Former JUDAS PRIEST guitarist K.K. Downing talked about his successor in the band, Richie Faulkner, during his recent appearance at The Classic Metal Show.
He said: “I’ve seen Richie play – he’s obviously a very good player. So I was disappointed that those guys seemed to have picked a lookalike with Richie – with the long blonde hair, with clothes like mine, guitars like mine, and all of that.
“I kind of had an understanding of that, and I suppose, in a way, it’s a compliment, really. But I thought, in all fairness to Richie, to go out there and have this opportunity as himself and as his own person, I thought, would have been better for him.”
The guitarist also addressed Richie’s recent comments about K.K. not being invited back in the band after Glenn Tipton was forced to retire from touring due to struggle with Parkinson‘s disease. Downing said: “I think it’s off the mark, really, for Richie to make comments about me; he’s playing my songs and my riffs and all that, and it’s a great opportunity for him.
“And I think he’d be best to leave it there, really, until we eventually get to have a meet and a chat and maybe we can have a beer together and it’s all good.
“Because I don’t want this to continue the way that it is. I would like to go forward, whatever’s happened.”
As widely reported, K.K. was not happy about the fact that he was not invited back to the fold after Glenn stepped down. Richie‘s comment on this was: “There’s lots of reasons why Andy [Sneap] makes sense [as Glenn‘s replacement on tour]. I saw the statement from K.K., and the general consensus seems to be that K.K. left.
“As far as I’m aware, the band gave him a grace period and they wanted him to come back and they wanted him to stay initially, and he didn’t want anything to do with it. So why the band should ask him to come back, I’m not quite sure what he thinks.
“But there’s lots of different facets that go into these sort of decisions, both to get Andy in and lots of other things. There’s a lot of personal reasons – all those sorts of things.
“It’s not as clear-cut as the internet has you believe. There’s a lot more that goes into it, and I think people understand that as well – if they gave it some thought. But, you know, we’re forging forward.”
You can listen to the interview below.