Guide VOODOO HIGHWAY: COLLISION COURSE by K.K.

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There really are no rules about what you can do with lyrics in music. Everybody wanted to do everything else. I would have liked in Priest, at that point, to go in the direction of a band like Queen, for example. You can do anything. I think a lot of people miss that. They just look at it from album to album. When you look at what Priest did in terms of the great writing and the experimentation that it pursued, there were similar elements to what Queen was doing.

There is always a moment where you can go further. You should be prepared to push and stretch and take risks. But they were carefree about what people thought about where they went with their music, and I just admire that. That was always the approach. Again, the band is confident enough to play very slowly, rife with spaces and pregnant pauses. Top-notch riffs are all over the place, as they are on the rest of this solid but varied and well-sequenced record. Priest could here we are, the ultimate metalheads 75 we just treated him like a normal human being,the way gay people should be treated.

Hitting the road, however, Priest would be in support of a record that had hit a mere 34 on the U. It was not for lack of trying; the label floated a variety of singles. The U.

Still, quite soon, estimates had the new album tripling the sales of Stained Class. It was an album track, and CBS decided that it was commercial enough for a single, so we ended up on Top of the Pops, playing it. On two [occasions] when we did Top of the Pops, we were playing our hometown, Birmingham, on the same evening.

And on both occasions we were late.

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And the last time, they had helicopters and aircraft standing by, but the weather was too bad. It was a nightmare really [laughs]. We were a good couple of hours late.

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May - K.K. Downing´s Steel Mill

But the audience, God bless them, they sort of sat there and waited for us. Rob claps his wrist! But there was no bullwhip. Into a leather shop in London called Mr. S, and the proprietors started loading Rob and K.

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Jesus Christ, we used to sleep in the back of the van in Norway and Sweden and Germany, and we used to clean our teeth all together in the fucking snow. Back on the Killing Machine tour, image was helping spice things up.

It was all too much for fire marshalls and the prop was short-lived. Four dates in Japan were notched in midFebruary, from which the live Unleashed in the East album would be cut. Back in the U. In Dublin, Ireland, July 1, , as direct support on a four-band bill to Status Quo, Priest were in a standoff with the local authorities over the use of the motorcycle.

The police thought that it might incite violence, but Rob proved them wrong by bringing it out anyway, with no repercussions other than a happy headbanging crowd getting exactly what they wanted. In any event, Priest said that Kiss — in particular Paul Stanley — was quite cordial, in contrast to bands like Ted Nugent and Foghat, the latter not offering a single word of encouragement. Fortuitously for all involved, September 24, , Priest was to hook up with Harley Davidson, Rob debuting in Milwaukee with a Harley for the first time, this being the area where Harleys are manufactured.

Previously the band had used a Triumph Bonneville, but Harley was in a slump, getting ready to mount its much celebrated and publicized ascension to the intense brand recognition it enjoys today, and was looking for ideas. Before we knew it, everything was up. We were quite happy that the genre was becoming popular, but other than that, we just got on it.

Rob claims to still have the second one proffered, although an early bike was also on loan to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland. But Priest was still, courageously, mainly about the music. While firing on all sixes with what are now considered no less than four of the greatest heavy metal albums of all time, the band briefly touched down in Japan to record this landmark live album. Unleashed in the East would find Priest making an important hook-up, namely Tom Allom, who was brought in to produce the album, as much as a live album could be produced.

Allom was signed to the same management company as Priest, and had been involved with the first four Sabbath records. Tom explains that his early assignments tended to be with bands managed by the Arnakata, these including Strawbs and The Tourists. Like the ubiquitous Manor Studios owned by Richard Branson, this facility was housed in a mansion nestled in acres of countryside, the perfect setting for a band wishing to re-focus and retool.

In any event, the retooling would come later. For now, Priest was all about underscoring all that had come before, presenting with all their hard-won experience an astonishing raft of great metal songs performed with formidable skill and explosive intensity.

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Unleashed in the East would contain eight Priest classics, but in Japan, the album — rechristened Priest in the East and with altered cover art — came with a bonus EP of fully a third more tracks cut from the same cloth. Initial shipments of the album in the U. It took us 14 hours to get there, and by the time we arrived, we were totally exhausted. The first gig was in Tokyo, and when we got to the hall, none of it was set up. We were all ready to start ranting and raving when about 30 guys in white overalls turned up. When we turned around, it was like Beatlemania! In those days, we used to start the show with our backs to the audience and a stage full of dry ice.

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As the curtain went up, all these bouquets of flowers, presents, balloons and streamers came flying across. In contrast, Priest keeps it tight, taut, rock-solid, yet bullet-barraged and worked with fire, which must have helped push the album to unexpected chart placements — 10 in the U. When all was said and done, aside from the records above, no greater one hour of extreme metal classics had ever been assembled to date.

And then again, one wonders if at any point in their career they could have executed with this much flash. Although, to be fair, a large and vocal throng cites Made in Japan by Deep Purple as something special unfathomable to this writer. Still, shoving Priest into that double record pack, it was obvious which band represented a new guard. Amusingly, Priest were as old and experienced as any of them, but the band, through hard luck, ended up being forced to shape their sound in the corridors, spending five years traveling the motorways before putting out a debut album, and then, in doing so, making a pretty good one.

And we really had to give the vocals a little bit of attention, which is unusual, because Rob has a great voice. But he sung that show and he really had the flu. So he did a little bit of work, not a lot, on the vocal side of it. And we touched a couple of guitars up, but very, very little. And this rumor came out that it had been redone in the studio. All in all, it was a great live album, and a very honest live album. Some people strip everything off and then put it back on again.

But there will always be rumors. However Rob had been spotted back at Startling Studios out on the patio, with headphones on, singing away, and the rumors caught fire from there. Issue has even been taken with the crowd noise, but again, a comparison with the bootleg shows a similar idiosyncratic Japanese crowd sound. The cover art, however, was indeed done back home.

It bears the handiwork of top snapper Fin Costello, who is said to have conducted the session at Dunstable Civic Hall in front of a bunch of old age pensioners playing bingo! This was because at the time of the shoot, he had already been ousted from the band. I think he was a little bit tired with it, all the road work we did.

If I had to criticize Les, I think technically he was capable of playing anything.

Found tracks

And he stepped into the situation and filled the gap admirably. It was in time and it was note-perfect, but there was. I think for what Priest needed, just a slight lack of physical energy there.


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And I think that is eventually why we parted company. You know, there is a strong possibility that Les could still be with us, because none of us is really sure when we parted company. Simon Phillips is a very technical, very inventive drummer. Alan Moore, were very kind of straight down the road, very economic, simple, tasteful drummers. And I think the reason we got so excited about using somebody out of the Simon Phillips style of drumming was that we could just see again, at least at that time from the writing point of view, the advantage of having a drummer that could be very flamboyant and busy and hitting a lot of things, that kind of approach.

After we had been through those two writing modes, and we eventually had the experience and hooked up with Tom Allom, the band was suddenly writing in this British Steel format.