In the new issue of Guitar World magazine, JUDAS PRIEST guitarist Glenn Tipton has fired back to Kenneth “K.K.” Downing, claiming that the band’s former guitarist has been saying things about him that are “crazy” and “aren’t fair.”
On 20 April 2011, it was announced that K. K. Downing had retired from the band and would not complete the Epitaph World Tour. Downing cited differences with the band and the management, and a breakdown in their relationship.
In 2018, Downing revealed that he sent two resignation letters to his bandmates when he decided to quit JUDAS PRIEST. The first was described as “a graceful exit note, implying a smooth retirement from music,” while the second was “angrier, laying out all of his frustrations with specific parties.”
Tipton now offered his side of the story, saying that he “never wanted to get into a public argument after K.K. left. I never said a word and I stuck to my guns for over 10 years, but there comes a point when you read things that have been said that are just crazy,” he said. “It’s time to say something, really because he’s saying things that he really shouldn’t be saying. They aren’t fair.”
“He’s insinuated that he was the driving force of the band,” Tipton continued. “It just isn’t true. PRIEST [is] made up of five guys working together. [There’s] not just one person driving the band. He’s said all these things that, I think, are meant to upset us and get us to say something in response and for a long time we didn’t. But I’ve got a lot to say and enough’s enough.”
Last year, Downing said that he was unhappy with the band’s live performances toward the end because Glenn “used to have too many beers before and during the concerts at the time. And I don’t know what was going on. We had words about it. But musically, we weren’t as footsure as I felt I wanted to be. I wasn’t really happy with that. It was rock and roll. It’s one of those things — it’s rock and roll, or you’re a band that really wants to lock it in tight. And that’s what I used to get off on musically — was being really solid and locked in with those kick drums. You’re either Keith Richards, and he’s got a beer in one hand and a cigarette in the other but you’re still playing the guitar, or you’re really digging deep.”
Tipton now dismissed Downing‘s claims as “silly.” “Everyone knows it’s not true,” he said. “Like I said, the fans aren’t stupid and they’ve seen me for 50 years playing around the world. I may have had a couple of beers onstage, but that’s all. It’s never affected the concert or my performance whatsoever and he knows that.”
“I would never have talked about Ken that way,” Glenn added. “It’s just that his accusations have gotten sillier and sillier — and I deserve to respond. He left the band. We couldn’t convince him to stay. And then he accused me of taking six years off to write two solo albums. I only did the solo albums because we were inactive at the time while Rob [Halford, vocals] was doing his solo things.”