Founding JUDAS PRIEST guitarist K.K. Downing has commented on the passing of the band's former drummer, Dave Holland.
Downing said in a statement: "It is with deep regret that I have to accept the sudden and unexpected news that Dave Holland has passed away. Dave was a solid friend in life and solid musician both on the stage and in the studio; I will cherish the many gigs we played together and the albums that we made and I will always be grateful to the indelible contribution that Dave gave to JUDAS PRIEST.
"My sincere condolences to all of Dave's loved ones family and friends and to all of the fans that so much appreciated Dave's musical ability and his life's work.
According to the Spanish newspaper El Progreso, the 69-year-old Holland died on Tuesday, January 16 at Hospital Universitario Lucus Augusti in Lugo, Spain. The cause of his death has not been revealed, but his body has already been cremated, according to the newspaper.
Dave joined PRIEST in 1979 and stayed in the band for a decade, playing on such classic albums as "British Steel" (1980), "Point Of Entry" (1981), "Screaming For Vengeance" (1982), "Defenders Of The Faith" (1984), "Turbo" (1986), and "Ram It Down" (1988). He exited the band in 1989 and was replaced by Scott Travis. Holland was also a founding member of TRAPEZE alongside Glenn Hughes and Mel Galley, his bandmates from a previous group named FINDERS KEEPERS.
K.K. announced his retirement from PRIEST in April 2011. He has since been replaced by Richie Faulkner, who was once the guitarist in the backing group for Lauren Harris, daughter of IRON MAIDEN bassist Steve Harris.