“I’m a guest of the Rock Hall, but I’m there to accept my own award in my own right”: KK Downing says he wasn’t allowed to walk the red carpet with his former Judas Priest bandmates

He almost decided against attending the ceremony altogether.

KK Downing performing on stage

Image: Elsie Roymans/Getty Images

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In a new interview, former Judas Priest guitarist KK Downing has said he wasn’t allowed to walk the red carpet with his former bandmates at Rock Hall.

Downing joined the band, which he left in 2011, for a performance at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony last year. He says to Chaoszine, “Well, I was kind of debating whether to go, whether to go there and do it or not because of all the circumstances. Plus, it was a long way to go”.

The band’s manager told both Downing and former drummer Les Binks that they were guests of the band, something that he didn’t take kindly to. Recalling the moment in the interview, he says, “I’m going, ‘Fuck off.’ If anything, I’m a guest of the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame, but I’m there to accept my own award in my own right. I’m not a guest of anybody.

“And then they were gonna dictate the songs and what was gonna [be] play[ed]. So I said, ‘Oh, fuck. Should I bother doing this?’ You know what I mean? ‘Can I be really bothered?’ And then people were saying, ‘You’ve gotta go. It’ll never happen again, obviously, in your lifetime. You deserve this.’ And anyway, so I decided, ‘Okay, I’ll go.’ But, obviously, we were kept separated and not allowed to walk the red carpet together, which is all very sad, but that’s the way that they wanted it.”

However, he says that he gets on well with Richie Faulkner, his replacement in the band. While Faulkner wasn’t being inducted into Rock Hall, he took part in the performance. Downing also has good words for the band’s current touring guitarist and producer, Andy Sneap, who he describes as an “old friend”.

But, “as for the other guys,” he continues, “I don’t care less about them. If they couldn’t have just, like, at our age, just one time, just — you know what I mean? It was, just forget about it… But [it was] not to be, so [I] can’t help that”.

In a recent interview, Downing said that he’d actually broached the idea of rejoining Judas Priest in recent years, but that bassist – and his former close friend – Ian Hill rejected the idea.

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