Name: Ron Evans
Age: 40 years. Rocka Rolla was released on my birthday, one year before I was born!
Occupation: I’m the owner operator of a flooring installation company.
Please tell us something about your history as a Judas Priest fan? How did it start?
I was 13 years old the first time I ever heard of the band Judas Priest. Before that I didn’t like heavy metal at all, liked some old rock and roll and country. A friend at the time played me a song called Love Bites, and the following year Painkiller came out. So of course I asked my dad to buy it for me. He did, and I played it every day for months. This was the first time I had ever really heard heavy metal.
The following Christmas my dad and his girlfriend bought me all the Judas Priest cassettes: from Rocka Rolla to Ram It Down, completing my Judas Priest discography. I went to my room, and played every cassette completely though, and then played them all again. I also got t-shirts, backpatches and a bumper sticker, and my Judas Priest collection started. Now almost 30 years later I have 608 pieces and counting. I collect everything and anything from Judas Priest…
Could you name a few items in the collection you consider rare, difficult to acquire, or which have some special meaning to you?
In my collection I have an original Rocka Rolla advertisement from the UK, dated the day after the release of the first record, September 7, 1974. This is probably my rarest piece. I also have three itinerary tourbooks, two from Ram It Down and one from Jugulator tour. Only band, management, and crew get these unique books outlining the tour schedule.
By the way, how hard is it to find Priest memorabilia nowadays?
Judas Priest memorabilia is really hard to find these days, especially in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada where I’m from and live. So I buy online, and I travel to the United States. Also one friend of mine brings me albums from the UK, when she’s there visiting family.
Are there any items on your wantlist you’re still hunting?
I’m looking for anything Judas Priest, but especially original handbills, programs and tour passes… and I still need a setlist, drum sticks, and a K.K. Downing guitar pic… l did recently receive a Metal For Men pic. I’m always on the hunt for that one extra special piece, like a guitar pic, stage worn wristband or an original hand written songdraft…
I guess you’re a drummer too? There seems to be a drumkit in pictures…
Sorry to disappoint, but the drums are not mine, I’m a lyricist and a singer…
How many times have you seen Judas Priest live, and of those, what was the best experience?
I’ve been fortunate enough to have seen Judas Priest live 4 times. Painkiller 1990,
Jugulator 1998, Nostradamus 2008 and Redeemer Of Souls in 2015. I drove from Halifax to Toronto 22 hours to see Nostradamus, and then drove another 22 hours back home. To pick my favorite one out of these 4 would be hard.
Judas Priest always puts on such a good show. Painkiller was my first concert, so it was over the top for me. Jugulator show I got to meet the band after the show. Nostradamus was my first show with Rob back in the fold. Redeemer Of Souls, in my hometown, was the icing on the cake. I got to meet the whole band before and after the show. I did however missed K.K., but respect his decision to retire. I’m still a big fan of his.
What does the music of Judas Priest mean to you?
Judas Priest’s music has been the soundtrack to my life. The anthems, the ballads, the sheer metal. It helps me relax, it puts a smile on my face when I went through a dark periods in my life.
What is your favourite album and song?
I love all the albums, but Defenders Of The Faith has a special place in my heart. Love Bites started this fantastic journey. Painkiller was the first Judas Priest album I ever owned, so I played the hell out of it. My favorite songs are, and in no order, Love Bites, Beyond The Realms Of Death, A Touch Of Evil, Out In The Cold, Fever, just to name a few. I really could keep going…
Your message to K.K. and the Millworkers?
I would like to thank the Millworkers for this opportunity, and for the Steel Mill for keeping me and the fans alike in touch with our metal legend. Keep up the good work! And to K.K. Downing, I miss you on stage with the rest of Judas Priest, but I respect you as a musician and a man. You are, and always will be Judas Priest.