The Day Rob Halford Got A Lifetime Ban From Madison Square Garden After $250,000 Damage
Judas Priest’s The Metal Conqueror Tour became an unforgettable memory both for the band and the people who attended the show at Madison Square Garden. The fans always remembered not only the performance of the band but also the great damage in the place. A promotion tour turned into a disaster and a lifelong ban from Madison Square Garden.
The band released its ninth studio album entitled ‘Defenders of the Faith’ on January 4, 1984. It received very positive reviews and became a platinum album with becoming one of the best-selling metal albums. As a promotion of their new album, Judas Priest started The Metal Conqueror Tour on January 20, 1984. One infamous concert of the band which was performed on June 18, 1984, at Madison Square Garden caused a riot and great damage.
Why Was Judas Priest Banned From Madison Square Garden?
Judas Priest fans became very discontented and angry after the band’s setlist which was also featuring non-metal works of the band. There were more than twenty thousand people at Madison Square Garden during the performance. The band’s preshow DJ was on the stage, the people started booing and throwing very dangerous things on the stage.
Their DJ Perry recalled these times saying:
“Naturally, the crowd of 20,000-plus booed me when I introduced myself but began to get truly unruly when I read that list of uncool acts. The crowd proceeded to throw firecrackers, M-80s, Cherry Bombs, and assorted beer bottles at me.”
Here’s what Rob Halford said about that night and their ban:
“The horrible thing is that if we did play Madison Square Garden, there would be some enthusiast who was there from the original riot with his pen knife out. It would start all over again! So, it’s probably best.”
Due to the frustrated crowd’s throwing the flammable objects and ripping off the seats, Madison Square Garden was heavily damaged which cost $250,000. Judas Priest wasn’t allowed to perform at Madison Square Garden anymore and had to pay all the damages that their fans caused. Apart from the statements of the band members, there were only a few photos left from the infamous concert. Later, Halford stated that the riot would happen again if they continued to perform there.