Judas Priest guitarist Richie Faulkner shares horrifying details of onstage aneurysm

Guitarist was rushed to hospital after performing at Louder Than Life festival and underwent major surgery

Roisin O'Connor
Wednesday 06 October 2021 09:21
Comments
<p>Richie Faulkner performing with Judas Priest in 2019</p>

Richie Faulkner performing with Judas Priest in 2019

Musician Richie Faulkner has shared details of the moment he suffered an aortic aneurysm while performing onstage in Kentucky.

The Judas Priest guitarist was playing with his band at the Louder Than Life festival in Louisville last month, when he experienced a medical emergency.

After being rushed to a nearby hospital, he underwent “emergency major heart surgery”. His partner, Mariah Lynch, later told his followers that the operation had been a success.

Faulkner has since issued a statement saying he had been “moved to tears” by the outpouring of support from “friends, family, my fantastic band, crew and management”, along with his fans.

“I think you all so much and although I have a recovery road ahead of me, as soon as I’m able to get up and running again, you’ll be the first to know and we’ll get back out there delivering the goods for you all!” he said via Rolling Stone.

“As I watch footage from the Louder Than Life festival in Kentucky, I can see in my face the confusion and anguish I was feeling while playing ‘Painkiller’ as my aorta ruptured and started to spill blood into my chest cavity.

“I was having what my doctor called an aortic aneurysm and complete aortic dissection. From what I’ve been told by my surgeon, people with this don’t usually make it to the hospital alive.”

Faulkner said things could have ended very differently had the band not had to play a shorter set than usual, due to Metallica’s scheduled headline performance after them.

“Would I have played until total collapse?” he asked. “If it hadn’t happened in such a high adrenaline situation would my body have been able to keep going long enough to reach the hospital?”

Enjoy unlimited access to 70 million ad-free songs and podcasts with Amazon Music Sign up now for a 30-day free trial

Sign up

He added: “We can always drive ourselves crazy with these things but I’m still alive thankfully. Whatever the circumstances, when watching that footage, the truth is, knowing what I know now, I see a dying man.”

Faulker also clarified to fans that his medical episode had come “totally out of the blue”, as he has no history of heart problems.

“If you can get yourselves checked – do it for me please,” he said. “Lots of love and see you down the front again soon.”

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in