Life is what happens when you are making other plans~ John Lennon
An eye for an eye will make the whole world blind~Gandhi
The time is always right to do what is right~ Martin Luther King Jr.

Friday, July 3, 2015

KK Downing

Here is the rhythm guitarist for Judas Priest. Apparently he has a site too. So you can trust all the info he puts on here.
Birth name: Kenneth Kevin Downing
DOB: 10/27/1951
Where: West Bromwich, England

-Along with bass player Ian Hill, both men came to create one of the most iconic heavy metal bands in metal history-Judas Priest.
-Jimi Hendrix, John Mayall and his Bluesbreakers, Eric Clapton inspired him to learn guitar
-After getting his first guitar, an acoustic one for 10 pounds, he also bought a Marshall amp and was ready to rock. A couple years later, he accomplished his dream of getting an electric guitar. He bought a Gibson SG. "I always wanted a Flying V, but I had to wait a while before I could get one,” he recalls." Because of his intense love of music, he was kicked out of his house at 15. He also dropped out of school around the same time.
-He formed a band with Ian Hill, a friend of his from high school. This band's first lineup included Al Atkins on vocals, Ken on guitar, Ian on bass and Joe Ellis on drums. Their music influences included Hendrix. "We were adventurous and tried to steer away from basic twelve-bar stuff, because we were more into progressive rock. Most of the other bands around were sticking to the same basic stuff. If anything, we were more like Cream or Black Sabbath."
-When Al Atkins left in 1973, he took Chris "Congo" Campbell with him, the band's second drummer. Now needing a singer, Ian's girlfriend, Sue Halford, suggested her younger brother Rob. Ken visited Rob one day to hear him singing along to a Doris Day record. Other than Deep Purple's Ian Gillan, no one in music had sung with such high falsetto voices. When he met the rest of the band, they were surprised at his appearance. Rob had shoulder length blonde hair and paisley hippie type clothes. But when he sang, he convinced them that he was the one. Rob also brought John Hinch from his band Hiroshima to play drums. This lineup christened themselves Judas Priest.
-While touring all over the place during 1973 and 1974, Ken started going by the initials KK because during a European tour, a girl in Denmark couldn't pronounce his name and simply called him KK
-The band was able to start recording through a small studio called Gull Records and they insisted the band needed another guitar player. While in the studio one day, another small band called The Flying Hat Band was recording nearby. This band had a guitarist who is still with Priest to this day-Glenn Tipton. After joining Priest, the lineup was complete. It was considered unusual to have two lead guitars in bands during the mid 1970s, but Priest was adamant that it would work
-During the song "Victim of Changes", KK started doing the whammy bar style guitar break that would be his famous trademark
-During the 1970s, John Hinch had left and former Trapeze drummer Dave Holland was in.
-"I knew I wouldn’t be happy until Priest had made it. From the very beginning, my goal was to find success with the band no matter how hard it might be. I think we all felt the same way because it wasn’t something that we could suddenly give up". KK said
-By the release of Judas Priest's Unleashed in the East, Glenn Tipton and KK Downing had settled into the guitar playing groove that worked best for them and at this point in time, the band had adopted their leather and studs look
-As the 1980s emerged, the New Wave of British Heavy Metal (shortened to NWOBHM) movement occurred. Punk was on the rise and it threatened some bands in terms of popularity. Priest led the heavy metal charge with 1980's British Steel. This album shot up to #4 on UK charts and gave them their first hit single "Living After Midnight"
-After the band's tour for 2007's Angel of Retribution and an anniversary tour celebrating British Steel, KK announced his intention of leaving the band. For 40 years, KK was Glenn's guitar partner in crime. "I feel that Priest has played its part in music history and feel very proud to have achieved what we have. So there is a good positive feeling inside me and of course I feel very indebted to the fans all over the world. I have been lucky enough to have had a great life and to have fulfilled many goals, one of the most significant being the friendships that I have made with my fans." He said
-In terms of his future goals, he has this to say "Before i go six feet under I’d like to see the band where it deserves to be. I firmly believe that people take their music with them throughout life. I mean, if you were a Judas Priest fan in your teen years and you can remember your first sexual encounter, your first cigarette, your first pint of beer, your first car and your first everything; if Priest was part of that, then chances are when you’re 100 years old and in a rocking chair, you’ll still be listening to Judas Priest. I’ll definitely be listening to heavy metal when I’m an old codger. I’ll be rocking that chair a lot faster and harder than the other guys!"

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