Durbin Recounts the Night He Had Dinner With Judas Priest
Posted on Feb 21st 2012 4:15PM by Carlos Ramirez
Most of the general public
came to know James Durbin as the "metal guy" on 2011's season
of 'American Idol.' The 23-year-old Santa Cruz, Calif. native was
one of the show's most popular finalists, showing off his expansive
vocal range on songs by the likes of Aerosmith, Sammy Hagar and Queen.
But it was on the 'American Idol' finale this past May, that Durbin
lived out a metalhead fantasy by performing a medley of 'Living After
Midnight' and 'Breaking the Law' alongside Judas Priest. "What
can I say about that night? It was beyond anything I could have expected
when I tried out for 'Idol.' I still can't believe it," Durbin
During the epic performance, Durbin traded vocal lines with Priest
mainman Rob Halford, owning the stage with the Metal God himself.
It looked like the two singers were old friends. "Actually, the
night before the 'American Idol' finale, I had dinner with Judas Priest
at an Italian restaurant in West Hollywood. It was a place on Santa
Monica Blvd, but I can't remember its name.
"Anyway, I'm in a cab, on the way to the restaurant, and I think
to myself, "What the hell am I doing?!" I couldn't believe
that I was going to be sitting at a table, eating dinner, with Judas
motherf---ing Priest! I didn't know what to expect. Were there going
to be strippers and blow there? Was there going to be a goat's head
on a pole, with blood splattered all over the wall? How about a pentagram
on the floor, surrounded by fire? Cause if that's going to be the
case, I should just turn around and go back home, cause that's not
my scene at all," laughs Durbin who recently released 'Memories
of Beautiful Disaster,' his debut solo album.
"So I get there, and
I ask one of the waiters, "I'm looking for Judas Priest."
He takes me to the back of the restaurant and I see the band sitting
at a table and Rob Halford pacing around the room. I later found out
that he has a lot of trouble sitting in one place. He needs to stay
"When it comes time to order the food, the band gets crab and
lobster. Oh, and they're all sipping on tea. They were all so mellow
and nice to me. We talked about life and music for hours. I can't
remember what we talked about specifically, because I was just living
in the moment. I'm thinking to myself, "This is the band for
me!" It's one of those moments where you're reminded that you
never know what to expect. Don't judge a book by its cover."
Durbin and guitar vixen Orianthi will be performing a concert on Friday,
March 2nd hosted by Center Staging in Burbank, Calif. The Help Kids
Rock! event is a fundraiser for the Rock School Scholarship Fund that
is open to all ages. Tickets for the fundraiser can be purchased for
$15 at www.rockschoolfund.org.