May 11, 1993
(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.