METAL CHURCH singer Mike Howe has told Myglobalmind that meeting Rob Halford and being on the road with the JUDAS PRIEST singer was “a huge highlight” of his career. “I can recall one time leaving the dressing room to go the stage and him telling me that he just got done listening to ‘The Human Factor’ and how it got him pumped up to go on stage,” Howe said. “I was, like, ‘Wow!’

“My favorite story that I like to tell about Rob is when I went back to my hometown of Detroit to play an outdoor area, my whole family came out to see the show,” he continued. “My mother, knowing Rob was a big influence [on me], asked if she could meet him. I told her, ‘After the show, at the meet-and-greet, I’ll introduce you to him.’ After our set, I came back out to the tent where my family had a big table. I saw Rob and asked if he would take a photo with my mom. He said, ‘Let me tell you something, Mike. Your Mom is just like my mom, and she already came over and got her photo with me.’ [Laughs] I thanked Rob and went over to the table and saw my mom with her head down looking like a little girl who got her hand caught in the cookie jar. It was so awesome.”

METAL CHURCH supported JUDAS PRIEST on the “Operation Rock & Roll” tour in 1991. Also appearing on the bill were ALICE COOPER, MOTÖRHEAD and DANGEROUS TOYS. The trek, which was assembled in honor of the troops fighting in “Operation Desert Storm” in the Middle East, was PRIEST‘s final tour with Halford before his exit from the band in July 1991 and return 12 years later.

METAL CHURCH‘s 12th full-length studio album, “Damned If You Do”, will be released on December 7 via Rat Pak Records. The effort will also be available in Europe via Nuclear Blast and Japan via King Records. The latest release is the follow-up to 2016’s “XI”, which saw the return of Howe.

According to TMZ, AEROSMITH guitarist Joe Perry is back home, six days after he was hospitalized following an appearance with Billy Joel.

Sources close to Joe tell the site that Perry was released from the hospital Thursday and is now resting.

Only minutes after guesting with Joel on stage on Saturday night (November 10) at Madison Square Garden in New York City, Perry experienced shortness of breath and was treated by paramedics. The legendary rocker, who’s now 68, was taken out of the Garden on a stretcher after paramedics worked on him in his dressing room, reportedly inserting a tracheal tube down his throat at one point.

According to TMZ, doctors ran a series of tests and determined that Perry was suffering from a combination of allergies and fatigue.

Joe, who has reportedly had breathing issues his whole life, tweeted on Tueday that he was “doing well” and thanked fans “for all the love and support.”

As most fans will remember, back in July 2016, Perry collapsed during a HOLLYWOOD VAMPIRES gig at Brooklyn, New York’s Ford Amphitheater at Coney Island Boardwalk.

Alice Cooper, who fronts the all-star covers band, recalled to CBS News at the time that he was unaware that Perry was perhaps not geared up for such a rigorous schedule. “I didn’t realize AEROSMITH only did two shows a week. Honestly, I just figured everybody was like me. I do five shows a week, and very physical shows. We were on our eighth show in 10 days. It was pretty brutal. I think [Joe] was dehydrated and basically exhausted. I talked to him before the show and he said, ‘I don’t think I’ve eaten anything in three days.’ I went, ‘Well, that’s not smart.'”

Cooper went on to squash the rumors that Perry had collapsed due to a coronary, explaining: “It wasn’t his heart, though, and it wasn’t anything vital, because four or five days later, he was on stage with us and I’d never seen him look so good.”

Perry is scheduled to kick off a solo tour on November 30 in support of his most recent solo album, “Sweetzerland Manifesto”.

Ever since TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA embarked on their first tour — a modest seven-show run of theaters in the Northeast and Midwest — in 1999, the group’s lineup has featured four members of SAVATAGE, the pioneering metal group from which TSO spawned: bassist Johnny Lee Middleton, drummer Jeff Plate and guitarists Al Pitrelli and Chris Caffery.

Two decades and hundreds of sold-out arena shows later, all four musicians still tour with the band each winter, albeit as members of different touring troupes — Pitrelli and Middleton are the longtime anchors of “TSO West,” while Plate and Caffery are stalwarts of “TSO East.” In 2015, vocalist Zachary Stevens — who fronted SAVATAGE from 1993 to 1999 and performed with the group that year during their one-off reunion show at Germany’s Wacken Open Air festival – began touring with TSO East as well.

This year’s TSO tour, which kicked off on November 14, sees the group nod prominently to its SAVATAGE origins. In addition to performing the instrumental “Christmas Eve (Sarajevo 12/24)” — a song originally recorded by SAVATAGE for their 1995 rock opera “Dead Winter Dead” — TSO has also added SAVATAGE‘s “Chance” to its concert setlists. Fan-filmed footage of both TSO troupes performing the song live can be seen below.

“Chance” originally appeared on SAVATAGE‘s 1994 album “Handful Of Rain”, the group’s first album after the death of guitarist Criss Oliva (brother of SAVATAGE co-founder and original vocalist Jon Oliva). It marked the band’s first usage of counterpoint vocals, which they later utilized on songs such as “One Child”, “Morphine Child” and “The Hourglass” (and which would also become a trademark of TSO albums). The song’s lyrics — written by the group’s late producer, Paul O’Neill — were inspired by the life of Chiune Sugihara, a Japanese diplomat in Lithuania during World War II who defied government orders by signing exit visas for thousands of Jewish refugees who otherwise would have been sent to concentration camps.

In a 2007 interview with Sea Of Tranquillity, Jon Oliva acknowledged the impact of the song. “I think ‘Chance’ is a great, great song,” he said, “and I think it was the start of what TSO would eventually be doing, so that was our first dabble in symphonic, orchestrated rock.”

TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA‘s 20th-anniversary tour continues through December 30.