‘Ripper’ Owens says he was ‘erased’ from Judas Priest story: ‘The only emails I get are threats’
Former Judas Priest singer Tim ‘Ripper’ Owens feels he’s been ‘erased’ from the band’s history and admits he finds the two albums he recorded with the band ‘shocking’ – 1997 Juggler and 2001 Demolition – are not available on Spotify or other major streaming services.
Talk to rolling stoneOwens expresses great pride and gratitude as he reflects on his time in front of Britain’s metal gods, a position he held from 1996 to 2003, but does not try to minimize his disappointment when asked about his legacy with Priest. following the inevitable return of Rob Halford. to the band.
Revealing he received the news of his contract termination from Priest on a fax that read ‘You’re out of the band’, Owens says he had no problem being fired – “I got it. It’s a business. When you think of Judas Priest, you mainly think of Rob, Glenn and KK, I was okay with that” – but the Ohio-born singer feels he was then ostracized by the industry team around the group.
When asked what he thought of Priest’s eventual acceptance into the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame, Owens said, “It’s a shame they can’t bring in members who were in the band. for almost 10 years and have been nominated for the Grammy Awards, two studio records, two live records, a DVD… Too bad they can’t do it.
“What appeals to me more than anything is that I haven’t even gotten a call from Judas Priest about this… There was never a call saying, ‘You were a big part of that. Here are the reasons why you are not inducted, but you were a big part of us and you are a big part of the family.’ There wasn’t even a phone call.
“This is how I see it: I’m in the Hall of Fame,” he adds defiantly. “I was in the band for almost 10 years. When someone says Judas Priest is in the Hall of Fame, I sang for Judas Priest, so I’m basically in the Hall of Fame.
“It would have been nice to get an email or a call. The only emails I get are threats. It’s a shame because we’re friends. It’s a shame that anything management, at the instead of, ‘We should probably send Tim a letter or a bottle of champagne thanking him for his years in the band’.”
Asked why his first outing with the band, Jugglerisn’t on Spotify, Owens admits “I don’t know.”
“It’s funny,” he continues. “I won’t make any money if they’re sold on Amazon and Spotify. I wouldn’t make any money from the sales. But the guys in the band would. I’m stunned. They would sell. I don’t know if they realize this, they must no longer need the money…
It’s still shocking that they somehow erased my time. At least Maiden plays [Bruce Dickinson’s replacement during his time away from the band] Blaze Bayley stuff live.”
Owens currently leads KK’s Priest, the band formed by former Judas Priest guitarist KK Downing.
The full interview with the singer can be read on rolling stone to place.