Former Judas Priest guitarist K.K. Downing recently spoke with Metal Hammer, addressing rumors that he might rejoin the band after performing on stage at the Hall of Fame Induction in November 2022. Downing characterized his place in the band as “rightful,” and he expressed expectations of the other members: “Before I started K.K.’s Priest, I asked if they’d consider me resuming my rightful place because they announced they were going out as a four-piece at one point.” “I was expecting to be asked to rejoin the band if there was an opening.” He went on to discuss how Glenn Tipton and Rob Halford reacted, implying that Halford shouldn’t have had a voice in the matter: “Glenn and Ian [Hill, bassist] wrote a flat no through their lawyers, which made no sense because I was there first.” And Rob has been out of the band for 11 years, so how does he have the right to say, ‘I won’t consider you re-joining’ – I was instrumental in getting him back in!” Downing also expressed his thoughts on what he believes Glenn want and expressed his hope that the band’s moves will not be regretted in the future: “Glenn didn’t want Rob back; he wanted Ripper [Tim Owens, who replaced Rob Halford in Priest when the latter left in the 1990s].” But I gave them one more chance, asking, ‘Are you sure? You might live to regret it one day.
‘ We can only pray they don’t.” These debates lasted a long time, and neither the band members nor their management were pleasant about it. Glenn responded to K.K.’s ‘accusations’ in 2022, claiming that K.K. wasn’t being honest or fair: “It’s time to say something, because he’s saying things he shouldn’t be saying.” They are unjust. He’s implied that he was the band’s driving power. It’s simply not true. Priest is made up of five guys that collaborate. The band is not led by a single individual. He’s said all these things that, I believe, are supposed to irritate us and get us to respond, which we haven’t done for a long time. But I have a lot to say, and enough is enough.” When asked about Downing’s return in 2019, Rob Halford gave a confusing statement, claiming he didn’t want to set any expectations: “This is such an emotive question. It’s as though they’re wondering, ‘Why isn’t Ace back in KISS?’ What will happen, I believe, will happen. I understand that’s a hazy response. I try to be as truthful as possible. I believe that being honest is a wonderful way to live your life, and I don’t want to convey conflicting signals.”