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Judas Priest’s Real-Life ‘Spinal Tap’ Lighting Rig Scare

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While ‘This is Spinal Tap‘ gained so much of its humor from the various onstage failures the group endured, it’s easy to forget that an accident — particularly one involving heavy equipment — can be life-threatening. Judas Priest once had a particularly scary moment, and they shared it with us for the latest in our series of ‘Real-Life ‘Spinal Tap’ Stories.’

The incident involved a lighting rig above the stage. As Glenn Tipton reveals, “Halfway through the set, one of the chains broke and it came down,” he tells us as Rob Halford chuckles. “Missed the drummer by inches, swung right across the stage and back, and missed us by a miracle. And eventually, it slowed down and stopped. We carried on with the number, as true professionals, do…But that was probably nearly the end of Judas Priest.”

“You could feel the draft as it went by,” Rob Halford, the self-proclaimed “Metal God” adds. “I remember singing…and the fans are going, ‘Yes!’ and the crew is going, ‘Oh, God. It’s the end of the band,’ because it was like a 2,000-pound gantry swinging like the pit and the pendulum.”

While it was terrifying for the band at the time, the guitarist can now look back and quip, “I think it blew Rob’s hair off.”

The band’s macabre sense of humor about it all results in four more stories, two of which involved Halford causing physical damage to Tipton, all in the name of metal. Watch the video above for all of it.

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