This enduring heavy metal outfit was formed in Birmingham, England, in 1969, by K.K. Downing (Kenneth Downing, 27 October 1951, West Bromwich, Warwickshire, England; guitar) and close friend, Ian Hill (b. 20 January 1951, England; bass). As another hopeful, struggling young rock band, they played their first gig in Essington in 1971 with a line-up completed by Alan Atkins (b. 11 October 1947, West Bromwich, Warwickshire, England; vocals) and John Ellis (drums). The name Judas Priest came from Atkins previous band (who took it from a Bob Dylan song, The Ballad Of Frankie Lee And Judas Priest) before he joined up with Hill and Downing. Constant gigging continued, with Alan Moore taking over on drums, only to be replaced at the end of 1971 by Chris Campbell. Most of 1972 was spent on the road in the UK, and in 1973 both Atkins and Campbell departed, leaving the nucleus of Hill and Downing (in 1991 Atkins released a debut solo album that included...
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