Former JUDAS PRIEST Members K.K. DOWNING And LES BINKS Reconnect After Nearly Four Decades

August 21, 2017

K.K. Downing (pictured) recently reconnected with his former JUDAS PRIEST bandmate Les Binks for the first time in nearly four decades.

The ex-JUDAS PRIEST axeman revealed the meeting in a video message posted to his official YouTube channel. He said (see video below): "Something really, really cool that happened is I actually managed to, again, after thirty-seven years, hook up with my good friend Les Binks — a fantastic drummer. You all know Les, I'm sure, playing on all those great albums back in the '70s and doing those great tours.

"It was great," he continued. "Les managed to work his way up there to British north and we went out for a few pints of Guinness, of course — what else? Les obviously comes from Ireland, so he's got Guinness in his veins as well as music. And we had a great night. And I'm really grateful to Les for making the journey up. We had lots and lots of good stories to tell each other. And who knows — one day we might disclose some of those neat things that happened to us on those tours in the early '70s. I guess the highlight was probably when we got to fly over to play a couple of shows with LED ZEPPELIN at the Oakland Coliseum back in [July 1977]. But, unfortunately — myself and Les, we were talking — that particular era was kind of before all of the technology, so there's not too much footage, unfortunately, with Les in the band. But I believe that there is some things out there. So check it out."

Downing added: "Les — one of the greatest drummers in the world and a good friend and a great guy."

Binks played drums on PRIEST's "Stained Class", "Hell Bent For Leather" (released as "Killing Machine" in the United Kingdom) and "Unleashed In The East" albums.

After the release of "Unleashed In The East", Binks exited PRIEST and was replaced by ex-TRAPEZE member Dave Holland. Les later told Downing's official web site that the making of the live album "caused a rift between me and [PRIEST's] manager and ultimately led to my decision to leave the band. I just didn't see the point in continuing to work with a band whose manager didn't want me to receive any payment for that live album. A completely ludicrous scenario. It's a classic heavy metal live album which I believe eventually went platinum and he didn't want me to receive a penny for it. Crazy fucker!!! But that's what happens if a band allows someone like that to manage them — they lose members. So exit drummer number four."

K.K., who is a founding member of the British heavy metal legends and was part of the group since 1969, announced his retirement from PRIEST in April 2011.

He later shot down as "inaccurate" reports that he left JUDAS PRIEST because he chose to concentrate on running the golf courses on his property.

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