|Born on: 20.01.1951
Ian Hill (born Ian Frank Hill, 20 January 1951, in Yew Tree Estate, West Bromwich, England) is a founding member and Grammy Award winning bassist for the Birmingham-based heavy metal band, Judas Priest. His only three songwriter credits for Judas Priest are "Winter" and "Caviar and Meths", both featured on the first Priest-album Rocka Rolla, and "Invader", featured on Stained Class.
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.
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 an 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. As of 2011, this model is still in production.
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. During the Jugulator and Demolition recording sessions, Hill used a 5 string Spector bass to access the lower registers needed through the use of down tuned guitars by Tipton and Downing.
Hill married Rob Halford's sister, Sue, in 1976 and they divorced in 1984. Together they have a son, Alex, who was born in 1980.
Hill lived in Florida while he was married to his second wife, an American named Letitia. They had a daughter with the same name.
He now resides in Fradley, Staffordshire, England with his wife, Jean, his two stepsons, Richard and Andrew and his daughter Letitia.