Archive for judas priest

…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.

California Steel

Posted in music, photography, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on August 3, 2009 by Kevin Estrada

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Judas Priest
Gibson Amphitheatre
Los Angeles, CA
August 2, 2009

Hard to believe that it was nearly 30 years ago that Judas Priest released their groundbreaking LP British Steel.  And yes, as Rob Halford told the crowd, it was an LP.  From beginning to end, Priest ripped through the legendary album in its entirety and through in a few fan faves…it was Metal History.

Set List:

Rapid Fire
Metal Gods
Breaking The Law
Grinder
United
You Don’t Have To Be Old To Be Wise
Living After Midnight
The Rage
Steeler
The Ripper
Prophecy
The Hell Patrol
Victim Of Changes
Freewheel Burning
Diamonds And Rust
You’ve Got Another Thing Coming

Photographed with my Canon 5D with a 70-200mm f 2.8 lens and my Nikon D300 with a 24-70mm 2.8 lens.

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Then And Now Series : Rob Halford of Judas Priest

Posted in music, photography, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on September 15, 2008 by Kevin Estrada

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(These photos and many others now available for sale.  Email: IamKevin@fairwarning.com)

These photos were shot over a quarter of a century apart. Besides losing his hair and growing a goatee, I am happy to say not much has changed. Okay, maybe the Halford of today stumbles around the stage a bit; okay, maybe his moves are a lot slower and safer then they used to be; okay, maybe he reads some of the lyrics off of a teleprompter strategically placed on stage; okay, maybe he can’t hit all those brutally high and long notes like he did in 1982 – but no one can argue that Rob Halford does not have the same passion, fury and angst that he did 26 years ago.

This is a man that has truly dedicated his life to Metal. Sure, Halford meandered here and there a bit, but he always came back around to what was in his soul – Metal. Rob Halford has arguably done more for this genre of music than anyone else in all of music. Halford is the guy who carved the heavy metal look by mixing leather, studs and denim; he is the guy who made Heavy Metal Vocals a true instrument and used them as a creative art-form; and he is the guy who made being a Metal Head respectable. Be proud Metal Heads, be proud.

Pasadena Openers…Malice

Posted in music, photography with tags , , , , , , , , , on June 26, 2008 by Kevin Estrada

Malice
Perkin’s Palace
March 16, 1984

***
Part four of a five-part series that I am doing this week on local L.A. bands in the ‘80s that were opening acts on some big gigs at my favorite venue as a kid – Perkin’s Palace in Pasadena California.
***

Malice originally formed in Portland, OR and transplanted themselves here in Los Angeles where the metal scene was exploding. After only six weeks of rehearsing, the band’s first gig came in November 1982 (Thanksgiving to be specific) appearing at The Troubadour in West Hollywood – headlining a bill with Metallica and Pandemonium as opening acts. Apparently Metallica drew 17 people, Pandemonium 120 and Malice 64. After three more shows Malice was headlining the Roxy and within two years they had their major label deal with Atlantic Records.

Malice were a very Judas Priest influenced band, with the vocalist sounding almost exactly like Halford – we sorta’ loved Malice for just that reason alone. All of their songs provided exactly what my buddies and I needed – healthy portions of loud, wailing guitars and strong, Halford-esque vocals.

Malice made their initial vinyl appearance on Metal Blade Records’ Metal Massacre compilation album – they were the only band to contribute two tracks – Captive Of Light and Kick You Down. The quintet’s demo quickly swept through the tape trading world and propelled Malice to the list of L.A.’s finest. Malice soon found themselves at the center of a record company bidding war. Atlantic Records snapped up the band in July 1984. Surprisingly, the band’s original demo comprised half of Malice’s first album, 1985’s In The Beginning.

I remember reading the rock mags and metal fanzines and seeing that Malice was poised for stardom based on their Judas Priest brand of Heavy Metal. This band had a great following, but somehow got lost in the shuffle of the Glam/MTV Hard Rock movement. Malice basically disappeared after their 1989 E.P.

Photographed with my trusty, smuggled in Canon AE-1 and a cheap, no name 70mm-210mm lens. Shot on Kodak negative film.



Help to save and preserve The Raymond Theatre (aka Perkin’s Palace):
http://www.raymondtheatre.com
RaymondTheatre@aol.com
http://www.myspace.com/raymondtheatre

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.