More than 35 years after Judas Priest received a lifetime ban from Madison Square Garden, Rob Halford says he’s ready to return to the iconic New York venue.

“I’d love to go back there,” the frontman declared during an interview with Los Angeles radio station KLOS. “Because, it’s like CBGB used to be. It’s like the Whiskey a Go Go on the (Sunset) strip. These places where a lot of us saw the bands that changed our lives.”

It was June 18, 1984 when Judas Priest were handed their lifetime ban. The group received the infamous punishment after an especially rambunctious show, which featured beer bottles and fireworks thrown on stage, followed by fans rioting and ripping out seating.

“What a night that was,” Halford recalled. “Quarter of a million dollars worth of damage. Wow, talk about an extreme fun night of partying. It’s what happens at a metal show. Anything can happen, it’s chaos.”

The singer went on to note that the night’s antics were “never meant in a destructive way. It was exuberance. It was the enthusiasm for heavy metal that got a little bit out of control.”

Halford further revealed that he “was able to get back [to the venue] a couple of times. Once with [Iron] Maiden and once with Ozzy [Osbourne]. But Priest has never been back. Priest still have the worldwide blanket heavy metal ban from Madison Square Garden.”

Judas Priest recently announced their rescheduled 50th anniversary tour dates, though a stop in New York was not included on the list. To that end, Halford delivered a somewhat tongue-in-cheek plea for the band’s lifetime ban to be lifted.

“Come on Madison Square Garden. Give Priest another opportunity to play there,” the rocker declared. “And nail the seats down.”


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