Richie Faulkner says “the power of heavy metal” kept him alive during his onstage aortic aneurysm

Richie Faulkner playing live
(Image credit: Mariano Regidor/Redferns via Getty)

Last year, Judas Priest electric guitar hero Richie Faulkner suffered a major aortic aneurysm in the middle of the band’s set at the 2021 Louder Than Life music festival in Kentucky.

In a series of subsequent updates issued to the general public, the severity of Faulkner’s medical emergency soon became more and more apparent. After undergoing a life-saving open heart surgery at the nearby Rudd Heart & Lung Center, the guitarist took to social media to say that “people with this don’t usually make it to the hospital alive”.

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month**

Join now for unlimited access

US pricing $3.99 per month or $39.00 per year

UK pricing £2.99 per month or £29.00 per year 

Europe pricing €3.49 per month or €34.00 per year

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Prices from £2.99/$3.99/€3.49

Matt Owen
Senior Staff Writer,

Matt is a Senior Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.