Judas Priest Iron Maiden Rivalry Squashed: KK Downing Tells All
Former Priest guitarist K.K. Downing revealed the conversation with former Maiden vocalist Paul Di’Anno that led both bands to consider the bitter 80’s Judas Priest Iron Maiden Rivalry Squashed.
Downing also offered his take on how the disagreement started in the first place.
KK Downing told Eddie Trunk in a recent interview: Paul Di’Anno was singing with Iron Maiden in 1980 when they were confirmed as a supporting act on Judas Priest’s British Steel tour. “And then the next thing I know, I read in a music paper that they said something like, ‘Yeah, we’re gonna blow the bollocks off Priest,’ or something like that.”
“And I went, ‘What the hell is this shit? … Why should we have Iron Maiden on tour if you’re gonna create this type of vibe before we’ve even met them, let alone done a show together?”
The Trunk Nation Podcast interview is quite interesting, listen below.
KK recalled suggesting that they get rid of Maiden “and get somebody that really appreciates the gig,” but he was outvoted in Priest’s democratic system and accepted the decision. He was later upset when Maiden turned up at Priest’s pre-tour rehearsals without any invitation he was aware of.
When the 1981 tour took place, Downing recalled, “they didn’t blow the bollocks off Judas Priest. We were pretty well established at the time, and those guys were coming up through the ranks. … But it wasn’t a good atmosphere on the tour, and it’s not something I like to have happen.”
Downing again voiced his displeasure when Iron Maiden were named as support for Priest’s U.S. tour. “I went, ‘Oh, no! Not again’ … But they came on the tour and they created upsets, is what they did, for different reasons. … It led to a confrontation and it got a bit ugly.”