS (1994)

     "Evokes the image of being a puppet on a string, thinking you're in control, but your not. We've all been through that. Everyone can relate to it."
- Rob Halford
, Metal Edge, Fall 1993

It's all right, it's all right, it's all right
I'm just a little crazy

Under my skin and into my bones
I feel insanity begin to make its home
Into my vision and through my mouth
Somebody's working me to get me all strung out

There goes my reason
Where's all my hope
I'm just a puppet pulled by stings to make me cope

I'm seeing nothing
What's all this noise
Could someone give me something
Just to get me through this boy

Under my skin and into my bones
I feel insanity begin to make its home
Into my vision and through my mouth
Somebody's working me to get me all strung out

9. Contortion
R. Halford
Performed live in: 1993-1995; 1997

     "We're living in a fragile ecosystem and need constant reminding about that. We take too much for granted. I support there re those who are working towards educating people about the fragility of life on planet earth."
- Rob Halford, Metal Edge, Fall 1993

     "The ecosystem is very fragile, but it's been used as if it were an inexhaustible
racehorse."
- Rob Halford, AnarchoCyberSludge, 1995

     "This is the world we live in man"
- Rob Halford, Mason Jar pre-tour warm-up show, August 1993

     "Ya know sometimes, I just feel like I'm goin' out of my fuckin' head. I need to duct tape me a bitch to a wall!"

- Brian Tilse, Mason Jar pre-tour warm-up show, August 1993

See a word of suffering
Money sucking greed
Watch the human gluttony
All these mouths to feed

Contortion, contortion in my head
Contortion, All I see is red

Rape the earth of everything
Shoot it through the brain
Man remains the carnivore
Selfish and insane

Money sucking greed
All these mouths to feed
Shoot it through the brain
Selfish and insane

Live to take and take to live
Don't put nothing back
Bleed the system never give
Hung to dry and crack

During many of the shows from '93 - '95, Jay Jay had some fun changing the bridge he sings:

Money sucking greed
Let's smoke weed
Shoot it through the brain

L
ike Kurt Cobain

10. Kill It
R. Halford
Performed live in: 1993-1995; 1997

     "Skewers religious fanatics who say they can cure your cancer if you send $50. Its a Fellini-esque vocal documentary in a scene out of someone's religious crazy mind, someone who's in a padded cell, running through the things he'll do when he gets out."
- Rob Halford
, Metal Edge, Fall 1993

     "So there's all that televangelist shit; this is about somebody we know that's in a straight jacket somewhere..."
- Rob Halford, Mason Jar pre-tour warm-up show, August 1993

Transgress your fake religion
Sick ideology
Debased TV communion
Apology?

Contemptious self indulgence
Outsides a living hell
Excessive words can't enter
This padded cell

Kill it, kill it, kill it

Infernal thoughts invading
My inhumanity
Provoked by godly judgment
Wait till I'm free

Assault the shinning icon
My temples severed head
The lambs satanic beating
Incestuous bred

Our father screams in heaven
Wounded and wire tied
Imploring for extinction
We're crucified

Accused by burning angels
Unconscious in a cage
I eat the holy bible
I am the plague

11. Vicious
R. Halford
Performed live in: 1993-1995

     "This song's theme is duplicitous partners: You realize you're being taken for a ride - basically being used, for the other party's benefit. You can walk on water, you can drown. I'll take the blame. But you're already dead, so what good is that? There's a bit of bitterness in there."
- Rob Halford, Metal Edge, Fall 1993

     "This is about some people who I think suck!"
- Rob Halford, Mason Jar pre-tour warm-up show, August 1993

Would I lie to you man
I'm your only friend
Always on your side
Till the bitter end

Vicious, vicious
Fucker, fucker

Let me plan you future
I know what does you good
One more step back further
What's a little blood

I'm all heart and sincere
Trusts my middle name
You can walk on water
You drown I'll take the blame

12. Reality, A New Beginning
R. Halford
Performed live in: 1993-1995; 1997

This song was recorded and re-lyricized during studio sessions in Holland. It is a personal reflection of Rob's own situation, paralleling what he went through in breaking away from Judas Priest and establishing Fight...

     "No matter where you are in life, there's always opportunity to change. Sometimes five years have gone by and you're in limbo, the same place. The song says, 'Wake up, there's a big world with a lot of opportunities, so many avenues to explore'. It urges people to go out and do something different, take some risks and some chances. I must have listened to some subliminal tapes."
- Rob Halford, Metal Edge, Fall 1993

     "We're gonna wind things up about making a change in your life, ya know, when people tell ya can't give a fuck..."
- Rob Halford, Mason Jar pre-tour warm-up show, August 1993

This time when I'm leaving
Who cares where I'll go
I'll walk with the sunset
Out there no one knows

Reality, a new beginning

In my imagination
I'm searching for my dream
Finding something better
More than what I've been

New day, new tomorrow
I'm not living in the past
I'm changing the illusion
I'm set free, free at last


13. Jesus Saves
R. Halford

The devil walked with me
He looked me in the eye
Said once I was all trouble
For the world

Then I saw the light
And now I fell the joy
Believe me now
For I bring you the world

Jesus, Jesus saves

Took me to this home
Showed me all his sin
Said this is how I used
To spend my days

Misery in hell
Master of my world
Now I've mended all my evil ways
 

All compositions by Rob Halford (© 1993 Phoenix Music, Ltd., ASCAP)
Thanks to Metal Andy  and Mike Morse for providing the track-by-track quotes.

TOUR DATES 1993: Let The Fight Begin! World Tour

Rob Halford - v, Brian Tilse - g, Russ Parrish - g, Jay Jay - b, Scott Travis - d

SETLIST (Orange titles are from the current album)

From the August pre-tour warm-up Mason Jar show:

Into The Pit
Nailed To The Gun
Life In Black
Immortal Sin
War Of Words
Laid To Rest
For All Eternity
Little Crazy
Contortion
Kill It
Vicious
Reality, A New Beginning
Light Comes Out Of Black
 

From the November 19 Asbury Park, New Jersey show:
Into The Pit
War Of Words
Life In Black
Kill It
Immortal Sin
Laid To Rest
Contortion
For All Eternity
Nailed To The Gun
Vicious

Little Crazy

Reality, A New Beginning
Symptom Of The Universe
Sweet Leaf
Bloodstone
Freewheel Burning
The Green Manalishi (With The Two-Pronged Crown)
Light Comes Out Of Black

DATE VENUE CITY, STATE COUNTRY NOTES
Pre-tour warm-up
August ? Mason Jar Phoenix, AZ USA
September 18 The Whiskey Los Angeles, CA USA Bootleg audio exists
European tour with support from The Organization
October 19 Music Hall Frankfurt Germany Bootleg audio exists
October 20  Hamburg Germany  
October 21 Bisquithalle Bonn Germany Bootleg audio exists
October 23 Terminal Munich Germany  
October 24   Stuttgart Germany Bootleg audio exists
October 25 City Square Milan Italy Bootleg audio and video exists
October 27  Barcelona Spain  
October 28   Madrid Spain Bootleg audio exists
October 30   Elysée Montmartre, Paris France Bootleg audio exists

November 1 Festival   Holland  
November 3 Rock City Nottingham England Bootleg audio exists
November 4   London England  
North American tour with support from Cathedral

In 1993, Cathedral was pushed by Columbia Records to tour with Merciful Fate and Flotsam And Jetsam. Unhappy with touring conditions, several incidents (including calling King Diamond a "pussy" and refusing to apologize to him) led to Cathedral being dismissed from the tour. A couple months later in November, Cathedral toured the States again on the East coast with Rob Halford's Fight. The band members found this tour was a lot more easy going and enjoyable.

November 11 The Chance Poughkeepsie, NY USA Bootleg audio exists
November 12 Roxy Club Huntington, NY USA Bootleg audio exists
November 13 Hammerjack's Baltimore, MD USA
     "During the headlining show at Hammerjack's, Rob walked off the stage and jumped up on one of the side bars and sang 'Bloodstone'. Great night!"
- Eyewitness, October 1, 2004
November 14 Sony Studios New York City, NY USA Bootleg audio and video exists
November 15 MTV Headbanger's Ball New York City, NY USA Bootleg video exists
November 16 Axxis Boston, MA USA Bootleg audio exists
November 17 The Trocadero Philadelphia, PA USA Bootleg audio exists
November 19 Fastlane Asbury Park, NJ USA Special guest Sebastian Bach sings "Bloodstone"
Bootleg audio exists

     "It's surprising how many people don't know who this is...ha-ha... He wants to do a Priest song with me, and with us."
- Rob Halford, introducing Sebastian Bach on "bloodstone" at Fastlane, November 19, 1993

     "Here's a tune, uh, a tune I did with Pantera...it's some good shit, the film sucked.  This is called 'Light Comes Out Of Black'!"
- Rob Halford, introducing Light Comes Out Of Black" at Fastlane, November 19, 1993

November 20 L'amour Brooklyn, NY USA
November 21 Bosco's New Penny Arcade Rochester, NY USA
November 23 RPM Toronto, Ontario Canada Bootleg audio and video exists
November 24 Harpos Detroit, MI USA
November 26 Flash's Cleveland, OH USA
November 27 VIC Theatre Chicago, IL USA
November 28 Mirage Minneapolis, MN USA
November 30 Odgen Theater Denver, CO USA
December 1 Salt Air Salt Lake City,UT USA
December 3 La Luna Portland, OR USA
December 4 86th St Music Hall Vancouver, British Columbia Canada
December 5 Under The Rail Seattle, WA USA
December 7 Trocadero Transfer San Francisco, CA USA Bootleg audio exists
December 9 The Palace Hollywood, CA USA Bootleg audio exists
December 10 Iguanas Tijuana Mexico
December 11 Huntridge Theater Las Vegas, NV USA
December 12 The Grind Phoenix, AZ USA
December 13 The Rock Tucson, AZ USA
December 15 Rockefeller's West Houston, TX USA
December 16 Back Room Austin, TX USA
December 17 City Limits Dallas, TX USA Bootleg audio exists
December 18 Sneaker's San Antonio, TX USA

TOUR DATES 1994: Nailed To The Road World Tour

Rob Halford - v, Brian Tilse - g, Russ Parrish - g/Robbie Lochner - g, Jay Jay - b, Scott Travis - d


Original "Nailed To The Road" T-shirt


Tour drum sticks


Tour guitar picks

SETLIST (Orange titles are from the current album)

From the January 16 Limelight show:
Into The Pit
War Of Words
Life In Black
Kill It
Immortal Sin
Laid To Rest
Contortion
For All Eternity
Vicious

Little Crazy

Reality, A New Beginning
Symptom Of The Universe
Sweet Leaf
Devil's Child (with special guest Sebastian Bach)
Freewheel Burning
Nailed To The Gun
 

DATE VENUE CITY, STATE COUNTRY NOTES
North American Tour
January 6 Sunset Strip Orlando, FL USA
January 7 ML Chasers Clearwater, FL USA
January 8 Cameo Theater Miami, FL USA
January 10 Roxy Theater Atlanta, GA USA
January 11 Rocky's Charlotte, NC USA
January 12 Peppermint Beach Club Virginia Beach, VA USA Bootleg audio exists
January 14 Bayou Washington, DC USA
January 15 Studio One Newark, NJ USA Bootleg audio exists
January 16 Limelight New York City, NY USA Special guest Sebastian Bach sings
"Devil's Child"
Bootleg audio and video exists
 
January 18 Zodiac Club Allentown, PA USA  
January 19 The Sting New Britain, CT USA  
January 20 Toad's Place New Haven, CT USA Support from Voivod;
Bootleg audio exists

     "So here's the deal - no fucking wimps, no flakes, no pussies...it's our turn alright? All this shit from War of Words, this is Life in Black."
- Rob Halford, Toad's Place, January 20, 1994

January 21 Saratoga Winners Cohoes, Albany, NY USA  
January 22 Lupo's Heartbreak Hotel Providence, RI USA  
January 24 Metropol Pittsburg, PA USA  
January 25 Capitol Theater Flint, MI USA  
January 27 The Rave Milwaukee, WI USA  
January 28 Mississippi Nights St. Louis, MO USA  
January 29 Big Dogs Cedar Rapids, IA USA  
January 30 Pomp Room Sioux Falls, SD USA  
January 31 Mirage Minneapolis, MN USA  
February 2 Ranch Bowl Omaha, NE USA
February 3 Lone Star Kansas City, MO USA  
February 4 Cains Ballroom Tulsa, OK USA  
February 5 Alcatraz Oklahoma City,OK USA  
Japan, Australia and South America dates
February 17 Shibuja Kokaido Tokyo Japan Bootleg audio exists
March 2 Palace St. Kilda Melbourne Australia Bootleg audio exists
March ? Imperator Theatre Rio de Janeiro Brazil  


Pictures ©
Andre Aruda

North American Tour - support to Anthrax. Russ Parrish is replaced by Robbie Lochner on guitar

April ? Hammerjack's Baltimore, MD USA  
April ? Desperado's North Charleston, SC USA Bootleg audio exists
April 17 Stone Pony Asbury Park, NJ USA Bootleg audio exists
April 20 Roseland New York City, NY USA Support to Anthrax
April 25 Newport Music Hall Columbus, OH USA Bootleg audio exists
May 13 Warfield Theater San Francisco, CA USA Bootleg audio exists
May 14 Crawford Hall Irvine, CA USA
May 15 Hollywood Palladium Los Angeles, CA USA
May 16 Wilson Theatre Fresno, CA USA
     "I saw Fight opening for Anthrax in Fresno at the Wilson Theatre on the WAR OF WORDS tour. Fucking awesome show! John Bush came out and sang "Victim Of Changes" with Fight. Later, Rob came out and did "Rapid Fire" with Anthrax! Both bands rocked that night!"
- Eyewitness, October 5, 2004
May 24 Anchorage, AK USA Bootleg audio exists
Support to Metallica on the "Summer Shit Tour" with Suicidal Tendencies and Candlebox


Lars Urich and Rob Halford backstage


Rob and Brian at an outdoor
"Summer Shit" show

Jay Jay confirms that Fight did open several shows for Metallica:

     "Yes the band did dates with Metallica, I think twelve - they were all weekend dates. I even have a couple of videotapes with us opening and me, Rocky (Suicidal Tendencies) and someone from Anthrax up on stage doin' something with Metallica."
- Jay Jay, via email, November 16, 2004
July 24 Blockbuster Pavilion San Bernardino, CA USA
July 19 CSU Dominguez Hills Festival Field Carson, CA USA
July 31 Brown Airport Field San Diego, CA USA
     "I saw Fight, barely, in '94 out here at Brown Field when they opened for Metallica. I say 'barely' because about three seconds after they took the stage, all I saw was a constant cloud of dust up near the stage from all the moshing, until they finished their set.
Unreal.
- Eyewitness
August 21 Bicentennial Park Miami, FL USA Rob Halford joins Metallica to end the show and the tour with a cover of Priest's "Rapid Fire";
Bootleg audio exists

Including Rob Halford as special guest with Metallica on "Rapid Fire"
     "You guys want some more? Since this is the last fucking night of the tour and all this shit, we thought we'd bring a new friend out with us here uh, do an old tune... Hope you guys are going to fuckin' dig it; we fucking love playin' this shit here - so we're gonna bring our friend out... Mr. Robert Halford..."
- James Hetfield, Bicentennial Park, Miami, Florida, August 21, 1994

Thanks go to Christophe Dassy of the
French Metallian website for providing these tour dates and Mats Fogelberg for additions.

Special thanks to Mike Morse for providing most of the live quotes and photos.


© 2002-2004
Steel & Leather Productions, U.S.A.