K.K. Downing (ex-Judas Priest) Defends David Ellefson (Ex-Megadeth)
In a display of solidarity between ex-members of famous metal bands, former Judas Priest guitarist K.K. Downing has wished ex-Megadeth bassist David Ellefson well and offered a defense of his recent actions.
Ellefson was dismissed from Megadeth last week after sexually explicit videos leaked showing him carrying on a relationship with a woman outside his marriage. Initial accusations that the woman was underage, that Ellefson “groomed” her and the relationship was not consensual were rebuffed both by Ellefson and the woman herself. In his statement dismissing Ellefson from the group, Megadeth mainman Dave Mustaine indicated that there were also unrelated factors involved in his dismissal, citing “an already strained relationship.”
Now Downing, who left Judas Priest in 2011 by his own volition and later became sour about not being invited back — eventually launching his own outfit, KK’s Priest, with two other former members of the band — has expressed support for Ellefson, revealing the two have communicated since the latter’s expulsion from Megadeth.
There’s some added history behind the relationship, too: in 2019, Ellefson joined what would eventually become KK’s Priest for a live performance of Priest classics in the U.K.
Speaking to SiriusXM’s Eddie Trunk, Downing said that there’s no chance of Ellefson joining KK’s Priest now that the band’s lineup is set, but that they’ve been in touch recently:
“But, yes, Dave and I, every now and again we’re in touch, and, obviously, I did send David a text saying, obviously, ‘You’ve got a lot of friends around the world.’ And he does. He’s not just liked — he’s actually loved. Because he’s such a gentleman. He gives time to… I prided myself in Priest, I really felt I was the one guy that was the very last person to hang out with the fans and just socialize and all of that. But David is exactly that person — he really is — and everybody says that about him.
“What happened — and I talk about it with other journalists and things like that — if this had happened in the ’70s or the ’80s, it would have just been put down to rock and roll. He’s no different to anybody else. We’ve all got strengths, and we’ve all got weaknesses, especially as men, I’m afraid. And so many have kept the doors closed where David messed up and left the door ajar, but he’s no different to anybody else.
“So, I wish him well and everything, and I know that he will, obviously, come back, because he’s so good. And he’s an amazing bass player; there’s no two ways about it. ‘Cause when we did the gig at [the Wolverhampton club] Steel Mill, he flew in. We had one rehearsal, in the freezing-cold rehearsal room. He just got off the plane — and Ripper as well — and we ran through the set once. Then we went out and did the show, for better or for worse.”
Where I lose Downing is the “especially as men” bit, which comes off as some kind of #MenSufferToo bullshit. But yes, it’s certainly the case that Ellefson was the victim of unfortunate circumstances regarding how the videos leaked… AND he fucked up badly, threatening both his family and career… both of which can be true at the same time.