Former Judas Priest drummer John Hinch has died at the age of 73, with Judas Priest singer Rob Halford confirming the news. Hinch played on the band's first album, Rocka Rolla, but later went on to start a career in management. Halford took to Instagram to memorialize Hinch, posting a photo of the late musician along with the caption "RIP." No specific details about Hinch's death have been revealed publicly at this time.
Halford also spoke with Loudwire about Hinch's passing, saying, "His style was strong, direct and unique." The frontman added, "I'll be blasting Rocka Rolla today!" In addition to Halford's memorial, former Judas Priest guitarist K.K. Downing issued a statement about Hinch's death, as well. "I am extremely saddened to hear that John has passed away as he played his part so well in the creation and the history of Judas Priest," he said. "There are so many memories of crazy and fun times we all shared together."
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Downing added, "John was always so dependable and did everything to the best of his ability, including his drumming which looking back can only be described as faultless. The fact that he continued to play to his very last day is testimony to his ability and dedication to his love of the drums. I wish to give my sincere condolences to John's family and loved ones from myself and all of you forever. Rest in peace, John."
Sad to hear of the passing of John Hinch, drummer on the first @judaspriest album, Rocka Rolla from 1974, and who appeared with them in 1975 on the OGWT for their first TV appearance. https://t.co/lgqI2rQS7U— Neil O'Doherty Ⓥ 🤘🌍🚄🚴⚛️☮️🔬 (@eaglepeaknaod) April 30, 2021
Hinch was originally from Lichfield, Staffordshire, in England, and joined Judas Priest in 1973. He was the band's fifth drummer at that point. It is said that Hinch, after playing on the band's first album, left Judas Priest due to conflicts with lead guitarist Glenn Tipton.
After leaving, he began working in music management. Some of his past clients include British heavy metal band Jameson Raid and guitarist Uli Jon Roth, who is most well-known as the lead guitarist of The Scorpions. Few details about Hinch's personal life are available, though he appears to be survived by his ex-wife Jane Dayus, and their son, Fraser.