Lemmy Kilmister and Rob Halford’s friendship dates back to the 1970s when Motörhead and Judas Priest started to share the same stage. The two spent so much time together and collected good memories for over four decades. Their friendship was admirable, so it was quite challenging for Rob Halford to cope with Lemmy’s passing.
Motörhead and Judas Priest performed together for various shows throughout the years. Both Lemmy and Rob were in awe of each other’s talent and were supportive of each other’s work. Despite this, it seems there was a band Lemmy Kilmister would choose in a versus with Judas Priest.
Like Motörhead, Judas Priest made remarkable contributions to the metal music scene. It’s not a surprise it was a big event to see the two metal gods perform on the same stage. Throughout the years, Motörhead and Priest played together on the Operation Rock ‘n’ Roll Tour, Snake Bite Love Tour, and Metal Masters Tour. These occasions marked the beginning of a long-lasting friendship between Rob Halford and Lemmy Kilmister.
Rob and Lemmy were two close friends who liked having fun together between the shows. After Lemmy’s passing in 2015, Halford remembered the metal icon with their unforgettable memories and paid tribute to the musician in various statements. He also received a bullet containing the late Motörhead frontman’s ashes, carrying it as a pendant to remind him Lemmy is always by his side.
Although this was the case, Lemmy Kilmister approached things objectively and put his closeness with Judas Priest aside in a 2001 interview. When asked to choose between Judas Priest and Iron Maiden, Kilmister simply said, “Iron Maiden.” To reveal his reasons why, the metal god added, “Because they are faster.”
Lemmy also toured with Iron Maiden throughout North America in 2003, along with Dio. Two years later, he made a cover version of Maiden’s iconic song ‘The Trooper’ on the tribute album ‘Numbers From The Beast: An All-Star Salute To Iron Maiden.’ As it turns out, Lemmy preferred Maiden’s faster pace over Judas Priest’s sound, and he made a fair comparison as he was close with both bands.