Days and Nights in Judas Priest
Other Editions of This Title:
Judas Priest formed in the industrial city of Birmingham, England, in 1969. With its distinctive twin-guitar sound, studs-and-leather image, and international sales of over 50 million records, Judas Priest became the archetypal heavy metal band in the 1980s. Iconic tracks like "Breaking the Law," "Living after Midnight," and "You've Got Another Thing Comin'" helped the band achieve extraordinary success, but no one from the band has stepped out to tell their or the band's story until now.
As the band approaches its golden anniversary, fans will at last be able to delve backstage into the decades of shocking, hilarious, and haunting stories that surround the heavy metal institution. In Heavy Duty, guitarist K.K. Downing discusses the complex personality conflicts, the business screw-ups, the acrimonious relationship with fellow heavy metal band Iron Maiden, as well as how Judas Priest found itself at the epicenter of a storm of parental outrage that targeted heavy metal in the '80s. He also describes his role in cementing the band's trademark black leather and studs image that would not only become synonymous with the entire genre, but would also give singer Rob Halford a viable outlet by which to express his sexuality. Lastly, he recounts the life-changing moment when he looked at his bandmates on stage during a 2009 concert and thought, "This is the last show." Whatever the topic, whoever's involved, K.K. doesn't hold back.
Praise For Heavy Duty: Days and Nights in Judas Priest…
"Heavy Duty is that rare metal memoir that actually reads as a sweet and wholesome story...You get the sense that Downing is much more of a pint or two at the pub kind of guy than a fifth of vodka downed by the third song sort of rocker."—Los Angeles Daily News
"Few books in the music world this year are drawing as much excitement...Downing has stayed largely out of the spotlight since parting ways with Judas Priest in 2011, but this fascinating work brings him back into the light...The books flows with ease and cohesiveness, making this a fascinating read from front to back. It's difficult to pull away...Both die-hard Judas Priest fans and casual admirers of the band will find lots to enjoy in Heavy Duty. It's a book that has heart and passion, and that makes it a metal must-read."—Audio Ink Radio
"Besides being the first book about Judas Priest written from the inside, KK Downing's Heavy Duty...serves as a classic study in the long-range effects that a traumatizing upbringing can conjure up well into adulthood."—Please Kill Me
"Heavy Duty: Days and Nights in Judas Priest isn't so much a book about Judas Priest as it is one about being a member of Judas Priest. That makes Downing's story particularly intriguing because it does not follow the contours of what has become the typical rock 'n' roll fantasy...Downing supplies plenty of stories and anecdotes about the songs and albums that solidified heavy metal as a distinct sub-genre of rock. And he charts Judas Priest's progression from underground sensations to arena-packing stars...He maintains some privacy around the least public aspects of his life, but Downing is refreshingly open about his disappointments and failings. Heavy Duty makes it clear that the man who helped pen the anthem 'Metal Gods' is, in fact, quite human."—The Arts Fuse
"Downing gives a little insight into his work ethic which is food for thought for us fretboard fumblers. The early days in Judas Priest are recounted with a relaxed style ideal for tales of numerous small gigs up and down the country...Downing also takes a good look at the 1990 court case regarding subliminal messages on albums, without getting mired in the legalities and is honest about why he feels the case ended up in court...Heavy Duty is an interesting read...that speeds through the career of this classic metal band. Downing's thoughts on his time in Judas Priest will probably divide fans and start many a debate which isn't a bad thing."—Red Guitar Music
"A well written autobiography that takes us from [Downing's] troubled upbringing with an abusive father to the forming and departure from one of the world's most original and influential heavy metal bands...Because Judas Priest has avoided controversy and scandal, the stories in Heavy Duty will be revelations to most Judas Priest fans...Downing delivers many insights into the inner-workings of the band...It's very difficult to walk away without a newfound admiration for a true guitar legend."—Let's Rock
"A great memoir...Downing is pretty frank throughout the book...Far more than an excuse to air dirty laundry or take down enemies, Heavy Duty is a solid entry in the seemingly-growing rock biography genre...A remarkably thoughtful and entertaining read."
"The book goes into depth about K.K.'s early years and the formation of the band."
"Anyone who has followed Judas Priest throughout their career knows the sonic contributions of guitar player KK Downing. But in his new memoir, Heavy Duty, the British blonde six-string slinger tells you just how much he did, without making himself appear like he's bragging. In fact, he's almost nonchalant about things, as if having a beer and a chat in a local pub, writing about his life as a rock star in a most unassuming way...He's quite open with most everything...We finally get to read all about the highs and lows as he lived through them and it's honestly hard to put down until the end."
"Heavy Duty is a must read for all fans of heavy metal and especially for fans of Judas Priest as K.K. finally tells his tale. Don't miss the opportunity to find out all that he has to say."—BackstageAxxess
"Judas Priest is a notoriously private band. Little has been known about the inner dynamics of the Metal Gods. Fans can now glimpse behind the scenes thanks to the new K.K. Downing autobiography...Revelations often add new insight to established facts...A fascinating read for Judas Priest fans...One feels that the process of writing Heavy Duty was an act of catharsis. At the very least, fans now know why K.K. walked away from the band he founded."—Green and Black Music
Da Capo Press, 9780306903311, 288pp.
Publication Date: September 18, 2018
About the Author
Mark Eglinton is a frequent cowriter whose previous collaborations include Official Truth, 101 Proof with Rex Brown of Pantera and Confessions of a Heretic with Behemoth's Adam "Nergal" Darski, along with the solo project So Let It Be Written: The Biography of Metallica's James Hetfield. Eglinton divides his time between Scotland and the Pacific Northwest.