Guitarist K.K. Downing Discusses His New Book “Heavy Duty: Days and Nights in Judas Priest”

 

Picture by: Pauli Juppi

Ken “K.K.” Downing is a founding member of the heavy metal band Judas Priest. He was active with the group from its inception in 1969 to his departure from the group in April of 2011. Downing has recently released a book via Da Capo press title “Heavy Duty: Days and Nights in Judas Priest”. Media Mikes had a chance recently to speak with Ken about the creation of the book and where he plans to go next

Adam Lawton: Can you give us some background behind the writing of the book?

Ken Downing: Since my departure from the band eight years ago lots of people have been asking me if I would like to do a book. Year after year I just kept saying no and then finally last year I decided to finally do it. I sort of had three basic ideas for doing this. I thought it would be a good opportunity for fans to get to know me a little bit better. That probably sounds a bit ridiculous after having been around for so long now but, there is always another story to tell. I wanted to share how I started off in life and ended up playing some of the biggest stages in the world. Lastly I wanted to bring some sort of closure to the banter which was being thrown about across the internet related to my position within the band.

AL: How did you go about selecting what memories or stories you wanted to include in the book?

KD: That was really the difficulty part as I didn’t have a plan or anything. My ghost writer Mark Eglinton helped quite a bit with this side of things. He helped me dig a bit deeper along the way as we approached things chronologically as one lives life. As we moved along we paid attention to what would come to the surface and tried not to dwell on certain topics too long as we wanted to keep the book moving. If I had elaborated too much on things this would be a very thick book. (Laughs) It was difficult at times as I wanted to keep things honest and after forty years in rock and roll there were a couple stories we had to leave out. (Laughs)

AL: How did you get connected with Mark (Eglinton)?

KD: Mark came to me through my website which is run out of Helsinki, Finland. I had been approached previously by a bunch of other people about doing a book but Mark was in the UK and he made a couple trips down to see me where we just talked and got to know one another. I felt that worked well and we went from there. We did things in chunks based on a certain amount of years. That let me focus on one specific time period at a time. Mark and I would just basically talk. Every now and then he would prompt me to elaborate more on certain periods of the band. Both Mark and his brother have been rock fans for a very long time so he had a fans perspective of what other fans might want to know more about.

AL: Was it hard revisiting some of your earlier years growing up?

KD: It was. I had always kept a lot of those memories be it good or bad to myself. My childhood was very personal to me and I had never shared my experiences with anyone. To have someone hear them and then in turn document them for others to read was something I really had to think about. To keep things transparent we went ahead with it. I may have skirted around a couple things or been less descriptive but it’s all there. When you are born in to a dysfunctional family things are going to be a bit different so I didn’t have to go into too much detail.

AL: Had you let any of the people included in these stories know beforehand that you were releasing a book on your life?

KD: No not really. I had talked to my mom as I was a bit concerned she might get a little emotional about me telling the family story. As it happened when I spoke with her she told me she was not worried and she also mentioned she had read Ozzy Osbourne’s book and loved that one. (Laughs) When she did get the chance to read my book she affirmed that that’s how things were so I was pleased with that.

AL: Now that people have had a chance to read the book, are there any pieces you feel you should not have included or been so detailed with?

KD: I feel a little relieved now that it’s out and that I have not received any real adverse repercussions. The general feedback has been much better than I was expecting. Every now and then I think about other things I would have mentioned but didn’t. That seems to happen though be it with this book or records you always want to turn out the best product so you keep working and working at it. Eventually you just have to stop and turn it in. I wanted to put out something that people could get their heads into and find it just as enjoyable as watching television or something.

AL: With the completion of the book are you looking to now shift your focus back to music?

KD: I am thinking with the coming winter here in the UK I am going to disappear into my music room and just see what happens next. I have a few ideas I might want to play about with but this game for me is all about getting that chance to jump back into Judas Priest. If I am not doing that then the name of the game is creating new material.

For more in on Ken you can visit his official website at www.kkdowning.net

Be sure to check out our review of “Heavy Duty: Days and Nights in Judas Priest” here.

Book Review: “Heavy Duty: Days and Nights in Judas Priest” by K.K. Downing w/ Mark Eglinton

“Heavy Duty: Days and Nights in Judas Priest”
Author: K.K. Downing w/ Mark Eglinton
Da Capo
Hardcover: 277 pages

Our Score: 2.5 out of 5 stars

As guitarist for the iconic British heavy metal band Judas Priest, Ken “K.K.” Downing lived the fast-paced, opulent life of a rock star. It was a far cry from his tedious, impoverished childhood in the heart of England. In “Heavy Duty: Days and Nights in Judas Priest”, Downing recounts his forty-plus years with the band recounting events such as his first meeting with vocalist Rob Halford and guitarist Glen Tipton to stories of touring with bands like AC/DC and Iron Maiden.

There aren’t many music fans out there who can’t name at-least one Judas Priest song. From “Living After Midnight” and “You’ve Got Another Thing Coming” to “Breaking the Law” the band has a memorable catalog that for many was the soundtrack of their youth. “Heavy Duty: Days and Nights in Judas Priest” is the chance for fans of the band to see just what was going on behind the scenes during the bands early years and on up through guitarist K.K. Downing’s departure from the group in 2011. Over the course of the books 277 pages the guitarist and his collaborator Mark Eglinton give detailed accounts of the bands formation, the growing pains all new bands go through and what the band was like during the recording of some of the most influential heavy metal records in music history. Downing is candid and no subject seems to be off limits as he recounts his own personal struggles as well as inner turmoil between band members, management and producers giving the reader a fly on the wall perspective that until now was not available.

At times I did find the stories to be a bit drawn out with a few too many “poor me” moments for my liking. Yes this is a memoir/autobiography and those types of things come with the territory however there were some redundancies and details that probably could have been thinned down or omitted completely with a little more editing. Do not get me wrong, the book still has a bunch a really cool moments and stories that aside from the people who lived it have/will never be experienced by most so being able to read about those is worth it. There are also some really great photos included the hardcover book comes with a super cool metallic like slip cover which will look awesome displayed next to other Judas Priest and music memorabilia.

How to Choose Pool Table for Movie Nights

When you’ve moved into the home of your dreams, you want to make sure everything is just right. You want an efficient kitchen, comfortable guest rooms and bedrooms, a nice garage for your vehicles and outdoor equipment, and maybe even a nice study or the games room for entertaining friends and family. One thing you may want as a centerpiece for your games room is a nice pool table. Something that is not only a conversation piece but, provides fun and entertainment for many years or comes.

With that in mind, here are a few things to keep in mind when buying that pool table for movie nights, family get-togethers and other special occasions:

Quality. A good pool table should have good hardwood construction. You want it to last for years, so don’t settle for shoddy construction or workmanship. Solid hardwood pool tables with interlocking support beams may be a little more expensive, but the cost is well worth it in the long run.

Slate. Look for a pool table that has matched pieces that are all cut from the same slab. The best slate should be about three-quarters of an inch thick with a diamond-honed surface.

Felt. Look for a pool table that has the felt glued and screwed in place. This lasts longer than felt that is just tacked or stapled into place. Also, look for a good felt covering that has good wool content. The higher the percentage of wool that is used in the covering, the better because this is generally more durable and longer-lasting.

Railings, cushions, and pockets. A good pool table should have hardwood or laminate railings, canvas-backed cushions, and pockets made of rubber or soft plastic. Hardwood railings are less likely to break and crack over time and cause less vibration during gameplay. Cushions made of canvas or similar materials are less likely to break or separate over time. Pockets made of rubber or soft plastic are resistant to scuffs, scrapes, and damage.

Don’t forget about the accessories! You can’t play the game if you don’t have the right equipment. You’ll need to stock up on:

  • Pool cues or cue sticks
  • billiard balls
  • A pool cue or cue stick rack or holder
  • billiard sticks

You may also want to add optional items such as table brushes, cue chalk or talcum powder, cue repair kits, additional billiard balls or pool cues and a good pool table cover.

Most pool tables are delivered unassembled. You can tackle the assembly yourself, or you can leave it to an expert installer from the store you purchased it from. It might cost a little more, but takes an expert pool table installer to take care of the busy work for you can save you time and the worry over missing pieces or having the table assembled incorrectly.

View this post and other informational websites for helpful hints about important factors to consider when buying your pool table. Do your research, read reviews and product specifications. You want your pool table to be the cornerstone of your entertainment room, so make the right choice and you’ll have something that will be a highlight of entertaining your family and friends for many years to come.

DVD Review "30 Nights of Paranormal Activity with the Devil Inside the Girl With the Dragon Tattoo"

Actors: Kathryn Fiore, Flip Schultz, Olivia Alexander, Arturo del Puerto, Danny Woodburn, French Stewart
Directed By: Craig Moss
Rated: R (Restricted)
Studio: 20th Century Fox
DVD Release Date: January 15, 2013
Run Time: 80 minutes

Film: 3 out of 5 stars
Extras: 1.5 out of 5 stars

When it comes to parody spoof films, it is usually hit or miss (mostly miss).  With a title like “30 Nights of Paranormal Activity with the Devil Inside the Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” how can they go wrong! I have to admit this one delivers. Nothing is safe here! Besides the film’s in the very long title, many other non-horror including “The Dark Knight Rises”, “The Hunger Games”, “The Artist” and “Black Swan” are ranked on, even TV shows like “The Bachelor”, “The Apprentice” and “Ghost Hunters”. The primary spoof is “Paranormal Activity” and with all the found footage films taken over Hollywood it is nice to see some fun poked at them. Not every joke is a score but there is enough here to make it worth a least one viewing.

Offical Premise: Scream with laughter in this found footage parody- Dana’s father was sent to a psychiatric hospital after he killed the entire cast of The Artist while an exorcism was being performed on him. She continues on with her life -gets married, has kids and moves into the same (haunted) house she grew up in. But now she must battle the demons which haunted her father before her.

Kathryn Fiore is hilarious and steals the show (Here is our interview with her from earlier this year). Writer/director Craig Moss knows how to work parodies and film’s with long titles after their last “The 41-Year-Old Virgin Who Knocked Up Sarah Marshall and Felt Superbad About It”. The only special features included on the DVD is “Behind the Scenes of 30 Nights of Paranormal Activity with the Devil Inside the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”, but it is a nice showcase on the production.  I would have loved to seen a gag reel included.  This film is not perfect but it is worth it for a few good laughs.  If you want more parodies, keep an eye out for “A Haunted House” and “Scary Movie 5” both coming this year.

Win a DVD copy of "30 Nights of Paranormal Activity with The Devil Inside The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" [ENDED]

THIS GIVEAWAY HAS ENDED AND WINNERS HAVE BEEN NOTIFIED VIA EMAIL. PLEASE CHECK BACK EACH WEEK FOR NEW GIVEAWAYS!

Scare yourself silly and scream with laughter at this hilarious spoof of Hollywood’s hottest horror movies. When a young family, who can’t seem to stop filming themselves, moves into a house that turns out to be haunted, they meet up with a host of creepy characters — including a horny vampire-hunting president who wants to emancipate their dragon-tattooed daughter. With help from the hysterically high-energy “Ghost Brothers” the family sets out to solve the mystery of the haunted house.

Written and directed by Craig Moss, 30 Nights… stars Kathryn Fiore, Flip Schultz, Olivia Alexander, Danny Woodburn and French Stewart.

For your chance of winning a DVD copy of 30 Nights…, simply answer the following question and submit your answer by clicking here:

30 Nights’ French Stewart starred in which ‘90s sitcom?
• Friends
• 3rd Rock from the Sun
• That 70s Show

This giveaway will remain open until January 11th. One entry per person, per household. All other entries will be considered invalid. Media Mikes will randomly select TWO winners. Winners will be alerted via email.

Follow @FoxHomeEnt for more updates from Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment.

Book Review “Vicious Dogs Attack Me In Sleepless Nights Of Summer”

Author: Scott Schiaffo
Paperback: 112 pages
Publisher: Scott Schiaffo
Release Date: January 5, 2012

Our Score: 5 out of 5 stars

The subtitle really sets the mood for this book perfectly: “a collection of prose, tales, and streams of semi-consciousness”.  Actor and musician, Scott Schiaffo not only authored this book of poems he also self-published it.  Scott is known best for his role in “Clerks” as the “Chewlies Gum Guy”. Before reading this book I have never really took much interest into the world of poetry.  After reading this book I think my mind has been opened to this world new world that I never really took notice to.  Be warned before you read this book it is some heavy stuff and you should really prepare yourself before diving in.

In this book we delve into the mind Scott Schiaffo and his darkest times in his life.  We glimpse into his issues with existential angst, addiction, and even near death experiences. I really need to give Scott credit for revealing this very troubled time in his life. Two notable poems have to be “Naked” and “Stitch”.  I also really enjoyed the title poem “Vicious Dogs Attack Me In Sleepless Nights Of Summer”. To quote the closing line of “Elapse”…”I want to live, not exist”,  this pretty much sums its up.

The book itself extremely simple and is not too showy.  It really let’s the words do the talking and it is what it is and take it or leave it.  To accompany these deep and honest poems are some great illustrations from Scott Meaney, co-author of the great sci-fi graphic novel, “Constellation Park”. I feel that Scott really digs deep and really reveals to us his darkest secrets and you really get an appreciation for his story that you find being told throughout each poem.  I recommend this book very highly.