Judas Priest frontman Rob Halford has opened up about the “miracle” of staying sober for over 34 years.
“It’s not easy,” he said, “it’s very much a day at a time.”
He continued: “I remember [in rehab] we talked about the fact that I’m gonna go back to this world of sex and drugs and rock and roll and booze. I don’t know how I’m gonna be able to cope, because it won’t be a gradual reimmersion into society, so to speak. I won’t be able to go tiny steps; I’m just gonna go straight into the deep end. I cannot go to work and say to my bandmates, ‘You can’t drink. You can’t do this. You can’t do that,’ because it’s control. Accept your powerlessness,” he said.
Halford went on to say that thoughts regarding drinking are “always there.”
“Even now, when we’re flying after a show, and the guys are having a beer or a cocktail or whatever, man, I would love that cold beer,” he said.
He continued: It’s like this little angel on one side and the devil on the other side. My instant thought is I never wanna be sick again. I never, ever wanna feel that bad ever again. I never want to be in that terrible, dark, lonely place ever again. So it’s fleeting. But, again, it’s always there.”
Halford explained that while he isn’t tempted to break sobriety when at home, his work leads him to be surrounded by alcohol.
“I’m never really around alcohol that much, or drugs when I’m not working,” he said.
He continued: ‘But, yeah, when my fans, or when Priest fans come to see us, yeah, they’re gonna have some drinks; they might have a couple of spliffs [and] do whatever else recreationally. They’re entitled to. And they are living their lives and they are partying and they are having the time of their lives, as they should. They don’t have an alcohol problem; they don’t have a drug addiction. There are people that can enjoy these things in life and it [has] no effect on them, in a physical sense and in a mental sense.”
“So, it’s an absolute miracle,” he said, “I can only say it’s a miracle that I’ve got that far from January the 6th, 1986 to December the 1st, 2020 without slipping once.”
“I’m not boasting, because it’s all the past — that’s the past; it’s gone. I live in the moment. I don’t think about yesterday or tomorrow; I’m living now. But I’m grateful that I’ve been able to get this far without failing. Not failing — that’s the wrong word. Without a slip off the wagon — whatever the term is. I’m grateful that I’ve been able to get this far and stay clean and sober. Because if I didn’t, who knows where I would have gone and where I would have ended up?” he concluded.