"Glenn Tipton's highly structured, classically flavored playing and K.K.
Downing's aggressive style compliment, contrast and compete with each
"I don't think of Van Halen as being heavy metal. When I think of heavy
metal, I think of Judas Priest..."
"I'm very proud of the
fact that we carved our own niche in metal and rock history, and people
have been inspired by us".
"Glenn and I are both very much of
the same temperament. We've always been aware that, 'If you try and overtake me
or try and overstep the mark a little bit, I'm gonna come down on you.' And
that's the way it's always been with us."
often faced with situations where both of you might want to take a lead break
and both of us have had to make concessions. It can lead to arguments if you let
"How much we drew
from each other, I don't really know, but we put something together that we
thought was a pretty good blend. Glenn was predominantly more blues-oriented,
where I was sort of progressive and a bit wild."
we’re fortunate that the guitar solos just blend together in a way that enhances
the character of Priest. It’s nothing we really have to work at, it’s just one
of those freak things. His style and my style just work well together in the
band. That being said, Ian has his own style and Scott has been with us for
twelve years as well. We are fortunate that we have that character inherent in a
band. It’s something you should really cherish. Fortunately, all of it just
makes up the Judas Priest sound, and we’ve never tried to stray from it because
we realize the value of it. It’s great."
"I believe that even
when we're soloing, it has always been done within the context of the song.
It was never designed to be a personal showcase. With Priest, the song
always comes first."
"I love what they
both do. I'm not attached to one more than the other. It puts me in a nice
position as a writer, from a lyrical melody point-of-view. It allows me to
open up a lot more, rather than just working along side one specific style
of guitar playing."
and K.K. are still hungry guitar players who challenge one another in a good
way. Its tombstone, gunslinger shit, like a shoot-out at the JP corral!"
For a while, the second "K" in Downing's name was thought to stand for "Kevin", when K.K. made a joke about it during a radio interview:
K.K. owns a home in Spain:
But his main abode is a £2million ($3.64 million) country estate called Astbury Hall in Shropshire, England, located in the Midlands near Bridgnorth...
K.K.'s estate home made
headlines in England's STAR tabloid in 2003 when a former girlfriend who had
been looking after the mansion while K.K. was away on the DEMOLITION world
tour tried to sue for a share of the estate.
After K.K. and Sarah met, Sarah quit a promising career in pharmacy to live with him at his Astbury Hall estate. Sarah also says that during their time together she put up with years of abuse. When the affair ended, she demanded a cash settlement - but K.K. only offered her a tank of gas for her car:
Sarah mde a claim for around £200,000 ($364,000) compensation because she says she ran the estate while K.K. was away on tour with Judas Priest, and that she is entitled to part of his fortune for investing "time and skill" in Astbury instead of her own career - and now she's broke. She also claims that K.K. had bought her an engagement ring from Argos and asked her to wear it on her wedding finger. But K.K. insists the ring is not an engagement band - he never intended to marry Lissimore, nor share his estate with her:
On April 4, 2003, a Birmingham
County Court judge dismissed Sarah's claim and also ordered her to pay up to
£100,000 ($182,000) in legal costs.
'70s - '80s Gear:
Late '80s - '90s Gear:
While waiting for his new ESP custom V to be made, ESP sent him a custom K.K. model (well, the Kerry King K.K. anyway...), which has been used on the early parts of the DEMOLITION world tour.
VIolent Storm (2005)
As K.K. looks to the future, he sees a career in music, especially Judas Priest music, as still being the closest thing to his heart:
Glenn's older brother Gary not only helped Glenn take up the guitar, but he also served as Glenn's guitar tech on the PAINKILLER tour!
HOME AND FAMILY:
Glenn lives in the countryside of Romsley, Worcestershire, in the West Midlands near Birmingham, England and has a state-of-the-art recording studio built next to his home. He is married with a son and a daughter.
Shave And Dry (1970)
The Flying Hat Band (1972 - 1974)
Four songs from the unreleased Flying Hat Band sessions were placed along with songs by Antrobus on a bootleg CD titled Buried Together in 1992. Two more very rare Flying Hat Band demos have also leaked into circulation among traders.
'70s - '80s Gear:
Late '80s Gear:
Greg "Weasel" Morgan has been Glenn's guitar tech since 1993, and Glenn's brother Gary was his guitar tech during the Painkiller tour.
Thanks again to Steve Matthes and to the Hamer Fan Club for helping with the following details of Glenn's Hamer guitars:
Glenn had several Hamers made for him based off of the Hamer Phantom platform. In 1982, Hamer introduced the Phantom A5 with a humbucker and a single-coil pickup then updated it in 1984 with a six in-line headstock, and in 1986, added the A7 (with synthesizer controller). For the 1984 Defenders Of The Faith tour, Hamer released the Phantom GT which had a single Hamer Slammer humbucker pickup and single volume control, as well as a Kahler tremolo system. This, along with the Vector KK were introduced to the public in 1984 as part of the Defenders Of The Faith campaign and they remained in production through 1986. Here is a picture of the consumer-production model guitars, thanks to Priest fan Barry Duncan:
For the 1986 Turbo/Fuel For Life tour, Hamer designed a unique model exclusively for Glenn. It was a black angular guitar with a white stripe outlining the body that loosely resembled a Gibson Explorer (which has caused some to mistakenly call this the Scarab GT, though it is not a Scarab model at all). The Glenn Tipton Custom Hamer was also made in white with a black outline stripe and for 1990/91 Painkiller/Operation Rock N Roll tour, the white guitar's outline stripes were removed in favor of painting the bevels black to accent the body. This has been Glenn's main guitar of choice ever since.
Samantha Fox - Just One Night (1991) - "Spirit Of America"
Interesting note: Stock, Aitken, Waterman produced Samantha Fox's Greatest Hits album in 1992 which included "Spirit Of America" - so once again, there is a slight SAW/Glenn Tipton/Judas Priest connection!
The Nixons - Foma (1995) - "Drink The Fear"
Ugly Kid Joe - Live June 30, 1998, Nottingham, England - "Grinder", "Rapid Fire", and "Green Manalishi"
Glenn and K.K. are also listed among the cast in the 1996 movie In A Metal Mood, a film about '50s pop icon-turned-Gospel-singer Pat Boone's dream of recording his own version of a heavy metal album. In the film, Pat falls asleep by the pool and dreams of rock stardom, but his dream quickly turns to nightmare as he descends into the dark world of heavy metal hell! Several big names in metal (such as Ozzy) make cameo appearances. Pat followed up the next year with his own Las Vegas lounge-act cover of "You've Got Another Thing Comin'" on his album release In A Metal Mood: No More Mr. Nice Guy...
Steel & Leather Productions, U.S.A.