Moe Nawaz of Success News recently spoke to Kenneth "K.K." Ken Downing about the former JUDAS PRIEST guitarist's success in the rock group and as a successful businessman who owns 18- and nine-hole golf courses on his property at Astbury Hall in Shropshire, England, a hotel and now holiday homes at the golf course.
In a 2009 interview with Shopshire Magazine, Downing admitted that it could be odd coming back to sleepy Shropshire after touring the world with JUDAS PRIEST.
"It is weird," he said. "I've been going and coming from this place all my life and every time it's like it's reinventing itself. I have to reintroduce myself to everything. I go to the cupboard and say, I'm sure I bought some sugar — where is it?'"
Regarding his decision to buy a house not too far from his Midlands roots, he said, "It became common sense to buy a property of your own and a few of us acquired homes in the south of Spain. I came here in 1985 — a long time. It was the house really that I liked. Before I came here I had a tiny semi in Bloxwich as my first house, but the deal was that there was bus stop outside it, and when we started doing 'Top Of The Pops' in the late '70s, people used to get off the bus and walk up the garden path for an autograph."
Downing in 2011 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 2011. He has since been replaced by Richie Faulkner, most recently guitarist in the backing band for Lauren Harris (daughter of IRON MAIDEN bassist Steve Harris).