Judas Priest guitarist Richie Faulkner, who suffered a ruptured aorta while performing on stage last September, has announced he is on track to join the band when they return to touring.
“And we’re back!!” Faulkner proclaimed via Facebook. “Priests rehearsal in 2022!! It’s so good to be back after so much. Having these dates in the States has really given me something to aim for as part of my recovery process, and the guitar, as always, has been my medicine all along.”
Judas Priest was performing “Painkiller” during their set at the Louder Than Life Festival in Louisville, Ky. on September 26 when “Faulkner’s aorta ruptured and started pouring blood into my chest cavity.” The guitarist was immediately rushed to hospital after the show, where doctors performed more than ten hours of surgery to repair the damage. The rock giants have postponed the remainder of their 50 Heavy Metal Years tour to allow Faulkner to recuperate.
The rescheduled trek will begin March 4 in Peoria, Illinois. “It’s going to be emotional to see all those faces back there next week and I really can’t wait to see you all,” Faulkner admitted.
Earlier in the year, the band briefly performed with a lineup shake-up. In January, Judas Priest announced that they would be touring as a quartet for the first time since 1974, with guitarist and producer Andy Sneap sitting on the trek. Sneap expressed disappointment with the decision, while fans and former members decried the choice, noting the band’s famous double-guitar attack. Priest later announced that they would return to the quintet setup, with Sneap returning to the lineup alongside vocalist Rob Halford, Faulkner, bassist Ian Hill and drummer Scott Travis.
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