Judas Priest vocalist Rob Halford has reflected on when the band was sent to trial over an alleged subliminal message about suicide on the group’s 1978 cover version of ‘Better By You, Better Than Me’ by Spooky Tooth. The prosecutors claimed that the song influenced two American men to make a suicide pact in 1985.
Although the case was ultimately dismissed, Halford believes that while it’s a “shame” that the men passed away, it wasn’t fair to prosecute Judas Priest over their deaths.
“It was a tough time because the whole issue was getting politicized, and it was bringing in a lot of extreme elements of faith into the whole equation.
“The fact of the matter is, those two beautiful boys were big metalheads, they loved Judas Priest, they came from a pretty rough dystinfunctional family, and they just got lost, they got lost… it’s such a shame,” Halford told 95.5 KLOS.
Halford hinted at a political agenda that aimed to fight Judas Preist specifically.
“We found out that the prosecution for the whole case came from a pretty… I’m going to say right-wing, it was…
“There was an agenda to fight this band. They didn’t like our music, they didn’t like our lyrics, the way we looked, they didn’t like our fans – they just hated us, man.
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“So we were on trial, not only for the stupid suggestion that the music has these ridiculous subliminal messages, but they just didn’t like Judas Priest.”
During the appearance, Halford shared that the band appeared in a courtroom and fought the charges every day for a month.
“The judge didn’t completely wipe the slate clean as they say, but we felt like we had our day, and we survived like so many bands that are attacked by extremist elements.
“You have to fight, you got to fight. Life isn’t easy, you got to fight for what you believe in, and that’s what we did, and we persevered, and we got through it together.”
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