Judas Priest’s Richie Faulkner Thanks ‘Wild Thing’ for Music Start
"Wild thing ... we think we love you." Had it not been for The Troggs' 1966 single "Wild Thing," Judas Priest might not have guitarist Richie Faulkner in its ranks. The guitar great recently spoke with the Music Experience's Squiggy for our Gear Factor series and revealed the role that The Troggs classic played in his musical upbringing.
When asked about the first song he learned, Faulkner pointed to "Wild Thing," but admits, "It was sort of like three chords and I wasn't playing it in the right key or the right voicings or anything, but to me it sounded like 'Wild Thing.'"
The guitarist says that his attempt at "Wild Thing" also set off a musical revelation. "I actually remember, my dad had a friend in a band called the Angelic Upstarts and they used to do a punk rock thing around London and he lent us this guitar. He painted it himself, and I think it was like a Melody Maker, an old Melody Maker or Les Paul Jr. with a double cutaway special thing and he painted it fluorescent red, with fluorescent yellows, green, blues, purples spread all over it. It was an amazing punk guitar," recalls the guitarist. "I went out in front of the street in front of my house and I was playing what I thought was 'Wild Thing,' and an old lady walked by and she put 10 pence on the wall. She laid it there, and I thought, 'Hold on a minute.' It's like a lightbulb went off."
When it came to guitarists who've inspired Faulkner, there's one name that tops the list -- Jimi Hendrix. "It was Jimi at Monterrey... it was just the visual, the sonic assault that Jimi gave and visually as well. Just the whole thing, it was out of this world really and still continues to be unmatched," says Faulkner.
The guitarist also opens up during the chat about the first time onstage where he really became aware that he was in a zone onstage and had the full attention of the audience while playing and he speaks about coming to terms with being in Judas Priest after years of playing their music as a tribute in cover bands and what has made that transition a smooth one. Faulkner also reveals the origins of his nickname, "The Falcon," including the Priest member who bestowed that moniker upon him. Watch Squiggy's full Gear Factor interview with Judas Priest's Richie Faulkner in the player above and catch Faulkner playing with Judas Priest supporting the Firepower album at these locations.
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