Ex-JUDAS PRIEST Guitarist K.K. DOWNING's Fairway To Heaven

Former JUDAS PRIEST guitarist Kenneth "K.K." Downing tells Birmingham Post that he bought his home at Astbury Hall in Shropshire, England in 1985 when he swapped his modest semi-detached home in Bloxwich for the 19th century mansion.

"I went and did what they all damn well do when suddenly you come into a bit of money and you go mad," he said.

"The highlight when I came here was to get the keys to the house, but I was also delighted to get the keys to a barn where I could put my new Porsche Turbo.

"Suddenly I went completely mad and wanted everything I had never had.

"When I came here I didn't care if it was big. I just thought I will find a use for every room, though initially it kind of felt like it wasn't mine and was all a bit of a dream. It had an antiquated alarm system that used to keep going off in the night. I used to walk around with my pellet gun. It was a very solemn and desolate place, particularly at night time — I could hear all sorts of things."

Downing last year shot down as "inaccurate" reports that he left JUDAS PRIEST because he chose to concentrate on running the 18- and nine-hole golf courses on his property.

Downing, who is a founding member of the British heavy metal legends and was part of the group since 1969, announced his retirement from PRIEST in April. He has since been replaced by Richie Faulkner, most recently guitarist in the backing band for Lauren Harris (daughter of IRON MAIDEN bassist Steve Harris).

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