Judas Priest guitarist Glenn Tipton spoke to Heavy Consequence and opened up about the band’s infamous Madison Square Garden concert. Tipton remembered when he and his former bandmate KK Downing went to the place after the incident.
On January 4, 1984, Judas Priest released their ninth studio album ‘Defenders of the Faith.’ They decided to promote the record with their Metal Conqueror Tour, which started on January 20, 1984, in Copenhagen and ended on September 13, 1984, in Tokyo. None of the band members probably guessed that one of the concerts would be a disaster.
The band’s performance at Madison Square on June 18, 1984, became unforgettable for both Judas Priest fans and members. The violent acts began during the pre-show after DJ Perry Stone introduced a setlist, including non-metal works.
Thus, the fans were so angry that they threw firecrackers, M-80s, Cherry Bombs, and assorted beer at him. Then, the audiences’ chairs started flying around the place during the band’s show. The band had to pay thousands of dollars and got banned from there.
According to Tipton, they didn’t cause a riot; he highlighted that their music was so good that the fans became too enthusiastic. After two months, he and Downing watched John McEnroe and tried not to get noticed by the staff. However, an usher saw them and thanked them for the new seats.
Tipton shared his ideas, saying:
“We were held responsible for a riot in Madison Square Garden. There was $400,000 worth of damage to the seats, but we didn’t cause a riot. The audience just enjoyed the music so much that they got overenthusiastic. We got banned from there.
However, a funny story was that I and KK went to Madison Square Garden about two months after the seats had been ripped out, and we snuck in there to watch McEnroe play. We thought nobody would notice us, but one of the ushers came up to us, bent down, and said, ‘Thanks for the new seats, lads!’ So, we refurbished Madison Square Garden.”
This incident happened were when Glenn Tipton and KK Downing were two bandmates who hung out together. Unfortunately, the two band members turned their backs on each other over time, creating disputes during interviews.