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.

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  • Myk on

    Is it correct to say that JP as currently assembled has only 1 original member?

    • Dana on

      Well technically, Scott Travis has been their longest running drummer. But if you are referring to core members, only two remain, Halford, and Tipton (when he can play).

    • Doug R. on

      Isn’t Ian Hill an original member?

    • Dana on

      Well, if you are being technical “no,” but I would say “yes” and forgot him. So, three original members.

      Here is how the band was started:

      “Judas Priest formed in 1969 in industrial West Bromwich, in the Black Country, by lead vocalist Al Atkins and bassist Brian “Bruno” Stapenhill, with John Perry on guitars and John “Fezza” Partridge on drums. Perry soon died in a road accident, and amongst the replacements the band auditioned were future Judas Priest guitarist Kenny “K. K.” Downing; at the time, they turned him down in favour of 17-year-old multi-instrumentalist Ernest Chataway, who had played with Birmingham band Black Sabbath when they were still called Earth.[2] Stapenhill came up with the name Judas Priest from Bob Dylan’s song The Ballad of Frankie Lee and Judas Priest on the album John Wesley Harding.[3] No member of that early line-up lasted long enough to play on the band’s recordings, though several songs co-written by Atkins appeared on their first two albums.[2]

      The band gained a three-album recording contract with the label Immediate in late 1969 after a gig in Walsall,[a] but the label went out of business before an album could be recorded, and the band split in 1970. Late in the year, Atkins found a heavy rock band called Freight rehearsing without a singer, made up of K. K. Downing on guitars, his childhood friend Ian “Skull” Hill on bass, and drummer John Ellis.[4] He joined them, and they took on Atkins’ defunct band’s name. Their first gig was on 6 March 1971. Ellis quit later that year and was replaced with Alan Moore. Early shows included Hendrix and Quatermass covers, and in 1972 the set list included the originals “Never Satisfied”, “Winter”, and the show-closer “Caviar and Meths”.[5] July 1971 also saw them making their first recording, a 45 of “Mind Conception” with “Holy is the Man” on the B side for the Zella Records label.[6]

      Moore left and was replaced with Christopher Louis “Congo” Campbell, and the band joined Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi’s management agency Iommi Management Agency.[b] Atkins continued to write material for the band—including Whiskey Woman, which became the base for the Judas Priest staple Victim of Changes—but as finances were tight and he had a family to support, he played his last gigs with the band in December 1972.[8] Campbell left soon afterwards, and the band enlisted two members of the band Hiroshima: drummer John Hinch and vocalist Rob Halford, the brother of Hill’s girlfriend.[c] Judas Priest made their first tour of continental Europe in early 1974 and returned to England that April to sign a recording deal with the label Gull.[10] Gull suggested adding a fifth member to fill in the band’s sound; they took on as a second lead guitarist Glenn Tipton,[10] whose group The Flying Hat Band were also managed by Iommi’s agency.[7] A precursor of The Flying Hat Band called Shave’Em Dry featured future Starfighters drummer Barry Scrannage, who had played with original Priest members Ernest Chataway and Bruno Stapenhill in the band Bullion.

    • Doug R. on

      Hmm, that’s what I thought! 😉 Wow, D, you really know your Priest! I guess there’s a thin line between an original member, and an “original” member? If that makes any sense.

    • Dana on

      Yes, that makes sense.

      PS-I cannot take credit for that, I got the information from Wikipedia. I know the band’s history, but not every detail.

    • Doug R. on

      And I’m sure we’ll learn alot more when Halford’s book comes out!

    • Tyger of Pan Tang on

      Thanks for the extensive history of Judas Priest, Dana.

      It makes a lot of sense, because I had seen photos of the early line-up, and was wondering why Glenn Tipton had an afro.

    • Dana on

      LOL!!!! Thank you for the chuckle.

    • Taskerofpuppets on

      Thx for the in depth background on Priest. So, by all accounts KK Downing and Ian are the original members of Priest, right? Love it they got the Priest name from a Dylan song.

      Dylan must be the Kevin Bacon of musicians when considering 6 degrees of separation and him being the epicenter of modern popular music. I’m sure I’m not he first one to see this. Cheers \mm/

  • robert davenport on

    still more stupidity and petty behavior from 60 plus year old men that should know better , KK can still kill it onstage- KK downing and priest is like apple pie and vanilla ice cream a perfect match- I know KK left, but Jesus Christ , kiss took back ace and pete after well…. everybody knows….. I’m not sure which member of priest or management is keeping KK out but he/they better get their head out of their ass – I hope priest gets in the HOF but I wont be surprised if they don’t – If kk was physically unable to tour like glen I would understand completely why he will not be on this tour but he is perfectly capable , so here is one fan that will not be seeing priest on this tour without kk –

    • Taskerofpuppets on

      I was just thinking, maybe Sharon Osbourne is the bands manager??

    • Dana on

      Actually, not far off. Ozzy, Dio and Priest are all managed by women, as written by one. Just in case someone accuses me of being sexist, everyone is so touchy today. 😉

  • insightflow on

    So they plan to oust KK from the RRHF reception as well……………

    • Dana on

      To each their own, but I couldn’t get past one minute, sacrilege as far as I am concerned.

    • shannon mehaffey on

      the guitar solo is so sweet on there…it’s really cool.

    • Dana on

      Since I couldn’t get past one minute, I will assume it’s Eddie’s solo mashed up with either Tipton or Downing, or just Eddie’s solo? Ether way, to me, it’s still sacrilege.

    • Taskerofpuppets on

      I must admit I listened for 2 minutes of it and all I could think is that it’s God Awful! I can only see that being a hit come 2080, it’ll be ALL the rage. I should be good and dead so I won’t have to hear it again. ;o]=

    • Dana on

      Congratulations Tasker, you made it a whole 60 seconds longer than I-LOL!

      Agreed, it is God awful. Screaming For Vengeance is my favorite album of all time, talk about cheeping the legacy of that great record, yuck-o.

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