Former JUDAS PRIEST guitarist K.K. Downing expresses his sympathy towards MÖTLEY CRÜE guitarist Mick Mars, who is involved in a legal conflict with his fellow band members regarding the group’s current tour.
As previously reported, Mars has filed a lawsuit against his former bandmates where he alleges that MÖTLEY CRÜE reduced his share of earnings from 25 percent to a mere 5 percent after revealing his decision to withdraw from touring. Additionally, he states that the group’s attorneys made him feel as if he should appreciate this minimal portion, as they believed they had no obligation to provide him with anything. Mick also asserts that a complete band gathering took place where they chose to “unilaterally” exclude him from MÖTLEY CRÜE.
Mick consistently alleged that bassist Nikki Sixx was “gaslighting” him by suggesting his guitar abilities were declining, even though Sixx didn’t “play a single note on bass” throughout a recent tour, as stated by the guitarist. Mick asserts that all of Nikki‘s segments were pre-recorded.
Downing sent an audio message to Blabbermouth addressing the similarities between his situation and Mars‘s, saying: “I do sympathize [with Mick], because I’m going through exactly the same thing. And it’s pretty unsavory, to say the least. After spending a lifetime building the band’s name, reputation, popularity and value, in particular brand name, it should be all right for people to retire, especially through illness.
“In my case, we were gearing up in 2010 to do a final world tour, the ‘Epitaph’ tour, which was meant to be the end of the band,” Downing continued. “And because I was having pressure put on me to write for an EP to support that tour, which I absolutely was not gonna be any part of… I certainly didn’t want to finish my career with an EP. So I threw the towel in and sent a retirement letter in.
“There was a whole set of circumstances for me not doing the final tour. And one of the main considerations [was] we were getting to be concerned about Rob [Halford, PRIEST singer] and we thought that he was gearing up, ready to leave [the band] again. Because in 2010, when all this was going on, the planning of the farewell tour and finishing the band, the justification was that Rob pretty much within 12 months [in] 2010 had released two studio albums with his own band and had done a world tour, including Ozzfest.
“And we were very much thinking that Rob, with his own manager, would go separate ways again,” K.K. added. “And that was another serious consideration. I really wanted to mention that because it really wasn’t the band I was leaving; it was just I decided not to do the farewell, final tour of the band, because that’s what we all agreed and that’s what was intended to happen. So essentially my decision was just not to do the final tour of the band. Of course I didn’t know that the band would continue, at that time, right up until today. Otherwise things and decisions may well have been different. But, as I said, I sympathize with Mick because the circumstances between the two of us seem to be pretty much… well, identical.”
K.K. further stated that Halford, along with bassist Ian Hill and guitarist Glenn Tipton, joined forces and removed him “as a director” within the organization Judas Priest Music Limited, the entity responsible for managing PRIEST‘s assets.
“As a 25 percent shareholder in the company, their stance is that my shares don’t have a value, which is completely ridiculous,” Downing said. “I think Mick actually talked about that particular thing as well [as it relates to MÖTLEY CRÜE] and it seems to be what the rest of the guys in his band are trying to do also…. Even the [JUDAS PRIEST] 50-year anniversary book, for example, that’s seriously well illustrated with so many pictures of my life’s history that I don’t get any revenue from that whatsoever, or from any merchandise. And I’ve been told that the company has no value.”
Downing further mentioned that his intention in discussing his experience was to caution fellow musicians who might potentially encounter a comparable predicament in the future.
“I think to safeguard any other people that may be coming around to being in this position that may well be acquaintances of mine or even good friends of mine, I wouldn’t like them to be in the same position,” he said. “So safeguards needs to be put in place to avoid even the thought of litigation. But as for me and Mick, it seems that’s our only route.”