Johnny B. Goode

When I borrowed a copy of Judas Priest’s very first album, Rocka Rolla, from a friend at school things today could have been so very different!

The “you’ll grow out of it” comment below the blog title was said to me by my parents when I stuck the tape in the tape deck and it started to play. Maybe this should have been the spark for a rebellious streak?  My parents walked in and the briefest of conversations with my mum was something like

“What’s this rubbish your listening to?”

“I like it…”

“You’ll grow out of it one day”

Since that day I have never returned to that album so maybe my memories of it are clouded over now. I was also expecting all Judas Priest songs to be that poor too. I can remember seeing the video to Johnny B. Goode (originally by Chuck Berry) on the Power Hour and loved it.

We were on holiday in Portugal in 1988 or 1989 and a shop near where we were staying sold a selection of rock merchandise and music. I recall buying a knock off cassette versions of Ram It Down by Priest and a Manowar album – Fighting The World I think – and a white Helloween trucker cap with their pumpkin logo on the front. The cap never left my head till we got home and I played the Judas Priest tape to death.

The first album of theirs I brought on release was Painkiller a few months after leaving school in 1990. It’s such a good album. I remember seeing the adverts in Metal Hammer and Metal Forces for their UK tour in 1991 with Annihilator supporting. The record shop coaches had stopped and I wasn’t driving then so I couldn’t go. Vocalist Rob Halford quit the band in 1993 so I never got to see the Priest in their prime.

On Saturday I’ll be seeing the band for a seventh time, which is a bit of a surprise as their last tour was supposedly their last tour! Nice of the Black Country metal gods to play part two of my birthday bash.

I could have picked Painkilker over Johnny B. Goode, but that’s a completely different tale!!