Judas Priest Frontman Rob Halford Sued by Longtime Manager
“Well Frankie Lee and Judas Priest/ They were the best of friends/ So when Frankie Lee needed money one day/ Judas quickly pulled out a roll of tens.” Judas Priest derived their band name from a fictitious fiscal dispute, a Bob Dylan song about money tearing two friends apart, and now that situation is becoming a reality for the heavy metal gods. Only this time, Judas Priest isn’t the one handing out the cash. John Baxter, the band’s longtime manager, has filed a $50 million lawsuit for contract breaches and commissions, as well as salary and expenses that date back to 1992.
Baxter, who was fired in August after personally representing frontman Rob Halford since 1982, accused Halford of lying by telling him that he was unable to pay him, reports Rolling Stone. Baxter was fired via a letter that claimed he had withdrew his sponsorship of Halford’s U.S. visa with malicious intent and posting unkind comments on Halford’s official website.
The Judas Priest band members posted their own statement on their website in August which reads: “There has recently been some nonsense and propaganda posted on the Internet including on Rob’s website, regarding the band and management. (Rob currently is not controlling his website and absolutely does not agree with the comments). We refuse to get drawn into any public arguments – it is below us and will be dealt with legally. The band have always jointly made any major decisions and have been with the same management team for over 25 years. Everyone knows and respects them in the music business and we have ultimate faith and trust in the way they have always guided us.”
Baxter’s camp claims that his termination was unjust and was simply to fulfill self-serving motives. The band is currently in the middle of their farewell tour.