Former JUDAS PRIEST singer Tim "Ripper" Owens recently spoke to Cleveland's "The Classic Metal Show" (web site) about Rob Halford's decision to announce his homosexuality on MTV the very same day in 1998 that PRIEST were performing their first show with Owens as the singer.
"Well, you've got to remember that was at the time when Rob was doing the TWO thing," Tim explained. "You know, if anyone ever saw the [TWO] video, [Rob] would have had to come out and admit he was gay, you know. So I figured that it was something that he had to do for himself. You know, who really cares? Every show that PRIEST did on that tour, there were flyers passed out for the TWO band. It was a publicity thing that he was doing, and I believe that it was the timing even with that, because he could have came out a year before or whatever. I'm glad he did, and I think almost everybody is. Who cares? You know, I might care if it was somebody else, but for some reason it hasn't bothered me ever. He's the ultimate singer and the Metal God. But it was a publicity thing, and everybody does it. It backfired, and so be it." Elaborating further on the interviewer's observation that Halford's announcement came on the same day as Owens' first live appearance with PRIEST, Tim said, "Yeah, yeah. Yeah, he comes out to New York while we're there. He was even in the same hotel we were in. It was an odd thing. Maybe I'm gonna drop a bombshell on PRIEST one of these days, and I'll strategically plan it too! (laughing). I'm going to wait until they're in town and I'm going to stay in the same hotel and then release it, just to see what happens! It probably won't work. (laughing)" Listen to the entire 29-minute interview in Windows Media format at this location.