“It Was Just Cruel And Unfair” KK DOWNING About His Leaving JUDAS PRIEST

K.K. Downing
Photo credit: Denise Truscello/WireImage/Getty

One more chapter on Judas Priest and KK Downing soap opera. The guitarist said to Rock’n’Roll Archeology what really pissed him off. Read it here:

“Originally, my thoughts were, ‘Something strange is happening to me. And I don’t like how it feels.’ But I could feel that I was either gonna pick up the phone or I was gonna do something rash.

“So I sat down, put pen to paper and I actually wrote a gracious [resignation letter]… And I did use the word ‘retirement,’ and I said that I was retiring from the business. And I wanted to keep the peace and not burn any bridges. I wanted to do all of that, and I did that. I was consistent with my personality – I did that.

“I thought that, obviously, I’m a part, I’m still a director of the company, I’m still involved. I thought, ‘I’m gonna have to speak to these people and deal with ’em,’ so I thought, ‘This is the way to do it. I will be out. If somebody wants it, they can have it. Fine. It’s yours. I’m going.’

“So I did that. But as soon as it was announced to the press that I was out, a spark was lit and I just went over the edge and I sent in a second letter saying, ‘Please ignore my original leaving letter.’

“And I sent in a second letter, and it was a bit more to the point, shall we say? [Laughs] It was the ‘F.O.’ [F*ck Off] letter. [Laughs] And that was it. That was me quitting. I went against every grain of my normal personality, and I thought, ‘That’s it.’

“To hear people like Ian [Hill, bass], who never did interviews before, saying things like, ‘None of the fans are missing K.K.’ and stuff like that – it was just cruel and unfair.

“But I did mention that I’d been broken. And it was the hardest thing I ever had to do in my life – hang up the guitar from Judas Priest – and I’m sure everybody can appreciate that. But I got pushed over the edge. Whether I regretted it or not, there was no way back, and I had to just suffer that.”