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Ian Hill (born Ian Frank Hill, 20 January 1951, in Yew Tree Estate, West Bromwichmarker, Englandmarker) is a founding member and bassist for the Birminghammarker-based heavy metal band, Judas Priest.


Hill learned how to play the double bass from his father, a bass player for local jazz acts. His father died when he was only fifteen, but his contribution to Hill was the foundation for years to come. In 1970, together with schoolmate K.K. Downing, Hill went off to form pioneering heavy metal band Judas Priest. He has been playing bass for the band ever since and has witnessed the band achieve platinum-covered status around the world.

Hill is known for his solid and melodic bass playing, which proved to be the ideal background for the dual guitars of K. K. Downing and Glenn Tipton and Rob Halford's operatic vocals. He also played a twin-neck bass guitar in concert on the DVD Electric Eye. During the early years of the band, he played bass finger-picking, but in the band's later years, he began playing with a pick. On rare occasions, he still plays with his fingers.

Hill is also responsible for finding the singer for Judas Priest, Rob Halford. He met him while he was dating Halford's sister and mentioned that he needed a new vocalist for his band. Halford accepted leaving his band 'Hiroshima', and brought along drummer John Hinch, who would later be dropped by the band after one album due to "musical inadequacy", according to Tipton in later years.

Musical equipment

For the early years of Priest's work, Hill played a 1970s Fender Jazz Bass, later switching to Hamer in the mid 1980s. Hill currently plays Spector basses after switching to this brand during the late 1980s. Spector are currently producing a Ian Hill signature bass guitar, based on Hill's late 80's NS-2 and is fitted with an extra narrow neck and has an optional tuning of B.E.A.D. While Hill has used a wide range of different amplifers through his career, he has been using SWR products since the late 1990s. His current rig consists of two SWR SM1500 amplifiers and four SWR TRIAD cabinets.

Personal life

He was married with Rob Halford's sister in 1976, and they had a boy, Alexander, in 1980, but divorced in 1984.



  1. SFM - Spector Introduces Two New Signature Models
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