“I was glad I did it, because I think that, justifiably, I kind of earned that”: KK Downing on Judas Priest’s Rock Hall reunion
Downing also says he had a largely positive experience with current Priest guitarist Richie Faulkner.
Image: Theo Wargo / Getty Images
On a recent episode of SiriusXM’s Trunk Nation With Eddie Trunk, the guitarist discussed his decision to join his former band on stage at last year’s Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony, saying [via Blabbermouth], “I deliberated [about attending the event].”
“I’m thinking, ‘It’s a long, long way to go, ’cause I’m not exactly sure how it’s gonna all pan out.’ But both myself and Les Binks [former Judas Priest drummer who was also inducted], we were delighted when we heard from the management that we were gonna be inducted. That was great,” Downing said.
“But shortly after that, we had another email saying, ‘Just to let you know that you and Les are guests of the band.’ So straight off the bat, I’m thinking, ‘Oh, here we go. This is not exactly how I thought it would go.’ And then, obviously, we were kept segregated – flights, dressing rooms, hotels, the red carpet – so it was just total segregation. And that was it.”
Downing noted, however, that his experience with Richie Faulkner – his replacement in Priest – was largely positive.
“I really must [give a] shoutout to Richie. Richie was great,” he said. “He came in the dressing room a couple of times. We had a good few laughs. Because lots of people were coming to our dressing room. It was good. Dave Grohl popped his head in, ’cause he’s such a lovely guy, so down to earth, and that was funny. We had a few laughs. And it was great.”
He continued: “[I] didn’t say anything to the other guys, but there it is. But to be honest, once I got on that stage and I did it, I was glad that I did it, because I think that, justifiably, I kind of earned that, really. And there was some energy – there was a lot of energy from myself and Richie – because I think Richie was thinking, ‘I’ve gotta go toe-to-toe with this guy. Otherwise I’m just gonna look like a shadow or something.’ But it was good. We worked it well together.”
And while Downing is glad he made the decision to attend in the end, he says that things “just didn’t feel like it used to”.
“I have to be honest… it was far from it. I think we had – well, we had two drummers and three guitar players. So that’s one reason why it didn’t quite seem the same as before, really. But, yeah, it was fun, like I say.”