Guitarist K.K. Downing recently reconnected with his former Judas Priest bandmate, and drummer, Les Binks for the first time in nearly four decades.

Downing posted video message posted to his official YouTube channel (see video below). He said (as per, “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 the Judas Priest classic albums Stained Class, Hell Bent For Leather (released as Killing Machine in the United Kingdom) and Unleashed In The East.

18 Responses

  1. So, does anybody think K.K. returns to Priest? And why did he leave the band anyway? I think Richie Faulkner is a great replacement with his playing and his image/look and he has re-inspired the band. But he is not K.K. I read somewhere that K.K. said he would return to Priest if they played a show with the likes of Sabbath and Iron Maiden, but I don’t know if he would return under existing circumstances. Priest, Sabbath, and Maiden would be a killer show, though….with that lineup, maybe we could see Bill Ward on drums :o)

  2. If only all rock stars behaved like KK; actually honest in his assessment of the band; thus, retired….who’s honest that metal is inherently; a young person’s gig….I saw Priest in person at the Warfield a couple of years ago, and walked out after two songs….the reliance on effects, to do what they used to do organically, was too much for me. I am not this critical of other artists because I was conditioned by Priest’s show in the 80s to expect, to demand…the absolute highest standard of excellence…I saw Priest absolutely blow Slayer off the stage on the Ram It Down tour, when Priest were supposedly, done….Priest won wars, and took metal to frontiers …they boldly went where no metal band had gone before……they are the most astute rock band out there, these are very smart, highly intelligent musicians….to see them pandering, dumbing down now instead of the Darwinian adapting they did in the 80s ….no wonder KK stepped aside….Ritchie’s hot dogging, gunslinger approach is all wrong for Priest, better for Coverdale……

    1. Shannon ,
      I completely agree with your thoughts on this , hard rock and metal are a young mans game, but…
      if your an iconic superstar band and have all your talents intact, voice being number 1 – drums a very close second – you should do it as long as you can , if that’s how you have made your living, and are having fun doing it – but when you cant deliver the goods anymore, you should step out , its like sports Muhammad ali stayed in the game too long , so did Jordan, it’s tough to walk away but , some bands need to call it quits- I hate to say priest is one and I love halford ! but he is no longer the same singer , and the big one of course is kiss- they are in serious danger of becoming a joke – Rob halford needs to go out on top , and not tarnish what priest has accomplished –

    2. While I respect your opinion, Shannon, I have to disagree. I certainly respect KK’s decision to retire from Judas Priest, as everyone must make that decision on their own terms. But I also cannot fault the rest of the band for wanting to continue, if they believe that they can still perform at a high level. Based upon my seeing them live with the new lineup, as well as their last new release, I think that they are correct. Now, do they perform the same as they did back in the 80’s? No, and I don’t expect them to. These guys are all in their mid 60’s, for cripes sake! But I will still take Judas Priest performing at 75 – 80% of their peak form to 90% of the newer bands out there! As far as Richie is concerned, I believe he as brought a new energy to the band. Sure, he’s not KK, and we shouldn’t expect him to be. But I’ve enjoyed his playing both live and on the latest Priest release.

    3. You guys are right……and when I am sitting there waiting for the band to come on…I spent 75 bucks for my Priest ticket…I’m sitting there when the lights go down, my heart is pumping, I want to be impressed….but it was a complete let down…I had to walk out..and it looks like they just let Richie take up the slack, they didn’t seem invigorated, more like completely bored……

  3. I like hearing from KK. He did his time, and I don’t begrudge him for wanting a life of his own after dedicating the majority of it to pries (which I’m glad he did). Seems like a good guy to have a pint with.

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