Judas Priest’s royalty rights put up for sale due to golf club issues

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir June 14, 2018 12:05

A portion of the royalty rights of 136 songs by one of Britain’s biggest ever heavy metal bands has been put up for sale due to a golf club being placed into administration.

Astbury Hall in Shropshire, which features a Georgian designed stately home, includes a golf course built and owned by the former Judas Priest guitarist, KK Downing. It entered administration last year.

Judas Priest member’s golf course enters administration

According to the Shropshire Star, four of Mr Downing’s businesses have been forced into administration and administrators have now placed a share of Judas Priest’s back catalogue on sale.

Famous tracks include Breaking The Law, which has been featured in The Simpsons and on Guitar Hero Live, and which has had more than 30 million views on YouTube, and Living After Midnight, which both made it to number 12 in 1980 in the UK singles chart. The rights are said to be worth between £250,000 and £300,000 a year.

According to the newspaper, “the metal legend developed a top-of-the-range 18-hole course with the ambition of hosting the Open Championship.

“Administrators said the course and hospitality will stay open during the administration, but it is up for sale as they attempt to maximise returns for creditors.

“Joint administrators, Alastair Massey and Steve Stokes, partners at specialist business advisory firm FRP Advisory LLP, are now selling a share of the interest in royalty rights to the Judas Priest tracks, on behalf of Ken Downing Limited.

“Anyone interested is being asked to contact kdl-royalties@frpadvisory.com.”

Mr Massey said: “Ken Downing was a founding member of Judas Priest, and was one of the driving influences of the band’s work up to his departure in 2011.

“As part of the administration process we are selling the rights owned by Ken Downing Limited to 136 tracks, which provide a unique investment opportunity.”

Mr Downing said he had taken a loan out as he looked to build a hotel, and had been “taken aback” at the lender not being more flexible over repayment.


Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir June 14, 2018 12:05
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  1. Shaz March 7, 03:03

    So what now? Is he going to lose astbury?

    Reply to this comment
  2. Gavin June 18, 11:14

    I think it is also important to note that this was not a golf club, but a course that tried to be successful through the corporate golf day and high end green fee market. It offer offerred no formal membership packages and therefore relied on making money when the sun was shining. Let’s hope the new owner sees it a bit differently!

    Reply to this comment
    • JEFF EGGLESTON September 17, 21:09

      Man, you got to sell memberships to get a steady income stream. PLUS, memberships will get the word out about also having corp golf day/public players out to the course. With the overhead of a golf course, the corp needs all the $ it can get to stay solvent.

      Reply to this comment
  3. Sarah Arsenold June 16, 21:35

    I know a little bit more than most about what happened. Plans for the hotel were approved in 1994, later along with plans for 17 lodges and luxury lodges by the Shropshire County Council. None of which were ever built. He was advised badly by the Finance and Business managers and money was borrowed to keep the business going.It was a dream that was doomed from the start. I would have sympathy but he was a ******** ******* ** *** **********. Investors should be knocking on the door of the council for their money back, they granted plans on promises without one brick ever being laid.

    Comment edited by The Golf Business

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  4. Tina Marie June 14, 21:46

    Business ventures fall apart every day. Ken just happens to be a rock star so it’s news. He had the guts and enterprise to be more than just a metal god. It lasted 7 years and then he lost. So what. He’s paying his debts and is on to his next move. Good for him. He knew when Judas Priest was becoming ‘Spinal Tap’ and took is chances. I admire the guy and I always will.

    Reply to this comment
    • Vicki October 4, 16:17

      @Tina Marie It all sounds great on the surface, doesn’t it? Do you also admire him for accepting goods and services from hundreds of small creditors and then choosing not to pay them? These small businesses may have had to lay off staff or take out loans to keep themselves afloat. A lot of damage exists under the veneer of bankruptcy and you should think twice about admiring someone for having “guts and enterprise” when it was at the expense of others.

      Reply to this comment
  5. wayne June 14, 14:15

    Interesting and when music and golf do not mix.

    Reply to this comment
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