Heavy metal guitarist suffers aortic aneurysm mid-performance at Kentucky music festival

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Photo courtesy of Judas Priest

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (KTVE/KARD) — On Sunday September 26, while performing at the Louder Than Life Festival in Louisville, Kentucky, Judas Priest guitarist Richie Faulkner suffered an aortic aneurysm while in the middle of the band’s final song of the night, ‘Painkiller’.

The band was forced to cancel the remaining dates of their 50th anniversary tour so that Faulkner could recover from emergency surgery.

Judas Priest – Painkiller footage courtesy of YouTube

In a statement, Faulkner explained, “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 whilst 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 reflected. “I was taken to nearby Rudd Heart & Lung Center and quickly went into what turned out to be a 10 ½ hour emergency open heart surgery.”

Faulkner is currently recovering and the band expect to hit the road again as soon as possible.

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