K.K. Downing says that he will always remember his former JUDAS PRIEST bandmate Dave Holland as "a good guy" and "an integral part" of the group.
Holland died in January in Lugo, Spain, where the 69-year-old had reportedly been residing after spending several years in a British jail for attempting to rape a teenage boy. The drummer was sentenced in January 2004 of trying to assault the 17-year-old in his cottage in Northamptonshire, England, while giving him drumming lessons. The abuse was revealed in a letter written by the teenager to his parents. Holland always denied any involvement in the attempted rape of the special-needs student and was at one point said to be planning to write a tell-all biography of his life and career.
During a recent interview with Listen Iowa, Downing stated about Holland: "When Dave left, we just carried on. The machinery has to keep going. You kind of go forward in any way you can and keep yourself busy.
"I don't know what Dave went on to do, but he got himself into a mess," the guitarist continued. "I've been in enough situations and courtrooms in my life that I've seen a lot of things happen. I'm not a person who pre-judges anybody. A lot of innocent people have been hung, and a lot of guilty people have gone free. Mistakes do get made, but I wasn't there, so I can't pre-judge.
"Dave was the person who I knew him as, and I'm sure the fans feel the same," Downing added. "Dave was an integral part of JUDAS PRIEST for all the years he was in the band. He was a good bloke to me — always a good guy. And I will always remember him as that."
According to the El Progreso newspaper, Dave lived discreetly in a secluded part of Spain and was described by the neighbors who knew him as "very kind and polite."
Dave joined PRIEST in 1979 and stayed in the band for a decade, playing on such classic albums as "British Steel" (1980), "Point Of Entry" (1981), "Screaming For Vengeance" (1982), "Defenders Of The Faith" (1984), "Turbo" (1986), and "Ram It Down" (1988). He exited the band in 1989 and was replaced by Scott Travis. Holland was also a founding member of TRAPEZE alongside Glenn Hughes and Mel Galley, his bandmates from a previous group named FINDERS KEEPERS.