What K.K. Downing Thinks of Judas Priest’s Richie Faulkner
For anyone thinking there might be some discord between Judas Priest's former guitarist K.K. Downing and his replacement Richie Faulkner (who took over in 2011), Downing says it's just not true. In a new interview with Metal Talk, Downing shares he has "nothing but respect" for Faulkner.
Downing opened up to the outlet about Judas Priest's recent induction into the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame in early November, when the band earned the Musical Excellence Award, recognizing an incredible 50-plus year run.
Making the night extra special was the fact that Downing (and former drummer Les Binks) were able to reunite with their former bandmates for the ceremony, held at the Microsoft Theatre in L.A. In addition to being present for the award, Downing joined Faulkner and Binks as well as vocalist Rob Halford, guitarist Glenn Tipton, bassist Ian Hill and drummer Scott Travis for a three-song performance of the band's hits "You've Got Another Thing Comin'," "Breaking The Law" and "Living After Midnight."
Downing told Metal Talk he initially was reluctant to accept the invitation to the Rock Hall event but eventually agreed. "Initially, I thought it’s a lot of fuss. Can I really be bothered with going all the way over to Los Angeles to play three songs and break the ice with the guys? But when I reflected on it, it was the band I started 50 years ago, and I would probably regret it if I didn’t go. So I accepted the invitation.”
All the band members were seated at the same table, which provided Downing the chance to "break bread" (in his words) with Halford and Hill. He also told Metal Talk he was able to catch up with Tipton and had a good conversation with Binks, but it was his chat with Faulkner that is eye-opening.
“I managed to have a chat with him, and we shared the stage and even jammed together," Downing recalled. "It could have been awkward, but it wasn’t. I’ve nothing but respect for him, and I know he’s working on other projects outside Priest, and I wish him well.” Downing then joked, “The only potentially awkward moments were because I like a lot of room and have always raced around the stage, and we had to avoid each other!”
Downing also conceded that, beyond accepting the invitation to the Rock Hall reunion, there was only one more thing to figure out. “The only decision, despite my initial brief reservation, was which Flying V guitar I took with me ... and would it survive the flight.”
Fans were delighted to see the reunion, with many posting sentiments on social media such as "All hail the Priest! Excited to see the reunion with K.K. Downing yesterday" and Nice to see KK and Richie side by side , thrilling performance 🔥❤️."
The reunion may have been the pivotal step of granting Faulkner's own wish that Downing and the rest of the original members of the band resume their friendship after some allegations and slandering have been made public in the past.
As Faulkner shared earlier this year on the "In The Trenches with Ryan Roxie" podcast, "That whole situation with him and the band over the last 10 years, to me, has been totally unnecessary; it's been a bit of a shit show," he said. "And I don't know why that is. To me, music aside, they should maybe pick up the phone and just talk to each other as buddies ... They were pals for 40 years. They lived pretty much together for 40 years."