Kenneth Keith "K.K." Downing, one of the founding members of one of the most important and influential metal bands of all time, Judas Priest, has formally announced his retirement after 42 years of shredding. There has been no detailed information released as to why K.K. decided to part ways with the band, but here is the official press release:
IT IS WITH REGRET THAT JUDAS PRIEST ANNOUNCE THAT K.K. DOWNING HAS FORMALLY RETIRED FROM THE BAND AND WILL THEREFORE NOT BE JOINING THEM ON THEIR FORTHCOMING EPITAPH TOUR.
THE BAND RESPECT HIS DECISION AND NATURALLY ALL WISH HIM WELL.
HAVING THOUGHT LONG AND HARD ABOUT HOW TO PROCEED, ROB, GLENN, IAN AND SCOTT UNANIMOUSLY AGREED THAT THEY SHOULD GO AHEAD WITH THE TOUR AND NOT LET THE FANS DOWN ALL AROUND THE WORLD.
FATE ALSO STEPPED IN AND DELIVERED THE PERFECT REPLACEMENT – 31 YEAR OLD BRITISH GUITAR PLAYER RICHIE FAULKNER – HE HAS BLENDED INTO THE BAND PERFECTLY AND IS A GREAT TALENT WHO IS GOING TO HELP SET THE STAGE ON FIRE!
THE EPITAPH TOUR WILL INCLUDE SONGS FROM EVERY PRIEST STUDIO ALBUM AND ALSO TRACKS THEY HAVE NEVER BEFORE PERFORMED ON STAGE PLUS ALL THE OLD FAVOURITES!
WITH A NEW ALBUM DUE TO BE RELEASED NEXT YEAR THE METAL GODS ARE PREPARING TO TOUR THE PLANET ONCE MORE – HEAVY METAL AT ITS BEST COMPLETE WITH LASERS, LIGHTS, BIKES AND HELLFIRE!! IT'S A SHOW NOT TO BE MISSED!!
It seems a little impersonal… I mean, K.K. was with the band for 42 years and his departure has merely been addressed in two sentences. My guess as to why is as good as yours. I'm sure rumors will start to be flung around soon. Hopefully we'll learn more as time passes. Thanks for the last 42 years K.K.