in a new interview with Let There Be Talk, Judas Priest guitarist Richie Faulkner addresses KK Downing clone comments and insecurities.
“I’ve got long blond hair, playing a Flying V… Schenker, Zakk, K.K., Randy Rhoads – all those guys…
To say I was a Ken clone was fairly narrow-minded, there are tons of guys who have flying Vs and long hair.
“The thing is: if I had dyed my hair black to be different, I would have been shot down. You gotta be real, you gotta be who you are.
“And I grew up on Ken, I grew up on Glenn [Tipton] and the guys that I mentioned. You’ve just gotta be who you are, and I grew up with those guys, so I’m not ashamed. I wear it on my sleeve. They’re all my influences, and I’m not afraid of that.
“There’s no point in trying to hide it, but it’s gotta be natural as well and I think somehow it worked out, organically. I didn’t try to copy him. And as it goes on, you always try to do your own thing and make your own statement.”
He further continued:
“I’ve always been of the mind that you’ve gotta respect what went on before, you’ve gotta respect K.K. Downing, and taking on that same ethos, you’ve gotta respect yourself and do your own thing and create your own stamp like they did.
“‘Cause if you don’t, you’re almost disrespecting yourself and them. So you’ve gotta try to sound different and do your own thing moving forward, and that’s what I’ve been trying to do.”