Heavy Duty

Days and Nights in Judas Priest
Narrated by: Maxwell Caulfield
Length: 9 hrs and 56 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (273 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Memoir by the cofounder and former lead guitarist of heavy metal giant Judas Priest.

Judas Priest formed in the industrial city of Birmingham, England, in 1969. With its distinctive twin-guitar sound, studs-and-leather image, and international sales of more than 50 million records, Judas Priest became the archetypal heavy metal band in the 1980s. Iconic tracks like "Breaking the Law", "Living After Midnight", and "You've Got Another Thing Coming" helped the band achieve extraordinary success, but no one from the band has stepped out to tell their or the band's story until now.

As the band approaches its golden anniversary, fans will at last be able to delve backstage into the decades of shocking, hilarious, and haunting stories that surround the heavy metal institution. In Heavy Duty, guitarist K.K. Downing discusses the complex personality conflicts, the business screw-ups, the acrimonious relationship with fellow heavy metal band Iron Maiden, as well as how Judas Priest found itself at the epicenter of a storm of parental outrage that targeted heavy metal in the '80s. He also describes his role in cementing the band's trademark black leather and studs image that would not only become synonymous with the entire genre, but would also give singer Rob Halford a viable outlet by which to express his sexuality. Lastly, he recounts the life-changing moment when he looked at his bandmates on stage during a 2009 concert and thought, "This is the last show." Whatever the topic, whoever's involved, K.K. doesn't hold back.

With the band at the beginning through his retirement in 2011 (and even still as a member of the band's board of directors), Downing has seen it all and is now finally at a place in his life where he can also let it all go. Even if you're a lifelong fan, if you think you know the full story of Judas Priest, well, you've got another thing coming.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio. 

©2018 Ken Downing Ltd. (P)2018 Hachette Audio

Critic Reviews

"A rare look into life behind the scenes with his former band." (The Hype)

"Downing, guitarist and founding member of the British heavy metal band Judas Priest, delivers a thoughtful account of his 40-year career with the group.... Downing's detailed and earnest look at Judas Priest's career successfully shows how it achieved its main artistic goal - to empower its audience with a 'sense of freedom and power' through its music." (Publishers Weekly)

"[Downing] demolishes the myths and reveals a man - and a band - in constant turmoil. There are many revelations.... A curious, cathartic read." (Planet Rock)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

An abused Oliver Twist roller coaster story

The narrator, Maxwell Caulfield, sounds just like KK and read beautifully & naturally. (only 1 mispronunciation)
Insights into the workings of the band and KK's experience answered a lot of questions about which I'd wondered over the years, including his reasons for leaving Judas Priest.
Fascinating stuff for a 40+ year fan.

5 people found this helpful

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Excellent

As a big-time Judas Priest fan and musician, I loved the insight into how it all unfolded from KK’s viewpoint. All the things you hope to hear about are in there.

The narrator was perfect. His midland accent is perfect for this book, and his reading and inflections ore superb.

4 people found this helpful

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The Blonde Bomber

I have been a fan of Judas Priest since the 1982 release of Screaming For Vengeance, I have bought everything they have ever released including the two studio albums and the two live albums during the Ripper era when Rob Halford was doing his solo gig, So its really great to hear stories about all of my favorite albums and tours over the years and to hear KK version of his story, if your a fan check it out.

3 people found this helpful

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Really enjoyed this book

As a 50 year old fan, this book brought back tremendous memories. Those great 70’s and 80’s albums were the soundtrack of my teenage years.
K.K’s perspective of the band and issues with members sound like a brotherhood not squabbling ego driven musicians.
The book appears to be an honest declaration of events that forged the “Metal Gods” to the band that is still touring today.
Give this book a chance and you will not be disappointed. My impression is this is an honest recollection of Judas Priest.

2 people found this helpful

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Excellent and entertaining story

An excellent and entertaining story of K.K.’s early life, founding of Judas Priest, and the years until his parting from the band. As a ravenous JP fan, I enjoyed listening to this book, and pausing to listen to the songs as they were referenced throughout. Even though I didn’t think it would be possible, this book elevated my level of appreciation of the music!

2 people found this helpful

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one of the best heavy metal music audio books!

excellently written and read! I would recommend this to any rock n roll or metal fan!

2 people found this helpful

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Fun ride!

Very interesting and at a well paced tempo! We learn about an abusive parent and a bright kid focused up and away from that nightmare! We get a wonderful glimpse of a brilliant career! Bravo K.K. bravo!
Wonderful narration also

1 person found this helpful

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K.K. Delivers the Goods!!

Great stories from K.K. beginning to end. Couldn't stop listening. A total must for Priest fans!! Thank you K.K. for your honesty, integrity, and inspiration.

1 person found this helpful

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HEAVY METAL MUST READ<br /><br /><br />

FUCKING AWESOME READ,GREAT STORYLINE, EVERYTHING YOU EVER WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT THE EARLY DAYS OF HEAVY METAL. MUST HEAR FOR ANY METAL HEAD. A EDDY TRUNK FIVE STAR RATED BOOK !!!!!

1 person found this helpful

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K.K. Downing Metal God

I just finished this book and it's a good read, or listen as it were. K.K. is one of the truly underrated guitarists of the last 30 years of the 20th century. As much as I love Tony Iommi of Black Sabbath KK did as much, or maybe even more to give heavy metal fans the look, the sound, the smell and the feel of heavy metal. From his humble, desolate upbringing to fronting one of the greatest bands of all time, his story is inspiring. Thank you KK for the music, it will last longer than all of us.

1 person found this helpful