In the wake of K.K. Downing’s recent departure from Judas Priest, chatrooms and message boards across the globe have been on fire. Speculation as to the nature of his departure became the hot topic. Many felt it must be health related; that K.K. would not leave this late into the band’s career, on the eve of their farewell tour, for anything less. Other topics included whether or not the band should cancel the tour rather than go on with sub-guitarist Richie Faulkner.
In the hours after the initial press release appeared on Priest’s website, Downing announced his reasoning for the decision on his website:
It is with much regret that I will not be with you this summer. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart for your concerns about my health. Please rest assured that I am O.K.
There has been an ongoing breakdown in working relationship between myself, elements of the band, and the band’s management for some time.
Therefore I have decided to step down rather than to tour with negative sentiments as I feel that this would be a deception to you, our cherished fans.
However I would urge you to please support the Priest as I have no doubt that it will be a show not to be missed.
All my love and respect.”
The same evening, Artisan news spoke with Priest’s longtime drummer Scott Travis who gave a predictably political answer, alluding to the reasons, without ever giving a straight answer. He did say that the choice to continue on without K.K. is something the fans want. A statement that has drawn more ire than support.
Based on fan feedback on various websites, the resounding response seems to be that if there is no K.K., the band should cancel the tour and call it quits. He is a founding member along with bassist Ian Hill. Downing and fellow guitarist Glenn Tipton are one of the most iconic duos in metal history and doing a Farewell Tour without both of them is arguably a disservice to the band’s legend and the fans.
What’s your take on the matter? Sound off below!