Judas Priest guitarist Richie Faulkner reveals he suffered a ruptured aorta on stage
“Five parts of my chest have been replaced with mechanical components … I’m literally made of metal now”
Posted on October 06, 2021
Last week, Judas Priest was forced to postpone the remainder of his 50th anniversary tour after guitarist Richie Faulkner was hospitalized with “serious heart health issues.” Now Faulkner has revealed he is lucky to be alive after suffering a ruptured aorta during a performance.
In a statement shared by his band mates, Faulkner explained that he started to feel different from himself during Judas Priest’s set at the Louder Than Life Festival in Louisville, KY, last month (September 26).
“Looking at footage from the Louder Than Life Festival in Kentucky, I can see on my face the confusion and angst I felt while playing ‘Painkiller’ as my aorta ruptured and started to spill blood. in my chest cavity, ”he wrote. “I had what my doctor called an aortic aneurysm and a complete aortic dissection. From what my surgeon told me, people with the condition usually don’t make it to the hospital alive.”
Faulkner was taken to the Rudd Heart & Lung Center in Louisville and “quickly went into what turned out to be a 10½ hour emergency open heart operation.” He adds: “Five parts of my chest have been replaced by mechanical components … I’m literally made of metal now …”
Faulkner writes that “It could have turned out so differently” if Judas Priest had been booked for a headlining set, if the hospital had been further from the festival site, or if the adrenaline rush to kick in in front of a noisy crowd of headbangers had not sunk. through him.
“We can still drive ourselves crazy with these things, but I’m still alive luckily,” Faulkner explained. “Whatever the circumstances, looking at these pictures, the truth is, knowing what I know now, I see a man dying…”
Pictures from Louder Than Life’s “Painkiller” performance can be seen below, and around 2:30 am Faulkner comes out for a solo section and doesn’t miss any notes.
The guitarist thanked his friends, family, fans, band mates, team and management for their love and support, adding: don’t even have high cholesterol and that could have been the end for me. If you can get checked out please do it for me. “
We wish Faulkner a good recovery. Judas Priest was close to wrapping up his 50th anniversary tour with three Canadian dates in Halifax, Laval and Hamilton, all of which would have taken place in November.
After canceling the trek, the group shared that as soon as we have updates from [Faulkner’s] doctors on when we can reschedule the dates, we will announce them of course – the tickets will be valid. “