Rob Halford Once Joined Black Sabbath

Earlier this week we published Morley Seaver's new interview with St. Madness vocalist Prophet and during the conversation he spoke about when he was offered an audition for Black Sabbath. But the plot thickens as Prophet says that he was approached to replace Judas Priest frontman Rob Halford who had joined and quickly left Black Sabbath. Here is that part of the interview:

antiMusic: We talked about this in our last interview but for those who don't know about it, tell us about how close you came to being a member of Black Sabbath.

Prophet: Well this is a good story because a lot of bands will say, if you get offered a Monday night show or whatever, they'll say "Oh that show doesn't matter." But one day Franco Gagliano who owns The Mason Jar in Phoenix which was the Whiskey-A-Go-Go of Arizona...it was the most famous metal club ever. It's gone now which is really sad. But everybody played The Mason Jar including members of Black Sabbath.

So Franco calls one day and get Marge on the phone and says, "Can you do me a favour? I had a band pull out on me this coming Monday. Is there any way you guys can come down and play?" And because we love Franco so much...because we didn't play Mondays anymore. It was always Fridays or Saturdays. But we said, "Franco as a favour to you, of course we'll do it."

So we go and there's probably 30 people in the whole place. We were lucky to have that on a Monday, I thought. And we do our show and afterwards I'm sitting with my then-girlfriend and I'm smoking a cigar --- you could smoke in the clubs back then --- and I'm covered in blood and face paint. Marge comes running up to me and says, "Pat, you have to come with me right now. There's a man who wants to talk to you and it's something big."

So I get up and start walking towards the bar. Franco cuts me off and looks at me and says, "Pat, you listen to me. This guy who wants to talk to you. He's real and he's interested in you." And Franco was so excited. So now I'm really like, what the hell is going on? So I walk up to this guy and I don't recognize him. He shakes my hand and says, "Hi, I'm John Baxter. I manage Rob Halford." And I'm just in my mind like woah, Rob Halford? He goes, "You've got a hell of a band there. The problem is, I'm not looking for a band." I said, "Well, what are you looking for?" And he says, "A vocalist." And I'm thinking, well you already have Rob Halford, what the f*ck do you need? You've got THAT guy. He's the guy."

So I say, "Well for what?" And he says, "Black Sabbath." And immediately I could feel all the blood rush out of my legs and I said, "Could you repeat that?" And he goes, "For Black Sabbath." This was around January of 1997. And he says to me, "A lot of people don't know this but Rob actually joined Black Sabbath and they were planning a world tour and they were going to write an album but six months ago, Rob and Tony Iommi had a falling out. So now Tony Iommi has been auditioning guys for about six months. He hates every one of them. Doesn't like any of them. And I came out tonight just to hang out and I looked up there and I can see that you sound a bit like Ozzy and you move a bit like Ozzy. Do you think you could cover Black Sabbath music?"

I say, "Oh yeah. They're one of my favourite bands of all time."

He says, "I think I can get you an audition. Would you be interested in auditioning for Black Sabbath?"

And I say, "Well yeah. Sure. I would be glad to do it." So he says...and this is the truth what this man told me...he said, "I think you're the guy. I believe if you audition with them, they're going to take you because I know what Tony likes and you're the guy. And if you get the gig, then you're going to be doing me a favour too because you're going to put me and Rob in Tony's good graces again because we helped him find a singer."

So he gave me his card and he says call me on Friday. So the next four days I barely slept (laughs) and don't know how much I ate but I was pretty jazzed up. So I called him on the Friday and he immediately said, "Pat, you're not going to believe what just happened. Ozzy has literally just agreed to rejoin Sabbath and they're planning a world tour."

And half of me was jumping up and down going "Ozzy's back in Sabbath. F*ck yeah!!" And the other half of me was doing the 'ol Maxwell Smart thing, 'Missed it by that much.' Now I'm not saying I would have got the gig because I don't know what would have happened but it sure would have been an honour to go in there and play a song with Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler and hopefully Bill Ward. But you know what, just having Rob Halford's manager approach me and think that I was good enough to audition for Sabbath is like someone just handing me a Grammy. I was so honoured by that. I never take any of that stuff lightly, Morley. Every little thing...or big thing...that's come to our band, I never take it lightly because here today, gone later today like David Lee Roth says.

If you've got good things going on, be grateful. And stay a little bit humble. Humility goes a long way in this world. There's nothing worse than someone who's all into themselves. It's one thing when fans call you a legend or the king of metal or whatever, but when the artists start calling themselves that, it's a turn-off. It's important to keep humility because that's what keeps us teachable. When we stop being humble, we stop being teachable because we think we know everything.

So any award or gig we've played.....I mean, I said before that I was a huge Van Halen fan and we actually got to open for Van Halen a few years back. It was when they had Gary Cherone and I wasn't into at all but it was still playing for Eddie, Alex & Michael. They were playing with Monster Magnet and our stage was right near theirs. As our last note was ending, they were just starting it up. I could look over my shoulder and they were right there. What an honour!

I've got to do so many cool things in my life, Morley. Gosh, I could die right now and I've had a very full life in music.

Read the full interview here.

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