Judas Priest's Guitarist Richie Faulkner Suffers Major Heart Condition, Rest of US Tour Postponed
Announced on Rob Halford's Facebook Page, Judas Priest will be postponing their US tour due a serious medical heart condition of guitarist Richie Faulkner which landed him in the hospital.
“It is with deep regret that we have to postpone the rest of our US tour..Ritchie has major medical heart condition issues which have landed him in hospital where he is being treated..in the meantime we are all sending love to our Falcon for a speedy recovery..as soon as we have any updates from his doctors on when we can reschedule the dates we will of course announce them..tickets will be valid”
On 20 April 2011, Faulkner was appointed as the successor of guitarist K. K. Downing in heavy metal band Judas Priest. A mutual friend, guitarist Pete Friesen, recommended him to the band.
Friesen and Faulkner had played together in a cover band in London called Metalworks, which coincidentally is also the title of a Judas Priest compilation released in 1993. They called him on a wrong phone number, so they sent him two emails. Faulkner thought they were junk mail, so he deleted them. The band began to track him down and eventually got his real phone number. When Faulkner got a call from the band's management, he thought it was a joke. He went to Glenn Tipton's house the next day to meet him and Rob Halford was present as well. They had a discussion and Faulkner played a few pieces for them. They sent him a few tracks because they wanted to hear what he would play on those tracks on the solos, and they went from there. Faulkner returned about a week later and they offered him the gig. He kept it a secret for a month until the official announcement.
Faulkner's first performance with Judas Priest occurred on 25 May 2011 on the TV show American Idol, where the band performed "Living After Midnight" and "Breaking the Law" with James Durbin. Faulkner's first album with Judas Priest was Redeemer of Souls, released in 2014.
Vocalist Rob Halford and guitarist Glenn Tipton have credited Faulkner with saving Judas Priest. Halford said in a 2015 interview; "Let's face it, to some extent Richie saved Judas Priest, because if we hadn't have found him at the crucial time that we were looking for a guitar player things could have turned out quite differently."
In 2015, Faulker was awarded the Dimebag Darrell Shredder Award by the readers of British magazine Metal Hammer at their annual Metal Hammer Golden Gods Awards.[
On 9 March 2018, Judas Priest released their second album with Faulkner, Firepower, which debuted and peaked at No. 5 on the Billboard 200 chart, becoming the band's highest charting album. (Source Wikipedia)
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