In a new interview on Rock Talk With Mitch Lafon, former Judas Priest guitarist KK Downing talked about his relationship with former bandmates, and more.
Mitch asked the following questions:
Mitch: You and Tim [‘Ripper’ Owens] need to get out there and do a night of Priest somewhere to celebrate the 50 years.
“That could be fun. I have to say, I’m playing again pretty heavily now, so we’ll rock on in the future.”
Mitch: Your chops are still there, right? You’re still K.K. of Judas Priest?
“Yeah, no, it doesn’t work like that. When you’ve been a professional player for so long…
“I mean, put it this way – you could have some of those golfers in the ’60s or ’70s, or even ’80s, they’ll still go around any golf course that we might want to play and shoot subpar rounds.
“You see some of these guys in their 60s, or even 70s, doing these exhibition matches, but they’re still great golf players. Once you won majors, you can kick anybody else’s a*ses in the arena, that’s for sure.”
Mitch: When Rob [Halford] left [in 1992], there was the same kind of pattern, there were interviews and the band, Glenn [Tipton, guitar] and you said, ‘Hey, we’ve got Tim in. It’s fresh blood, it sounds great, we wish Rob well,’ but eventually, he comes back and you have that conversation. Why do you think it’s different this time?
“It’s a good question. I’d say Rob was welcomed back after 14 years, and as I said, we didn’t restrict Rob in any way. At the same year that I had left, Robert had released two solo studio albums and did his own tour, including Ozzfest with the Halford band…
“Rob was happy, you know, everybody was okay, everybody was fine. I don’t know, I’m not on that side of the fence, I can’t really answer all the questions, but it is what it is.
“I guess we were the driving force, really, and we very successful at it, so it was a good thing for so long, but I’ll say everything kind of reaches an end.
“And I think for that reason, I think when Glenn announced he wasn’t going to continue anymore, I thought that would be an opportunity for me to step in if that was the mainstay of the predicament that was going on.
“I was shocked and stunned that it didn’t happen. The rest of the guys didn’t invite me or at least let me know. I would just want to clear that up, a lot of fans say, ‘K.K. why didn’t you pick the phone up to the guys?’
“But the first I heard Glenn was replaced, I found out the same time everyone else did. Before it, I didn’t have a clue. That was the choice, I don’t think anybody’s asked Rob, Glenn, and the guys, you know, ‘Why didn’t you pick up the phone to K.K.?’
“We got along pretty good, it was just the internal kind of political thing that was getting to be a problem for me, other than that we’ve gotten along pretty well.”