Grinder

Album: British Steel (1980)

Songfacts®:

  • Judas Priest frontman Rob Halford wrote the lyric to "Grinder" as a commentary on how governments and corporations will treat people like meat, grinding them up and spitting them out, exploiting them for their means.

    The song is also an expression of the sexual tension Halford was feeling as a closeted gay man; he was "looking for meat," but took pains to keep his trysts discrete because he lived in fear of what would happen if his secret got out. When he finally came out in 1998, the backlash he feared didn't materialize. Fans voiced their support, and Halford became a source of support for gay metalheads.
  • Like all of the tracks on the landmark Judas Priest album British Steel, "Grinder" was written by Halford along with the group's guitarists, K.K. Downing and Glenn Tipton, and recorded at the Tittenhurst Park estate once owned by John Lennon and Yoko Ono.

    Downing told Billboard he feels this is an important track. "I think it really laid down a lot of roots for what was to come in rock and metal through the '80s," he said. "A very full-on, straight 4/4 beat a la the AC/DC thing. It really helped to commercialize metal a lot, that kind of groove."
  • The gay dating app Grindr appeared in 2009. Rob Halford is wondering why they haven't asked to use this song.

Comments: 5

  • A Man Who's Not Homophobic. Don't Let Your Wives Find Me. from Beaverton OregonYou idiots who think this is about gay sex are morons. This is about not conforming to society and following your own path. It's so god damned obvious. The grinder is the machine that's sucking everyone into it's grasp making them conform and consume. Not everything is about gay sex. Even when it comes to Rob Halford.
  • That One Guy from Earthyup. Its about being gay. From a time where it was less accepted. Not that there's anything wrong with that...
  • Human from AmericaDefinitely about a dude looking for dudes.
  • Ray from OhioSong is about avoiding the grind, which is the monotonous grind of a dead end job that grinds on you. A job where you hate walking in the door, but hate when you leave because you will be back tomorrow anyway. The Grinder wants to eat away at you, don't let it.
  • Zero from Nowhere, NjI got from some of the lyrics that the person in question is a go-getter, independant (or a loner)and is always looking for thrills, and maybe someone was telling him, "You need some structure in your life," and he was going, "Got no use for routine, I shiver at the thought."
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