K.K. Downing Left Judas Priest Over Non-Activity & Imbalance
It sounds like he was getting bored as some of his band-mates were out doing solo albums and tours.
His new book, “Heavy Duty: Days and Nights in Judas Priest” is coming out shortly and VintageRock.com asked if writing the book gave him some closure? He said, “Yeah, I think so. I guess it’s the same with any long term relationship – whether it’s a husband or wife, or father or son or whatever – you spend enough time together, and idiosyncrasies show up. I guess there was no particular right or wrong – some people have more tolerance than others, and it takes a bloody miracle really to stay together for 40 years. Someone has to give. And it has to be give and take. But inevitably, it becomes a bit of an imbalance, and I like to think that democracy is always the best policy. And there wasn’t enough of it there, I don’t think.”
He told that magazine that it bothered him when Priest vocalist Rob Halford and guitarist Glenn Tipton went off to do their solo stuff. He found it disruptive and then they asked him to start writing a 5 track EP and that sent him over the edge. He said, Rob has just released two albums in the last year, and we are only releasing an EP? Something is not right.’ Enough was enough really, and I bailed out there. And like I said in the book, I tried to put it as diplomatically as I could. But in a nutshell, enough was enough, really. And that was it.”
As for his relationship with the boys in the band he says, “I can’t say it’s overly sweet at the moment. Nothing lasts forever. I started in the late 60s, so certainly guys from that time, we’re not going to be around forever. Obviously, we’re losing a lot of good friends along the way. It is the way it is. For my own part, there is always a better way, and I always believe that democracy is the epitome of the way forward for everyone. That’s all that needs to happen. But, it’s a case of someone always wants a bigger share of the pie or whatever it is. It is what it is.”
In the beginning of the year guitarist Glenn Tipton of the band bowed out from the band and announced that he had Parkinson disease and they didn’t ask Downing to come back but would he? He says, “Before, I wasn’t asked, but if I would have been asked, it probably would have been depending on how I was asked, really, and how it was going to be going forward. And that would still be the same in the future. … I can’t really foresee that there would be another opening, so I guess it would be all too late. But if something did happen, I would have to see how the land lays at that particular point.”
K.K. Downing left Judas Priest in 2011. You can order his book “Heavy Duty: Days and Nights in Judas Priest” via the link in the description of this video. – by John Beaudin
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John Beaudin has been in major market radio (Edmonton, Vancouver & Calgary) for 35 years and a music journalist since 1989. He graduated from Broadcasting school as a news man so he would have the skills to write about the artists that inspired him since he bought his first album, “Madman Across The Water” by Elton John as a teen. In the 80’s Beaudin was the host of the syndicated radio show “The Cross Canada Report” which had two version (Rock and A/C). Beaudin was also asked to be a judge at the Juno Awards (Canada’s answer to the Grammys) Twice. He has anchored every position in radio including morning and afternoon drive and was a Program and Music Director for The Breeze and California 103 in Calgary. He currently hosts the popular Lovesongs at QM-FM in Vancouver and on iHeartRadio.
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