Richie Faulkner: “Getting the guitar back in my hands was what I needed to do to get back on track – to give me the strength to keep going”

Richie Faulkner
(Image credit: Mario Skraban / Getty)

For Judas Priest guitarist Richie Faulkner, September 26, 2021, started out like any other gig day. The band was scheduled to play support to Metallica on the fourth and final night of the Louder Than Life Festival in Louisville, Kentucky. Faulkner was a little tired, but after two and a half weeks on tour, that was hardly unusual.

He poured himself a vodka and Red Bull and downed it. Combined with the adrenaline of playing to a sold-out crowd, he soon perked up and was excited to take the stage dressed in trademark studded black leather vest and black leather pants, and wielding a Gibson Flying V. 

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Jon Wiederhorn

Jon is an author, journalist, and podcaster who recently wrote and hosted the first 12-episode season of the acclaimed Backstaged: The Devil in Metal, an exclusive from Diversion Podcasts/iHeart. He is also the primary author of the popular Louder Than Hell: The Definitive Oral History of Metal and the sole author of Raising Hell: Backstage Tales From the Lives of Metal Legends. In addition, he co-wrote I'm the Man: The Story of That Guy From Anthrax (with Scott Ian), Ministry: The Lost Gospels According to Al Jourgensen (with Al Jourgensen), and My Riot: Agnostic Front, Grit, Guts & Glory (with Roger Miret). Wiederhorn has worked on staff as an associate editor for Rolling Stone, Executive Editor of Guitar Magazine, and senior writer for MTV News. His work has also appeared in Spin, Entertainment Weekly,, Revolver, Inked, and other publications and websites.