Archive for Halford

…Introducing…Judas Priest – 2011

Posted in music, photography, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on May 26, 2011 by Kevin Estrada

Judas Priest

May 24, 2011

Renaissance Hotel : Hollywood, CA

The Judas Priest saga continues…and luckily into my hometown.  I was lucky enough to be invited to the official debut of Judas Priest 2011.  The addition of new guitarist Richie Faulkner and exit of founding member K.K. Downing was the initial focus of the gathering, but discussions of the band’s upcoming farewell tour – The Epitaph Tour – and the future of Judas Priest soon took over.

The band blended very well with the K.K. Downing / Point Of Entry looking Faulkner, who seems to be bringing some well needed energy and youthfulness to the Metal Godfathers.  It will be interesting to see what 2011 brings us – it has already brought Judas Priest into our living rooms last night via American Idol.  Long live Metal! What’s next?

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K.K. says Bye Bye

Posted in music, photography with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on April 25, 2011 by Kevin Estrada


K.K. Downing

Long Beach Arena, CA

November 21, 1982

I thought I was bummed out when Judas Priest announced late last year that the band was planning to hang up the towel and retire.  Then, the news was released that the band had rethought their decision and had plans to record a new album and possibly play some select dates around the world.  Now, this past week, founding member, K.K. Downing, has announced that he has made the decision to leave Judas Priest.

The hard rock world is in shock by this news.  Judas Priest released a press release on April 20th that explains that the band plans to continue on without K.K. Downing and announced Richie Faulkner as his “perfect” replacement. You can check out the Official Press Release below – straight from the band.

But something just does not seem right, something is wrong here.  It seems that K.K. was the main force in an attempted end to Judas Priest.  Now that Priest has decided to move on without Downing it is apparent that the band may have never really wanted to retire in the first place, it may have been a move and pressure by Downing alone.

We will have to wait and see if more official word is released by Halford and the boys.  I am shocked and disappointed to say the least.  I was never fired up with the Halford-less version of Judas Priest and I cannot see myself getting excited about Priest without K.K. – it just can never be the same.

I wish the band much luck, bit in all honesty, Judas Priest has already secured themselves in Rock N’ Roll History and have nothing to prove.  I would hate to see the band go out in a disappointing form.  Perhaps it is time for JP to hang up the leather.

Fight…For Your Right

Posted in music, photography with tags , , , , , , , , , on June 18, 2008 by Kevin Estrada

Rob Halford
Burbank, Ca
May 11, 1993

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(This photo and many others available for sale.  Email: IamKevin@fairwarning.com)

Rob Halford had shocked the Metal world the previous year by leaving Judas Priest and announcing he was forming a new band of his own – Fight. Halford had been living in Arizona and put together a team of young, hungry, aggressive metal-heads from the area. At that time, Halford was more influenced than influential and was very swayed by current and newer metal acts, particularly Pantera. For Halford, it was not only the music that was compelling to him, but also the lifestyle. Halford gained a new interest in his body – he began working out and toning his body, and with that came his passion for tattoos. His arms, legs, stomach, his head, and areas that I cared not to see, were decorated in tattooed art.

I met up with Rob Halford as he and the new band were in rehearsals for the first Fight tour. Before we started shooting, he and I spoke about what we wanted to get out of the shoot. We both agreed that we wanted something different – there were enough photos of Halford covered in leather, spikes and sunglasses floating around. I could tell that he really wanted to be looked at as a bad-ass – someone you would be afraid to pass by on the street or in dark alley. I also picked up on the fact that he was really into his body and tattoos and would like to show them off. I came up with the idea of going shirtless and just surrounding him in black, allowing his skin, his tattoos and his attitude to take over the photos. He loved the idea.

As we started shooting, he stood in a very strong, menacing stance – really capturing that bad-ass vibe that we spoke about. But as the shoot went on, and he and I established a rapport, he began to let his guard down. He became more and more comfortable in front of the camera, becoming less and less of a bad-ass and more and more of who he really is deep inside. At one point he lowered his trousers a bit so I could see that his lower abdomen also had artwork tattooed on it – the word “Grunt.” The “grunt” artwork led a lot lower than I cared to behold. We had all heard the rumors and I sure didn’t need to verify first hand. I remember telling Halford, “That’s cool…that’s low enough.” He smirked a bit, and the shoot continued.

I felt that Rob Halford and I really pushed our limits and the end result was one that showed a different side of Halford…at least a side that Halford had not publicly spoken about yet. I walked out of that shoot knowing that the two of us really accomplished our goal – we got a session that was really different than all the other sessions he had done.

Photographed with my Canon EOS-1, a Canon 28m-80mm f5.6 lens and a Novatron Strobe Light Kit. Shot on Fujichrome film.

What If…

Posted in music with tags , , , , , , on May 9, 2008 by Kevin Estrada

Black Sabbath with Rob Halford on vocals
Pacific Amphitheatre
November 14, 1992

Rock&Roll stars – especially Metal stars – have always felt like superheroes to me. Everything about them – their shrieking voices, stylized clothing and massive personalities – always seem so much larger than life. When I was a kid, I remember reading a Marvel comic book series called, “What if?” It explored alternate universes and asked questions like the infamous #1 issue, What if Spider Man joined The Fantastic Four? This photo of Rob Halford singing lead for Sabbath reminds me of that series.

To commemorate Ozzy’s “retirement”, a historical show was put together – Sabbath opening for Sabbath – Dio’s incarnation of Sabbath opening for Ozzy’s Sabbath. Just days before the show, out of respect for Ozzy, Ronnie James Dio decided to pull out. Rob Halford, a big time Sabbath fan, who happened to be in L.A. to present the original line-up of Sabbath with a Rock Walk Award in Hollywood, offered to step in. A few hours later, Sabbath was in rehearsals with Halford on vocals, and a major moment in metal history was underway.

As the amphitheater lights went dark, the intro to Priest’s Love Bites rang out and a jolt shot through the crowd. They had no idea what they were about to bear witness to, but they could sense that it was something big. The lights then fired up and Sabbath, fronted by Halford, busted into a blistering version of The Mob Rules. This was, without question, one of the most legendary gigs I ever shot.

Photographed with my Canon EOS-1 and a Canon 70-300mm lens using Kodak Ektachrome film.

In The Beginning…

Posted in music with tags , , , , , , , on April 30, 2008 by Kevin Estrada

Judas Priest – Long Beach Arena : November 21, 1982

One thing that seems to surprise people is the fact that I started shooting rock bands when I was a young teen. So this is for the old school fans…a look into my early roots. I am sure this will be the first in a series. This shot is from one of my all-time favorite concerts. I will never forget the way the arena exploded when the band opened with Electric Eye. Rob Halford stood raised above the drum riser – laser lights shooting recklessly. There was such a mad energy from the crowd that night. I remember thinking to myself, Heavy Metal music is about to explode. I am proud to say that I was right.

Photographed from my seat with my trusty, smuggled in Canon AE-1, an 80mm-300mm zoom lens with a 2x tele-converter attached.