Rob Halford described having a “devil on your shoulder” as a recovering drug addict, saying he still wanted to drink and use cocaine 33 years after he became sober.
The Judas Priest singer entered rehab in 1986 after his life began spiraling out of control as a result of his addiction issues. He’s previously said he’d be dead if he hadn’t given up the substances he was abusing.
“I wish I could have a drink, I wish I could have a smoke and do a line,” Halford told KNAC in a new interview. “I wish I could do all that, but I can’t. I’ve done all that. I’ve done all that and it nearly killed me. I wish I could do that because when I’m with my friends and they’re having a good time, and there’s this little devil on your shoulder, ‘Just have a quick shot. Do a shot of Jack.’”
He noted that “for those of us that are in recovery … that’s the biggest temptation: dealing with the little devil on your shoulder or the monkey on your back. When you are clean and sober, for a musician, particularly for my journey, it’s the greatest gift I was given. It was a gift. I can’t do this by myself. There’s another source helping. That’s just a thrill to share with the music at this point.”
Earlier this month, Halford told UCR that ever since he’s been “clean and sober, I’ve probably been more honest and truthful about myself than I ever have been.” He explained his approach to writing his memoir, which he expects to publish late next year.
“It’s going to have a lot of things in there that you’re going to go, ‘Oh, I’m not really interested in that,’” he said. “You’re also going to go, ‘Oh my God, I never knew he did that!’ But it’s going to make you feel happy, it’s going to make you feel sad. It’s going to make you feel angry, it’s going to shock you. It’s going to have all of the things that I think have been in most people’s lives.”