At this point, it’s probably easier to list off all of the 1980s metal musicians that haven’t written a memoir rather than try and name all who have committed their history to paper. Once you start seeing books by Ratt’s Stephen Pearcy and the drummer for Five Finger Death Punch, it’s probably time to stop handing out book contracts.
Rob Halford though is one of the few metal musicians who actually has a story worth hearing. As front man for Judas Priest – one of the most influential metal bands of all time- Halford has influenced a generation of heavy metal singers. He has one of the most recognizable voices in rock and with Priest has sold over 50 million records across the globe. He also happens to be the first openly gay musician in a genre not known for its embrace of the LGBTQ community. And it just so happens, he has a phenomenal collection of stories about life as a metal god.
Confess, true to its title, doesn’t hold back. It’s Halford being remarkably frank about everything, from his working class childhood where he discovered a love for theater and performing before eventually finding his role in music, to his drug and alcohol abuse and a slew of doomed to fail relationships. Halford at his most famous, knew that coming out as a gay man would likely kill his career, so in a darkly humorous passive aggressive act started slipping into songs coded references to his own sexuality (On a song like “Jawbreaker,” he didn’t even bother with subtleties). Even the leather biker getup was a little obvious Halford admits now.
Confess manages to be both dark and at times endearing. Halford’s openness, despite some dark themes, allows for his humor to shine through resulting in an overall optimistic tone to the book. It may have taken a while for Halford to tell his story, but it was certainly worth the wait.