JUDAS PRIEST guitarist K.K. Downing has posted the following message on his official web site, KKDowning.net:
"It seems that the time has come for us to put the touring wheels in motion for our next world tour in 2011!
"It's funny but these days around — about this time — I can't help but reflect on the past when we had to load the touring van ourselves. Sometimes in the ice and snow, being afraid that we would get frostbites on our fingers and not be able to play the gig!
"I remember one winter we had a gig at Hull City Hall in England. We were driving in heavy snow when we hit black ice and the car hit the motorway barriers so hard that it was never able to be driven again. However, it was fortunate that a passing farmer saved the day by letting us pile into his old Land Rover and was kind enough to drive us to the gig!
"It seems just like yesterday, as they say, that we were on tour with our good friends BUDGIE, ACCEPT, WARLOCK, AC/DC, SAXON, PANTERA... to name just a few. Very good memories indeed!
"Actually, I have just received a copy of ACCEPT's new album, 'Blood Of The Nations'. And was really happy that Wolf [Hoffmann, ACCEPT guitarist] and the boys are still creating great classic metal. I think it was back in '81 that PRIEST and ACCEPT hit the road together for the first time and what a great tour that was! I really hope that we can meet up with the guys next year, at least on some of the festival dates, and have a good laugh when talking about the old times.
"It was our great fortune, as time passed, to go on and tour with almost every band that you can think of. Some tours included very cool lineups that many people may not even be aware of: e.g. PRIEST, WHITESNAKE and IRON MAIDEN/PRIEST, SCORPIONS and DEF LEPPARD / PRIEST and UFO... and the list goes on.
"People often ask me what it's like to be on a tour and I always say the same things about it: simply it's the hardest thing that you will ever do, but you wouldn't change it for the world. The travelling becomes such a major part of your life that you actually feel like a piece of luggage yourself! But I must confess when you get to go to places that you have never been before, like Korea, Turkey, Romania, Colombia, etc., it's no surprise that you feel like the luckiest man alive. I guess mainly because for me — growing up as a kid — thinking of going to any of these places would have been pure fantasy.
"I would like to end this blog by taking this opportunity to congratulate Jukka and Teija who are to be married this weekend in Finland. Jukka and Teija first met at Jari's [Asell, Downing's webmaster] 40th birthday party. Jukka, guitarist for PRIEST tribute band PRIESTONE, was also at the party to play some PRIEST songs with the guys. It's so amazing that the happy couple who live 250 miles apart would most likely never have met if the 'PRIEST connection' had not been in place... so I guess you could say that the PRIEST well and truly worked its magic!"