Judas Priest singer Rob Halford has opened up about his back surgery as a result of a “horrible herniated disc” that had him unable to “stand up straight”.
In a new interview with LiveSigning.com, Halford was asked how often he rides his motorcycle, with the rocker admitting: “I don’t hardly ride at all now — not since my back operation, which I had some years ago.”
He continued: “I had this horrible, horrible herniated disc that was pushing on my sciatic nerve. People that have had sciatica — I’m sure there are some people watching now that have had sciatica — oh, man. It’s brutal — it’s absolutely brutal.”
Halford added, “So I had to have back surgery in Birmingham some years ago — five years ago now, maybe six years ago.”
“You may remember if you saw me in New York, I was walking around with a walking stick, and Richie [Faulkner, Judas Priest guitarist] was pushing me in a wheelchair, ’cause it was so bad,” he continued.
“I was doing promo for some Priest things. I couldn’t stand up straight, it was so bad. So I had this amazing surgeon, Spencer Harland, who did this very, very dangerous back surgery. ‘Cause we did all the x-rays and the MRIs and blah blah. And he goes, ‘Well, we can try the manipulation,’ and blah blah blah, ‘but it could months and months and months.’ I said, ‘I don’t have time. I’ve gotta get back on the road.’ So we did the operation.”
Halford continued: “I’ll never forget this. Before the operation, he came into the room and sat at the end of the bed. He said, ‘Are you ready?’ I [said], ‘Yeah, I’m ready to go.’ He said, ‘I’m just gonna read you the bill of rights.’ ‘What is that?’ ‘It’s a medical thing in the U.K.’ ‘Okay.’ ‘You may not wake up, you may become incontinent.'”
“I’m an old guy; I’m getting there already. And all these things… And I’m going, ‘Oh, my God. I’m lying here in excruciating pain, and now he’s throwing this stuff at me.’ I said, ‘Let’s just do it, Spencer. Let’s go. Let’s do it.’ So, three hours, four hours later, I wake up [and] the pain is completely gone. It was unbelievable. But as a result of that, my back is significantly weaker now. Like when I told you about trying to pick up a box of books, I can’t do that; it’s just too troublesome for me. My back’s now in good shape now, compared to how it was.”
“So, as a result of that, sadly, I don’t ride anymore.”