According to former Judas Priest guitarist, and founding member, K.K Downing, his former bandmates have no interest in including him on the band’s forthcoming 50th anniversary tour.

K.K writes (via his official website):

“First of all, I want to once again express my huge appreciation to all fans worldwide for the overwhelmingly positive response to my Bloodstock appearance in August and the Wolverhampton gig in early November. I am truly humbled and grateful.

I am also taken aback with the compelling fan outcry for me to participate in the Judas Priest 50th anniversary celebrations next year. Consequently, I felt the right thing to do was to reach out to my former band-mates to gather their thoughts on this, and their response is they are not receptive to my participation in the band and they do not intend to include me in the 50th anniversary celebrations.

However, the great news for the fans is that I will be continuing to forge ahead, I am looking very much forward to seeing you all on the road in 2020. Together we will take on the world”

Downing left the band in 2011 amid claims of conflict, shoddy management and declining quality of performance. He was replaced by guitarist Richie Faulkner.

Last year, he revealed that he sent two resignation letters to his former bandmates when he decided to depart from the group.. The first was described as “a graceful exit note, implying a smooth retirement from music,” while the second was “angrier, laying out all of his frustrations with specific parties.”

Downing later stated that he believed the second letter was “a key reason” he wasn’t invited to rejoin Priest after guitarist Glenn Tipton’s decision to retire from touring, due to an ongoing battle with Parkinson’s disease.

Last month, it was announced that Judas Priest is among the nominees for the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame‘s class of 2020.

Downing; Tipton; drummers Dave Holland, Les Binks and Scott Travis; singer Rob Halford; and bassist Ian Hill are all on the ballot for nomination.

58 Responses

  1. Mashups are way too confusing. Like you should never mix beer with hard liquor, it’s gonna make ya real sick. I like peanut butter and I like chocolate, and yes I like Reeses, but mike, and Priest, I like em both but not together. Someone should be sorry for making this mash up

    1. Agreed, I don’t want Michael Jackson mixed with my favorite band, thank you. Also, I find most of those mashups really silly.

    2. Well, for one…it’s not Bach, or Mozart for God’s sake…I mean, seriously..sacrilege? …second…Billie Jean is a cool song…and third…Priestifying it worked….you can also get a glimpse into how both songs pull from some of the same bluesy roots..which I also really appreciate… 🙂

    3. Look, that album means a lot to me, as it is my favorite of all time.

      Just like I don’t happen to appreciate people covering Beatles songs, I don’t value someone mashing up songs from a great heavy metal album with Michael Jackson, just my opinion, and obviously I am not alone in sharing that POV.

      There is no doubt Jackson was talented, but his career was really made by producers (like many pop artists) such as Quincy Jones, etc. He was more of a showman than a musician. His high voice was almost as predictable as his dance moves, after a while. and he could not seem to progress as an artist. Actually, I preferred him when he was young in the Jackson Five. His voice actually had soul, grit, and seemed deeper?

      While Priest, good, bad, or indifferent, always tried to change, and morph their sound and style, Jackson seemed to remain a bubble.

      Now his sister, she was the opposite. Always changing her sound, look, choreography, etc. In the end, Janet may have been the most interesting Jackson, with the most varied career.

    4. Gosh, I really didn’t want to get serious on here…but the sexual abuse of children isn’t anything to make jokes about…ever.

      It’s one song, a moment …where Tipton’s solo on there is one of the most elegant, silky smooth, coolest things I’ve ever heard addition to the other reasons I mentioned. A lot of very talented musicians appreciate mash ups…not all work…this one did.

  2. You gotta look at the big picture here. KK quit on them. He was bitter and quit. He left Priest hanging without a 2nd guitar player and without giving a s–t. So now they have to ask themselves are we going to replace him or do we end Priest . Well they got themselves a replacement and a pretty good 1 at that. Sometime a little later KK makes some bad business decisions and is almost broke . All of a sudden after bad business decisions he wants back in Priest . The old I sent 2 letters is stupid as hell, why would you do that ? I wonder if he was a man about it and talked to them in private and told them he made a bad decision and would they allow him back in the band. I doubt it . He`s taken it to the media like Ace , Sebastian Bach and Bill Ward to have the fans fight for them instead. The fans don`t know all the bulls–t these guys have caused because they dont have to deal with them.Lets not forget KK is the one who quit and let the fans down by doing so to begin with, that could have ended Priest right there. I say let him play if they`re inducted but I wouldn`t let him tour either .

    1. Being that this is may favorite band, I will continue to say, it doesn’t matter whom did what to whom, who started the drama first, etc.

      The band is celebrating a huge milestone in their career, a half a century as band. Not many bands get that luxury because, either they had disbanded many years before, or have lost many of their original members.

      As such, they should put their differences, and egos, aside for this one special, and unique tour. My fear is if they don’t, they may live to regret their decision down the line. Especially, since none of them are getting any younger, and Glenn has a neurological disease.

      Trust me, if God forbid, anything should happen to any of the original members of Black Sabbath, I am sure they will rue the day that they did not include Bill Ward on their final tour. Plus, I am sure it will leave a bitter taste in the fans’ mouths that this is the way the band chose to end an illustrious career. I just don’t want to see that happen to Priest.

  3. Priest is one of my favorite bands along with Black Sabbath. As far as Bill Ward is concerned I side with Sabbath because Bill just could not do it physically. I suppose it would have been cool to invite him on the tour to do a couple of songs every night but he couldnt do an entire set for a tour, thats a fact. As a another matter of fact he doesn`t even drum in his own band . What does that tell you. And I`m sorry Dana but were lucky there is a 50th anniversary for Priest. No thanks to KK who quit which could have lead to the end of Priest right there and now he wants to be part of it ? If they let him in when will he quit next ? Where`s his loyalty ? I say start a tribute band with Ripper,lol.

    1. Ray,

      I think Ward should have been included on the tour, even if he was only playing during the finale, along with the Tommy Clufetos.

      As for Priest, trust me, this situation is far more complex than any of us know. You can’t just blame K.K. if you don’t know the entire story. He is just one piece of a complicated puzzle, unfortunately, he chose to make his portion public. Additionally, I don’t anticipate that if Downing was invited to join the 50th Anniversary, that he would be foolish enough to squander that opportunity.

      Finally, before you accuse me of being a Downing apologist, I was very concerned when he had to sell off his publishing rights, in order to get himself out of debt. It was a very unfortunate situation, and I am still praying, and hoping, that Round Hill Publishing, who purchased Downing’s share, will not have enough voting power to dilute the band’s catalog, and legacy, by selling their music to be played on TV commercials, etc.

  4. Thats the point I was trying to make that we don`t know the whole story. Your a good fan and I`m not trying to knock you in any way . I`m just a little different in the way of loyalty . The bottom line is he quit on his mates and then lost just about everything afterwards and now he wants back in and doing his talking through the press. I can`t help but think 2 things . What if Priest quit after he quit ?

    1. Of course I cannot say this absolute certainty, but the general trend is, most bands do not tend to disband when a single member leaves, the trend is usually to just replace said band member.

      Obviously, it is easier to do when there are twin guitar players, as opposed to only one lead guitarist. A good example of this would be Iron Maiden, when Adrian Smith left, the band did not break up, they simply replaced him with Janick Gers. I believe Aerosmith is another example.

      Obviously, Priest went the same route by replacing Downing with Richie Faulkner, and now with Tipton’s illness (which has also not caused Priest to breakup), Andy Sneap has had to assist in the wake of Glenn’s absence.

      Not that I am questioning your logic, but I really cannot recall any band breaking up over a single band member leaving? However, on the flip side I understand your frustration, and I am not trying to diminish it. I am simply explaining why I think they need to bury the hatchet for this one special tour. 🙂

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