|Born on: 27.10.1951
Kenneth "K.K." Downing (born 27 October 1951 in West Bromwich, England) is a guitarist and one of the founding members of the British Heavy metal band Judas Priest. He received his stage name when a girl in Denmark could not pronounce his name and called him 'K.K.' instead.
Influenced by Jimi Hendrix, Downing bought his first guitar at the age of sixteen. Downing found little support from his parents for his career of choice. This did not change even after Judas Priest achieved worldwide commercial success and critical acclaim. To this day Downing's mother insists he should get a "proper job".
Downing has been noted duel lead with fellow Judas Priest guitarist Glenn Tipton. Together with his schoolmate and fellow band founding member Ian Hill, Downing has been solely dedicated to the band for more than 35 years.
Downing dropped out of school when he was fifteen, then kicked out of his house when he was sixteen and has not (reportedly) talked to his parents since. He had no ambition at the time, until he picked up the guitar. His parents did not support his future career, and still do not.
Downing owns a home in Spain, but his main abode is Astbury Hall in Shropshire, England (worth $3.64 million).
Downing's English home is so huge and unused because of him not having a family, he opened up a bed and breakfast in Astbury Hall. He has a golf course and swimming pools for the people to use.
Downing has many guitars, among them:
1964 Gibson Flying V Limited Edition with Gibson PAF pickups (one out of 200)
1970 Gibson Flying V with Maestro vibrato bar (number 233 out of 500)
1969 Fender Stratocaster (White) with left-handed neck
1970-71 Fender Stratocaster (Sunburst)
Custom Hamer Vector, Vector KK and KK Mini V guitars
ESP Custom V guitar
Judas Priest Special V Handmade by Daniel R. Johnson (K. K.'s former touring guitar tech).
K. K.'s new KxK Custom Shop V K. K. Downing Model 2 guitar.
Amplifiers and effects
Digitech 1101 Preamp
Marshall 9100 Power Amplifier.
Marshall JMP-1 Preamp
Mesa Boogie Dual Rectifier
Rocktron Piranha Preamp
Marshall JMP Non master volume heads
[MXR] Distortion +
Recognition and honors
Downing was ranked 23 on rock magazine Hit Parader's list of 100 greatest metal guitarists.
Downing officially retired from Judas Priest on April 20th 2011. An official press release was issued by the band. The band decided to continue on with a replacement for Downing.