During a recent interview with TotalRock, Judas Priest’s Rob Halford reflected on performing with Dolly Parton at last year’s Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame induction ceremony. Notably, he also revealed that he was approached about taking part in the country legend’s upcoming rock album.
Halford said the following:
“She was great. This thing about ‘don’t meet your heroes’ — she is the epitome of just being so beautiful and pure. Everything you know about that woman, she’s like that 24-7. I don’t think she ever takes her wig off. She’s incredible; she’s absolutely incredible. And I had no idea. They said, ‘Would you like to be on the stage with Simon Le Bon [DURAN DURAN] and Pat Benatar and Annie Lennox and Pink and Sheryl Crow and the ZAC BROWN BAND. And I go, ‘Yeah, I wanna be on that.’ When they go, ‘Would you like to sing some of the song with Dolly?’ I’m, like, ‘Let me sit down for a minute.’
So, we did that, and I was over the top, ’cause I was all over like a rash — I was like a total fanboy. I thought, ‘Oh, God. I’ve blown it here now.’ After the show, her manager came up to me, Danny [Nozell], and he goes, ‘She’s doing a project, like a rock album. Would you be interested?’ I said, ‘Yeah. Here’s my number.’ And then, out of the blue, like four weeks later, and suddenly [there’s] ideas for some more work.
So, all these magical things happened. But she’s Dolly. And she’s so beautiful. She’s this beacon of light. And when you think about all the thousands of songs that she’s sung and the people that she’s met and worked with. She’s an absolute national treasure in the U.S.A., and around the world. I know Brits love her. [She played at] Glastonbury [festival]. She thought, ‘Glastonbury. Nobody knows who I am.’ Everybody was singing along with Dolly. Everybody knew every single word that she did, of the songs that she’s made. So that was just a joy.
You know, you go through life when you’re doing all these things, and you’re having a blast, and then out of the blue, here’s me and there’s Dolly. I look at it and I go, ‘Was that real? Did it really happen?’ It’s a joy. It’s the blessings that can happen to you with music. The doors are always opening — ‘Try this. Try that.’
Even though I’ll always be a metalhead till the day I die, I’ve always felt that you should explore anything that comes your way. Don’t just say ‘no’, ’cause you don’t know what you’ve lost. So that was just a real thrill. And to see the picture — there’s one very great picture of me and her that went viral, ’cause it just seemed so odd. Not odd in a funny way. What it did was it reinforced this thing about, it doesn’t matter what kind of music you’re into, what kind of style of music you play or you love or whatever, we’re all connected. So you get Dolly and Simon and Pink and me, we’re having a chinwag, and it’s like we’re best mates. We probably met each other for the first time in our lives, but the music is the common denominator.
When you get a chance to meet all these incredible people and you’re chit-chatting, like Simon Le Bon and Dolly and Pink and me and a bunch of other people, even though we’re from different dimensions of music, there’s a common denominator because that’s what we live for; that’s what we make. Music is music is music. So I’ve never lost that plot in the value of the friendship that music can build, no matter where you are from that world. It all connects.”
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