Judas Priest will be headlining the first night of this year’s edition of Slipknot’s massive Knotfest festival, which takes place in San Bernadino, California on October 24th and 25th. In honor of the metal gods, this Massive Metal Monday takes us all the way back to 1977 for one of the band’s earliest breakthrough hits. “Diamonds and Rust” was actually composed by folk legend Joan Baez in 1974 and allegedly recounts her breakup with Bob Dylan a decade earlier. The lyrically altered and sonically turbocharged Priest version appears on the Sin After Sin album. The track remains a fan favorite and a staple of Priest live shows to this day.
When I was growing up in rural Indiana in the early ’80s, there was very limited access to heavy music. These were the days before MTV blew up with the whole hair metal, Headbangers Ball phenomenon. But on Sunday nights, there was a two-hour radio show that came from WOXY, just across the state line in Oxford, Ohio (home of Miami University of Ohio). It was called Massive Metal for the Masses and I would wait all week for it to air. It was through this show that I was introduced to bands like Venom, Bathory, WASP, Michael Schenker Group, Slayer, and countless others. This Monday weekly column is my tip of the hat to that show. I call it Massive Metal Monday. Every week, I will pay tribute to defining moments by the artists that laid the groundwork for heavy metal to become the worldwide cultural bond for all of us metal heads.