John Hinch, Former Judas Priest Drummer, Dies at 73

by Matthew Wilson

Raise your drumsticks in tribute. Because John Hinch, the former drummer for the band Judas Priest, has passed away. Hinch was 73-years-old.

According to Loudwire, Hinch passed away on April 29th. No cause of death was revealed at this time. But Hinch’s former bandmates and the rock world are in mourning.

You probably won’t see John Hinch gracing any iconic lineup shots of Judas Priest. But the drummer played a part in the band’s early success. In many ways, Hinch was the band’s original drummer. Though others would pick up the sticks after him, Hinch laid out the beats on Judas Priest’s debut album “Rocka Rolla.”

Former Bandmates Mourn the Drummer’s Death

Hinch appears to be loved and missed by his former bandmates. On Instagram, Judas Priest singer Rob Halford honored Hinch and his place in the band’s history. He planned to listen to the band’s debut album in Hinch’s honor.

“His style was strong, direct and unique, Halford said. “I’ll be blasting Rocka Rolla today!”

Likewise, former Priest guitarist K.K. Downing also wrote a heartfelt tribute to Hinch. The guitarist reflected on Hinch’s career and his ability behind a drum set.

“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,” Downing said. “There are so many memories of crazy and fun times we all shared together. 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.”

John Hinch and Judas Priest

John Hinch was born in Staffordshire, England on June 19, 1947. He fell in love with music, playing for a number of bands before Judas Priest. He first met Halford when the two played together in Hiroshima. Both later joined Judas Priest in 1973.

While his tenure with the band wasn’t long, Hinch worked on the band’s first album together in 1974. That debut album helped kick off the band’s career and led them to future success as a result. In 1975, Hinch left before the band started working on their follow-up album.

But he didn’t leave the world of music behind. Instead, he found a career in music management, working with a number of musicians during his career. Hinch may be gone. But his drum beats go on.