K.K. Downing Was Never Sure of Judas Priest’s Image
Former Judas Priest guitarist K.K. Downing revealed he’d always had doubts over the band’s image in a quote from his upcoming memoir.
Their leather-and-studs look has been referred to as having helped define heavy metal in its early years, along with groundbreaking albums such as 1980’s British Steel.
“I don't remember exactly when the thought first entered my head, but I can remember thinking on more than a few occasions, 'You know, I'm really not sure about our image,” Downing is quoted on the back cover of Heavy Duty: Days and Nights in Judas Priest, which will be published on Sept. 18. “On reflection, I think Judas Priest had a bit of an identity crisis from the beginning. There was always a bit of a question mark about the band's look. To me, it never seemed to say anything — and in the earliest days of our career, I suppose I actually saw that as a good thing.”
His comment appears to justify his earlier assertion “some of the details [in the book] will surprise you just as they did me as I lived through them.” “Recollecting my life as I have done in this book has often brought me to close to tears, but has also made me laugh with the fondest memories," he said. "It is true that I have made many friends along the way, but it is also true that I have made some enemies. But one thing is for sure: The music that has been everything to me has not only been my salvation, but has also brought me closer to the people of so many nations — and I can honestly say that I consider all of you to be my very dear friends.”
Downing left the band in 2011, although he remains a director of its company. Earlier this year, he said he’d been “shocked and stunned” that Priest hadn’t invited him to rejoin when fellow guitarist Glenn Tipton’s health issues forced him to step back from touring. The band’s latest album, Firepower, became their highest-charting release when it came out in March.