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Judas Priest frontman can’t watch festival footage following Faulkner’s near-death experience

Richie Faulkner, guitarist for the heavy metal band Judas Priest, performs in concert at Rogers Place in Edmonton on Tuesday June 11, 2019.

Judas Priest star Rob Halford can’t watch footage of the band’s last gig, because he doesn’t want to see his guitarist so close to death.

The singer admits he’s still shaken up by the fact Richie Faulkner suffered an acute cardiac aortic dissection during the band’s performance at the Louder Than Life festival in Kentucky last month.

Faulkner was rushed to a nearby hospital minutes after leaving the stage and a cardiothoracic surgery team spent 10 hours saving his life.

Halford has spoken with the guitarist and assures fans Faulkner is “healing,” but he has no interest in watching his bandmate fighting for his life.

“I can’t look at that yet,” he said. “I’m still shook up, emotionally. Eventually I’ll try to watch the footage, but he (Richie) says in his own words when he looked at that footage he sees a dying man, which is basically what it was.

“It’s just incredible that he got through that song and he came to the dressing room and he got changed. Even after the paramedics told him he needs to go (to) the hospital and get a proper look at the stuff, he was like, ‘Yeah, I’ll be back. I’m going home for a couple days after this show, I’ll see you guys in Denver’, and walked out the door and then probably less than an hour later he was having over 10 hours of heart surgery. It’s just unbelievable.”

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Faulkner, who is now resting at home in Nashville, Tennessee, has seen the Louder Then Life footage and says, “I can see in my face the confusion and anguish I was feeling whilst playing Painkiller as my aorta ruptured and started to spill blood into my chest cavity.

“Luckily, it was about half way into the song, so obviously, I had to finish the song. If I had known how important it was, maybe I would have got off there a bit quicker. But I think that’s the whole point for me. I had no idea whatsoever what it was. Luckily, it was a short set, and we would have come off stage anyway. Otherwise, I don’t know I would have come off stage.

“The more I read about it, the more astonishing it is to me to think that I even made it to the hospital. The amount of time when I actually got the pain and when I turned up in the hospital and when we were actually operating, it was quite a lot of time… I don’t know how I’m still around today.”