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. That is really cool! Never heard about Judas Priest opening for Led Zeppelin. What a show that would have been! Great to hear that KK was able to connect with Les Binks, like this. I’ve always loved the HELL BENT FOR LEATHER album, as it was my first exposure to Judas Priest. A friend of mine played me the song, “Hell Bent for Leather”. I’ll always remember when I first heard the line “down on your knees and repent if you please!” from that song, that this was a cool band!

    1. Keith, that lyric line is from “Exciter”, a great song by Priest off the Stained Class album. Les Binks did a great drum intro for that song. And the live version of “Exciter” off Unleashed in the East was my intro to the mighty Priest! I bought that album before I even heard of Priest….I bought it solely based on the album cover because I thought it looked cool.

  2. Les Binks was a beast on the drums for Priest. His drumming on Unleashed in the East (My favorite Priest album) made that album so heavy, and that was back in 1979! When Binks left and Holland joined the band, the band went in a different direction…still excellent, just different. I think Scott Travis is an excellent drummer for Priest, but I enjoy Binks’ playing a little more….

  3. Scott Travis is arguably the best drummer Priest has ever had, but Binks is right up there in my book. “Stained Class” is my favorite album by these guys. Binks’ hi-hat techniques were phenomenal. Really cool comments from K.K.

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