Former JUDAS PRIEST Members K.K. DOWNING, LES BINKS And TIM 'RIPPER' OWENS To Perform With M
Former JUDAS PRIEST members K.K. Downing (guitar), Les Binks (drums) and Tim "Ripper" Owens (vocals) will join forces to perform "a full-length set of PRIEST classics" with MEGADETH bassist David Ellefson on November 3 in Wolverhampton, United Kingdom.
The one-off show at K.K.'s Steel Mill will feature a full band set from Ellefson's "Sleeping Giants" band, followed by the PRIEST set with Downing, Binks and Owens. Former IRON MAIDEN vocalist Blaze Bayley will be the evening's opening support act. Additionally, the Steel Mill will also host a special pre-show VIP event whereby attendees will be treated to a "More Life With Deth" book-signing event and one-on-one question-and-answer session with Ellefson, Downing and Ellefson's "More Life With Deth" co-author Thom Hazaert, moderated by Mark Eglinton, who co-authored Downing's recent memoir "Heavy Duty Days And Nights In Judas Priest".
Says Downing: "I am very pleased to have been asked to perform a unique and special concert with MEGADETH's David Ellefson to celebrate the release of his new book, 'More Life With Deth'. The concert will also bring about the opportunity to play again with some very dear and talented metal legends from the past. The combination of these icons will for sure enable us to deliver up one of the most exciting concerts this year, so much so that it would not be out of place to call this the ultimate ass-kicking 'MegaPriest' fest, and is one that is not to be missed."
Adds Ellefson: "I speak very candidly in my new book 'More Life with Deth' about the significance JUDAS PRIEST played in my early musical trajectory, specifically the 'Unleashed In The East' live album with its picture-perfect image of what heavy metal should look and sound like. To me, that album, along with its powerful cover image, captured the excitement I felt for a new era of music, one that would transition me from my roots in American hard rock over to that of British heavy metal.
"Over the years, K.K. and I became fast friends while we toured together with PRIEST and MEGADETH, and I'm beyond thrilled to perform together onstage with him and his former PRIEST bandmates, as we light up the Steel Mill together for a night of molten metal classics!"
He continues: "Thom and I have been touring all summer across the USA supporting the new book and our 'Sleeping Giants' release. Plus Ripper and I have shared stages all around the world in the last decade or so, and now to add Les Binks in the mix, who to my generation was the ultimate metal double-bass drummer, this has become the ultimate 'metal' family reunion!"
In other news, Ellefson has announced a European solo tour, featuring a full band playing songs from his recent solo release, "Sleeping Giants", and other metal classics. Performing with Ellefson will be Hazaert on vocals, plus guitarist Andy Martongelli, who toured with Ellefsonand Frank Bello's ALTITUDES AND ATTITUDE and appears on the "Sleeping Giants" track "Hammer (Comes Down)".
Ellefson published his new memoir, "More Life With Deth", in July via Jawbone Press, along with a companion solo release, "Sleeping Giants".
Downing, who left PRIEST in 2011 amid claims of band conflict, shoddy management and declining quality of performance, was replaced by Richie Faulkner, nearly three decades his junior.
Last year, Downing revealed that he sent two resignation letters to his bandmates when he decided to quit JUDAS PRIEST. The first was described as "a graceful exit note, implying a smooth retirement from music," while the second was "angrier, laying out all of his frustrations with specific parties."
Downing later said that he believed the second letter was "a key reason" he wasn't invited to rejoin PRIEST after Glenn Tipton's decision to retire from touring.
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.
Downing reconnected with Binks in 2017 for the first time in nearly four decades. Downinglater described the experience of meeting his former bandmate as "great" and called Les "one of the greatest drummers in the world and a good friend and a great guy."
Owens joined PRIEST in 1996 and recorded two studio albums with the band — 1997's "Jugulator" and 2001's "Demolition" — before PRIEST reunited with Rob Halford in 2003