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Hell Bent For Leather: Ray Brown, The Man Who Dressed JUDAS PRIEST and More

Posted by on July 3, 2018 at 12:24 pm

Judas Priest wearing stage clothing designed by Ray Brown during the Screaming for Vengeance Tour, 1982/1983.

A native of Australia, one Ray Brown's clients in his early days was AC/DC vocalist Bon Scott whom Brown dressed a few times prior to his death in February of 1980. Already an established tailor, Brown picked up and moved to London where he started selling some of his designs on King's Row having some success dressing other musicians such as Adam Ant.

Brown's big break would after his move to Los Angeles in 1980, nearly broke he started making custom jeans with a rented sewing machine. Next came a request from Tommy Shaw of Styx to create clothes for the bands upcoming Paradise Theater Tour in 1981–specifically a pretty legendary red jumpsuit for the hard-to-fit Shaw. Brown's work for Styx's stage clothing for the tour would end up launching his long career of making clothing that in some cases has become not only synonymous with metal, but also with metal institutions such as Judas Priest–a band Brown has dressed for over 30 years.

Even though the mighty Priest wasn't the first NWOBHM band to be dressed by Brown (we'll get to that in a future post about Brown's very metal clientele), he did swoop in during a very pivotal period in the band's career. The year was 1982, and Judas Priest had just released their eighth record, Screaming for Vengeance and were about to embark on their massive World Vengeance Tour. Were the boys of Priest wearing leather and studs before Brown came along? Of course. Once Brown started working with Priest, the joint venture seemed to help solidify Judas Priest would always look as metal as fuck in real leather up on stage. Brown still dresses members of the band, most notably metal god Rob Halford and other members of Priest for the Firepower World Tour. I've posted photos of Priest in Brown's sick stage-wear in chronological order below. Devil horns OUT!

Judas Priest in clothing designed by Ray Brown for the World Vengeance Tour 1982/1983.

 

Judas Priest dressed by Brown for the US Festival in California in 1983.

 

Rob Halford and Glen Tipton at the US Festival in 1983.

 

Judas Priest guitarist KK Downing in clothing designed by Ray Brown for the US Festival in 1983.

 

Judas Priest dressed in clothing designed by Ray Brown for the Fuel for Life Tour in 1986.

 

A vest designed for Rob Halford by Ray Brown worn during the Fuel for Life Tour.

 

A jacket designed by Ray Brown worn by Rob Halford during the Fuel for Life Tour.

 

Pants designed by Ray Brown for Rob Halford worn during the Fuel for Life Tour.

 

KK Downing, Rob Halford, and Glen Tipton in clothes designed by Ray Brown for the Fuel for Life Tour.

 

KK Downing, Rob Halford, and Glen Tipton photographed wearing clothing designed by Ray Brown while on location shooting the videos for "Turbo Lover" and "Locked In."

 

Rob Halford in clothing designed by Ray Brown during The Mercenaries of Metal Tour in 1988.

 

Judas Priest in clothing designed by Brown for the Painkiller Tour in 1990.

 

Glen Tipton in clothing designed by Ray Brown for the Painkiller Tour.

 

Ian Hill in clothing designed by Ray Brown for the Painkiller Tour.

 

KK Downing in clothing designed by Ray Brown for the Painkiller Tour.

 

Rob Halford in an elaborate leather jacket designed by Ray Brown for the Painkiller Tour.

 

KK Downing in clothing designed by Ray Brown for the tour in support of the 30th Anniversary of British Steel in 2009.

 

Rob Halford in clothing designed by Ray Brown for The Epitaph World Tour in 2011/2012.

 

Halford showing off his silver coat designed by Ray Brown for the current Firepower World Tour.

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