LES BINKS - DRUMS:
Where is he now?
Born James Leslie Binks.
Was in Judas Priest from March 1977 to August 1979.
Former Eric Burdon drummer James Leslie Binks was a drummer on the 1974 Roger Glover album Butterfly Ball And The Grasshopper's Feast, which featured such legendary names as David Coverdale, Glenn Hughes, and Ronnie James Dio behind the microphone. The album started out as a soundtrack for an animated film based off a famous book in England. Roger used different singers for the different characters, but unfortunately, a promo for the film never gained any interest, so the project was scrapped. Roger went on to release the soundtrack as a "Roger Glover and Friends" title. Vocalist Eddie Hardin co-wrote three of the album's songs with Roger Glover and then went on to release his own written and produced projects, the first of which was 1976's Eddie Hardin's Wizard's Convention, which again included Les Binks on drums and David Coverdale lending his voice to one track that has come to be known as one of his best and most emotional studio-recorded vocal ever! Also on the album was Deep Purple's Jon Lord on piano. Both Butterfly Ball and Wizard's Convention have been placed together and re-released several times as a combo CD, and Japan's Teichiku label issued their own 1995 CD compilation titled Best Of Rare Collection and sold it as a Deep Purple album! Through the Roger Glover connection, Judas Priest auditioned and hired Les Binks in time for their 1977 world tour - their first on American soil.
Les remained with Priest for two short but very productive years, recording two studio albums and one live LP that remain the most ground-shaking and defining of the heavy metal genre. Though Les is highly considered a favorite amongst the hardcore fans, as Priest entered the '80s, the members felt a change in musical direction was forthcoming, and Les would be too technical for the pounding metal Priest were planning on unleashing in the new decade.
as great as Les was, after those few albums, we wanted to go after something a
little more simple and harder,..”
- Rob Halford, EDGE magazine, May 2003
WHERE IS HE NOW?:
Since his departure, Priest members have jokingly claimed to have lost touch with Binks and his whereabouts:
"I think he
went into a vegetarian clinic in New Mexico.
We haven't seen him since. The only way that you can find out is sometimes large
areas of bean plantations have been attacked in the night, and we think that
- Glenn Tipton, Goldmine magazine, June 5, 1998
Les Binks 2002
But the truth is, Les has been playing in a classic-rock cover band around South London called The Shakers with ex-Alice Cooper/Almighty guitarist Pete Friesen and vocalist/guitarist Tom Lundy of The Poormouth. Rounding out the band is bassist Eamonn Doyle. Here's a pic of the group when Wizard Oz of Snake Eyes joined them for a couple of numbers at Eddies Bar in Luton, England:
Les and Pete Friesen have also done time in Metalworks along with ex-Iron Maiden guitarist Tony Parsons (Tony was one of a series of guitarists that played briefly in Maiden in '79 before Dennis Stratton joined the band), playing Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, and other legendary metal band covers around London:
And Les also had a recent stint with an Irish Country/Folk/Pop trio called the Faintin' Goats as well as past touring with Lionheart (featuring ex-Iron Maiden guitarist Dennis Stratton) in 1981 and Tytan (1982-1983).
Burdon (Animals): single "Touch Me" (1974)
Roger Glover (with David Coverdale, Glenn Hughes, and Ronnie James Dio): Butterfly Ball And The Grasshopper's Feast (1974)
Fancy: Wild Thing and Something To Remember (1974-1975)
Eddie Hardin (with Roger Glover, David Coverdale, Glenn Hughes and Jon Lord): Wizzards Convention (1976)
Axispoint: Axispoint (1977)
Roger Chapman: Mail Order Magic (1980)