Back in the day, when I lived in San Diego, I ate my breakfast every Friday morning at a hipster place called the Hash House a Go-Go. For some reason they were never busy on Friday mornings, perhaps the hipsters had to do their hair or buy new skinny jeans on that day. Anyway, the “House” as we called it (and yes I am aware that is a pretty hipster nickname) was famous for making Belgian waffles with apple-smoked bacon inside of them. Not pieces mind you, full strips, and it was delish.
So on this particular Friday after I’d given my order, I noticed a gentleman who was not only dressed in leathers at 9 in the morning but looked oddly like Rob Halford of Judas Priest. He was drinking water and eating a bagel. I tried not to stare because if it really was Mr. Halford it would be utterly ridiculous. I ordered my bacon waffle, and casually mentioned to my waitress in hushed tones, that the leather man looked like a healthy Rob Halford. She laughed and said, “That’s because it is; he comes in a couple of times a week.” Seriously? … Of all the gin joints...oh wait, wrong movie. Of all the places to cross paths with one of the kings of metal, a hipster hash house? WTF Universe?
My waffle was delivered and the thing was huge, freaking ginormous, and I felt eyes on me. I looked up to see the Lord of Metal looking curiously at me and my giant waffle.
He leaned over, smiled, and asked, “Is it as good as it looks? “
I was speechless for a moment, which if you know me is no mean feat... “Yep it is, would you like to taste it?” I asked shyly. (And no that was no innuendo)
He nodded. “That would be lovely,” he replied in a fairly thick English country accent. I cut a largish corner off my waffle, put it on the extra plate and handed it over. I have to say he looked fantastic... Super healthy, shaved head, tan wearing jack boots, black jeans, a wife beater, and a studded leather vest. This guy worked out.
He tasted the waffle, made with the OMG eyes, and hailed the waitress, ordering his own waffle like a child tasting their first Snickers bar.
He then gestured towards his table and asked if I would like to join him. How could I resist this walking bible of Metal History? I moved my food over and introduced myself. One of the most charming things was that, although he was hearing Synde, he pronounced it closer to Sandy.
We talked about music, health, and why he had chosen San Diego as his current home. San Diego has a very open and comfortable gay community and he felt very at home and accepted there. He told me some pretty awesome stories about Ozzy who was born in a town very close to Rob and they had known each other early on. He talked about all the Iron Maiden issues and even a bit about the “new” metal. (Metallica, Megadeth)
After we finished, he insisted on paying for both of us, and who was I to argue? Metal God remember? I thanked him, hugged him and we both went our separate ways. I never ran into him in San Diego again, which was sad, as he was one of the most charming musicians I have met. I experienced no crazy ego on his part at all. He never once pulled the MR JUDAS FUCKING PRIEST title on me. He simply was.
I hope he is doing well...it was a fantastic day that I will always remember.