Today, I’m reviewing the non-fiction title Confess: The Autobiography by Judas Priest frontman Rob Halford, a heavy metal, LGBT, rock-n-roll memoir.
Author: Rob Halford
Genre: Non-Fiction, Memoir, Autobiography, Rock ‘n’ Roll, LGBT
Release Date: September 29, 2020
Publisher: Hachette Books
The legendary frontman of Judas Priest, one of the most successful heavy metal bands of all time, celebrates five decades of heavy metal in this tell-all memoir.
Blurb: Most priests hear confessions. This one is making his.
Rob Halford, front man of global iconic metal band Judas Priest, is a true “Metal God.” Raised in Britain’s hard-working, heavy industrial heartland, he and his music were forged in the Black Country. Confess, his full autobiography, is an unforgettable rock ‘n’ roll story-a journey from a Walsall council estate to musical fame via alcoholism, addiction, police cells, ill-fated sexual trysts, and bleak personal tragedy, through to rehab, coming out, redemption . . . and finding love.
Now, he is telling his gospel truth.
Told with Halford’s trademark self-deprecating, deadpan Black Country humor, Confess is the story of an extraordinary five decades in the music industry. It is also the tale of unlikely encounters with everybody from Superman to Andy Warhol, Madonna, Jack Nicholson, and the Queen. More than anything else, it’s a celebration of the fire and power of heavy metal.
When I heard Rob Halford (one of my favourite singers) had a memoir out on the book shelves, I purchased myself a copy immediately. It did take a while for me to get to his memoir, because my pile of novels to read and review are sky high. Finally, though, I got to sink my eyes into what Rob had to say.
The Metal God didn’t disappoint, especially since he delves deep into the gay community, something I wanted to know about from him because I grew up in the heavy metal eighties, when the new wave of British heavy metal had invaded North America. I even got to see them on the Turbo tour!
Anyway, back to the book. Rob has an easy-to-read style, and he comes across as every inch the refined gentleman I assumed him to be, even if he grew up in some horrible-sounding town that he painted his birthplace to be LOL. He truly is very British. And I love the Brits.
The conflict burning inside of him jumped off the pages. I felt for him as he struggled to come to terms with his sexuality. Poor guy. Here was a man fronting one of the most notorious heavy metal bands, and once he hung up his microphone in front of thousands of screaming fans, he retired to his hotel room…alone. You really feel the monkey on his back. His desperation to try to connect to someone else also comes through. He simply longed for a partner to share his life with. Nothing more.
The fan in me ate up the inner-workings of the band. Some I knew about, having read quite a few articles on Judas Priest, but some were new to me. So that was a nice surprise. I went into this wondering if I’d be reading a repeat of the interviews and articles I read over the years, but Rob kept things fresh. I also loved how he detailed what the lyrics truly meant.
He also gives details into his solo work that I enjoyed. Yes, I too wondered what the heck he’d been thinking when he went all industrial LOL.
He doesn’t gloss over his feelings. He even accepts responsibility for the things he did. Honesty is rich in detail through the book. You watch him grow from a confused, sad, lonely individual into a man who is serene, content, and happy with his place in life.
When I closed the book, I felt as if Rob had covered all the bases from his years growing up and his personal life to his musical ambitions and his professional life. This is more than a musical autobiography. It’s a deep look into a gay man fronting a heavy metal band and how being in the closet influenced his life, and why he had to come out.
Even if you’re not a Judas Priest fan, I highly recommend this book. You’ll love what he has to say.
Have you read Confess? If so, do you agree with my review? If you haven’t read the book yet, would you be willing to now?