Whitfield Crane Claims He Was Offered Judas Priest Gig
Imagine being offered a chance to play with your musical heroes, but feeling like you should turn it down. According to Whitfield Crane, that's what happened when the Ugly Kid Joe singer had a chance to replace Rob Halford in Judas Priest.
"It was when Glenn Tipton was doing his  Baptizm of Fire record, and I got Shannon Larkin, our then drummer to play on it. He played two songs and replaced some badass drummers on that because it was click tracked," recalled Crane. "Glenn pulled Shannon and me aside and said, 'You boys can have the Priest gig if you want it,' and Shannon and I were pretty much into Priest. I mean, we loved Priest."
The vocalist continues, "All I said was this, 'Say it again.' And Glenn’s pretty fucking brilliant – I mean, he goes, 'What do you fucking mean, ‘Say it again’?' And I’m all, 'Just say it one time?' And he’s like, 'You can have the fucking Priest gig mate.'"
So how did it not happen? Crane explains, "I was thinking, we can’t do it, because you can’t be Rob Halford. You can’t be David Lee Roth. You can’t ... it’d be cool, and considering my love for Priest, which is immense, that would have been cool to do it, but not really. It’s not a good move. But to jam with Tipton and to know those guys ... I mean, those are my fucking heroes. Judas Priest, I mean, fuck. But man, old school Priest, Jesus, God. So, yeah, I got offered Priest, back in the day. I never said that to anyone."
As the timeline works out, Ugly Kid Joe disbanded in 1997, around the time Tipton was working on his album. Tim "Ripper" Owens joined Judas Priest in 1996, making his first recorded performance on 1997's Jugulator album. Meanwhile, Larkin rebounded after Ugly Kid Joe's split, working with Amen before landing his current gig with Godsmack in 2003.
Halford would eventually return to Judas Priest in 2003.
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