[published]: 2007, December 1
[in]: ECW Press
[article]: Judas Priest: Heavy Metal Painkillers (An Illustrated History)
[by]: Martin Popoff

For their assault on America, Priest ditched the backdrop they had been using in Europe and stretched out with the famous Metallian stage set. Rob would emerge from its mouth every night, and all told, it was quite impressive. Back-up came from Great White, and, into the summer, Kick Axe - this was Kick Axe's third tour for their excellent Vices debut, and the Priest slot was instrumental in pushing the album near gold in the U.S.

Recalls Kick Axe's Victor Langen, "They were top-notch all the way, fine gents. I think Glenn and K.K. liked to go golfing, which I found odd at the time. We didn't know anything about golfing. I guess you have to have a Scottish background [laughs].

But yeah, I just remember being in awe of the whole thing, and even meeting them in Calgary, Canada, when we had our official contact with them. They came down and saw us play. It was the very day that Vices was released. We were doing a radio broadcast on a radio station in Calgary, CJ92 or something, and these guys came down after they played the Saddledome, and it was Rob Halford personally that came to the dressing room and just said they were giving the toss to Great White, and it was a done deal that we had to open for Priest on the rest of their North American tour. And we thought, 'Holy God, these guys are on heroin. This is just way beyond reality.' But he was true to his word. And that was that."

"In Atlanta, Georgia, they summoned us to their dressing room," continues Victor. "The big tour manager guy comes to grab us from our dressing room, at the end of their set, and he says, 'Come with me, Judas Priest wants to speak to you.' And we thought, 'Oh no, we're getting fired' [laughs]. And it was to give us shit for hiding from them. Because we were just too scared ... I don't know what the word is, not scared, but in awe of it all? We didn't want to press ourselves on them to say hello or anything. But they summoned us to their dressing room in Atlanta and that's where things got much better. They said, 'Look, we like you! Don't be shy. Don't be hiding away. Let's be buddies.' And we did 35 dates with them. I'd like to catch up with them one of these days... ."