K.K. Downing says he is ‘shocked and stunned’ he hasn’t been asked to rejoin Judas Priest in the wake of Glenn Tipton’s retirement from touring.
The guitarist, who was a member of Judas Priest from their formation in West Bromwich in 1969 until he exited 2011, released a lengthy statement on his Facebook page this morning expressing his disappointment.
Earlier this month, Judas Priest announced that Glenn Tipton has bowed out of touring with Judas Priest due to his decade-long battle with Parkinson’s disease. Andy Sneap will fill in for him on the road.
Glenn said at the time: “I want everyone to know that it’s vital that the Judas Priest tour go ahead and that I am not leaving the band - it’s simply that my role has changed.
“I don’t rule out the chance to go on stage as and when I feel able to blast out some Priest! So at some point in the not too distant future I’m really looking forward to seeing all of our wonderful metal maniacs once again.”
In his Facebook post, K.K. Downing expressed his “deep regret and sadness” at the news of his former band mate and added “I have to state with great sadness also that I am shocked and stunned that I wasn’t approached to step into my original role as guitarist for Judas Priest.”
Hitting out at Judas Priest, he added: “It seems that my time spent in the band, and my value in terms of crafting its huge legacy, was and is unappreciated by more than one member.”
K.K. Downing and Rob Halford © REX/Shutterstock
K.K.’s full statement reads:
“The news that Glenn has finally been forced to come to terms with his unfortunate condition long term came with deep regret and sadness for me. Equally, this ending of our guitar duo era is also something that I have to come to terms with. The insatiable appetite that myself and Glenn had for creating inspired and unique music for the world to enjoy for many decades, is something that can never be erased. However, everyone who has witnessed the evolution of our beloved music must come to terms with the fact that things will inevitably change, or just simply end.
“I have to state with great sadness also that I am shocked and stunned that I wasn’t approached to step into my original role as guitarist for Judas Priest. Whether I could have stepped back into the band or not, the potential for this situation arising never entered my head when I departed – although I too am officially and legally still a member of Judas Priest.
“However, I know now more clearly than ever that I did the right thing by leaving the band when I did – as it seems that my time spent in the band, and my value in terms of crafting its huge legacy, was and is unappreciated by more than one member. I sincerely hope, for the fans’ sake, that the decision not to approach me was not a financial one.
“I know Andy Sneap – and he is one of the greatest contributors to rock and metal that you will ever have the privilege to meet. To that end I have no doubt that his contribution to the new Judas Priest album was much more than just as a producer. All that’s left is for you the fans to go out and enjoy the band as it is, in order to complete a part of music history in which every one of you has played such an important role.
Judas Priest’s sole 2018 UK date takes place at Bloodstock Festival on Friday 10th August. Tickets are on sale from Planet Rock Tickets now.