Former JUDAS PRIEST guitarist K.K. Downing is hopeful that the band will eventually be inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame.
Even though artists are eligible for the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame 25 years after the release of their first album or single, iconic hard rock and metal bands like IRON MAIDEN, JUDAS PRIEST and MOTÖRHEAD have yet to be recognized by the institution, which inducted GUNS N’ ROSES in that group’s first year of eligibility.
Having been eligible for induction since 1999, JUDAS PRIEST was on the ballot for this year’s class of the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, but ultimately didn’t clinch the nomination.
Downing, who left PRIEST somewhat acrimoniously more than seven years ago, told Rob Rush of the 94.3 The Shark radio station that being inducted into the Rock Hall with his former bandmates “would be nice. It would be interesting to see how it all panned out, because they do kind of make all of the inducted members of the band get together and play a couple of songs, I guess,” he said (hear audio below). “As of yet, that hasn’t happened. There is time, but I’m sure the guys in charge of the whole thing are aware that time is not necessarily on our side now — obviously, being at the age that we are, the bandmembers in JUDAS PRIEST… Hopefully, we will have some time yet for that to happen. So we’ll have to wait and see.”
Downing, who is a founding member of the British heavy metal legends and was part of the group since 1969, announced his retirement from PRIEST in April 2011. He has since been replaced by Richie Faulkner, who was once the guitarist in the backing group for Lauren Harris, daughter of IRON MAIDEN bassist Steve Harris.
K.K. told BlastEcho in a 2016 interview that he “would be fine” with performing with his former bandmates at the Rock Hall induction ceremony if they were to ever receive the honor. Singer Rob Halford was also open to the idea of reuniting with Downing on the night, telling Billboard last October: “Everything’s on the table for anyone that’s been associated with PRIEST in and out of the band.”
Earlier this year, Downing released a statement in which he said that he was “shocked and stunned” that he wasn’t approached to rejoin JUDAS PRIEST following Glenn Tipton‘s announcement that he would no longer be touring with the band due to his battle with Parkinson’s disease. K.K. added that he now knows “more clearly than ever” that he did the right thing by leaving the band when he did because he believes that his contributions to PRIEST‘s legacy are “unappreciated by more than one member.”
Downing‘s autobiography, “Heavy Duty: Days And Nights In Judas Priest”, will be released on September 18 via Da Capo Press. The book was co-written by the Scottish author and journalist Mark Eglinton, whose previous collaborations include “Official Truth, 101 Proof” with Rex Brown of PANTERA and “Confessions Of A Heretic” with BEHEMOTH‘s Adam “Nergal” Darski.