Judas Priest Guitarist Richie Faulkner Chronicles Second Heart Surgery


Judas Priest guitarist Richie Faulkner performing at Freedom Hill near Detroit, Michigan.

Judas Priest guitarist Richie Faulkner – Story and photo by Anne Erickson

Richie Faulkner says that although he recently had to undergo a second heart surgery, he’s ready to go out on Judas Priest’s upcoming tour

It was roughly a year ago when Judas Priest guitarist Richie Faulkner almost passed away when his aorta ruptured onstage during the metal outfit’s performance at Louder Than Life festival in Louisville. This week, Faulkner took to social media to mark the anniversary of the terrifying event, plus open up about some news that he recently underwent a second open heart surgery.

Looking back, it was Sept. 26, 2021, when Judas Priest were wrapping up their performance at the festival when Faulkner’s aorta ruptured during the famed metal song “Painkiller.” He was rushed to the hospital and underwent a life-saving emergency surgery. After the incident, he described the outcome of the procedure, stating, “Five parts of my chest were replaced with mechanical components…..I’m literally made of metal now.”

Now, Faulkner is sharing that he’s not “completely of out the woods yet” and recently had to have another heart surgery. He took to Instagram this week to explain his condition and the recent surgery:

“One year ago today. Less than an hour before my life changed forever. It’s crazy how one minute you’re listening to the crowd singing [Black Sabbath’s] ‘War Pigs’ — everything normal, everything seemingly fine- the next it turns out that it was almost the last time I ever heard it. Unbeknownst to me there was stuff going on under the surface that was about to literally explode. I’m fortunate and grateful to be here a year later typing this. My support system at home, the hospitals and of course from all you metal maniacs has been second to none and I thank you all.

I’m not completely out of the woods yet.

Just before we toured Europe, scans showed a hole in one of the connections between the synthetic graft and my own aorta that was causing a leak. The blood from the leak was forming an 8cm sack that was surrounding my heart. The doctors were okay for me to tour Europe, but as soon as I got back I had to go under again for another open-heart surgery. So 3 days after we played Belgium, they went in, removed the sack and fixed the leak.

So I’m now six weeks post the 2nd open heart surgery, feeling well and strong and looking forward to seeing you all again on the next leg of the US #50heavymetalyears tour starting in a few weeks. My surgeons were always confident that it was enough time for me to recover and get back out on the road and it seems like they were right. We had to lose @aftershockfestival in order for me to recover, but it looks like it’s still gonna be a Kick-Ass festival.

Look after yourselves and your loved ones, you never know what’s round the corner.”

Faulkner will head out on tour with Judas Priest for a fall U.S. run, which sets off Oct. 13 in Wallingford, Connecticut, and wraps up Nov. 29 in Houston, Texas.

Anne Erickson
Latest posts by Anne Erickson (see all)
Posted by Anne Erickson | Metal, Music, Rock News

Related Posts