Ex-JUDAS PRIEST Guitarist K.K. DOWNING On Hypothetical ROCK HALL Induction: It Will Be An 'Emotional' Experience
March 6, 2022
Former JUDAS PRIEST guitarist K.K. Downing spoke to "The Cassius Morris Show" about the fact that he has been nominated for the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame induction for the third time. He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "You kind of blow hot and cold with it because when you think of the people that are still not in there but when you think of the people that are in there, it's a bit of a conflict for me. And it's all a bit weird. But there are certain awards that you can achieve in your lifetime, like a Grammy — I've got one; I've got three nominations for Grammys. And when all's said and done about that situation, it's still kind of nice to have something on the mantel piece you can look at and hopefully you can pass it on and say, 'K.K. was here.' It's kind of something to look at."
He continued: "These kind of accolades, I think it's better to have them than not to have them, I suppose, when you get later on in life, as I am. With the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, would I like to join the other people that are in there — great names? Yes. But if it came down to it, I'm just as happy to sit out here with the other great names that are not there also, if that makes sense."
JUDAS PRIEST was previously on the ballot for Rock Hall induction in 2020, but failed to receive enough votes to make that year's class.
Having been eligible for induction since 1999, PRIEST was also on the ballot for the 2018 class of the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, but was ultimately left out of the inductee list.
On February 2, it was announced that JUDAS PRIEST is among the nominees for the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame's class of 2022. Inductees will be announced in May. The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame 2022 induction ceremony will take place this fall. The date, venue, and on-sale information will be announced later.
Once again, the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame has named the individual bandmembers that will enter should their group get inducted.
For JUDAS PRIEST, they picked current members Rob Halford (vocals),Ian Hill (bass),Glenn Tipton (guitar) and Scott Travis (drums),along with former members K.K. Downing (guitar),Les Binks (drums) and late drummer Dave Holland.
Regarding what his expectations are for the induction ceremony should PRIEST get chosen for the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame's class of 2022, Downing told "The Cassius Morris Show": "I think the big thing for me is, and I don't know how it works with the induction ceremony and all of that… That's another thing, because, obviously, there's gonna be people [being inducted] there that are not gonna be there, which is all a bit kind of strange. Obviously, with the great drummer of the age, Dave Holland, he's no longer with us; he's passed away. And he will be a part of it. So I suppose it's quite an emotional kind of experience, really. But I think that it's something that… I suppose it's a historical moment… I guess it's the big one, really. So we'll see what happens."
Last month, Hill and Halford told Billboard that they would be happy to stand alongside Downing at a hypothetical Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame induction later this year. "It's not a problem to us, no," Hill said. "Ken was an integral part of this band for a very, very long time. He deserves to be there along with the rest of us." Halford predicted that, "It won't be as awkward as Ace [Frehley] and Peter [Criss with KISS's Rock Hall induction]. I don't think it'll be awkward at all. I think you have to let all of that go because it's the night that matters. It's the moment that matters — but, again, the proverbial saying, we'll cross that bridge when we get to it."
In 2019, Halford was asked by Fox Sports 910's "Freak Nation" if fans could expect to see any of the former PRIEST members joining the band on stage during a hypothetical Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame induction. He responded: "With something like the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, there's a tinge of 'what if' [and] 'whatever.' It's an open book.
"I know what you're alluding to, and as I've had to [say] in the past, it's just a case of 'wait and see,'" he continued. "But it's a celebration, and it's 50 years of PRIEST, and, man, it's gonna be great. Should we get in, it's gonna be amazing."
After host Kenny Sargent brought up the original KISS lineup's controversial 2014 Rock Hall induction which was at least partly overshadowed by the musicians' decision not to perform, Halford said: "[PRIEST is] not the first band that this has happened to, and on the day, some things turn out the way a lot of people want 'em.
"I was thinking about this the other day," Halford added. "And this thing came into my head: 'Jim, the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or of the one.' Spock [in] 'Star Trek'. When he goes in the radiation room. Isn't that great? … That's a t-shirt, or an inspirational card."
Downing previously told Rockin' Metal Revival that there is a very good chance that he would perform with his former bandmates again if PRIEST gets the nod. "Oh, I think absolutely," he said. "I mean, why wouldn't you, really? It's a special thing. We're all of an age now. These opportunities only come once in a lifetime. And it seemingly takes a lifetime to get into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. I've always said, there's no such thing as a young legend, right? [Laughs] So, while we're still here, it would be great to receive that accolade and put on a great performance and put that one to bed."
Downing left PRIEST in 2011 amid claims of band conflict, shoddy management and declining quality of performance.
In 2019, Downing said that he reached out to JUDAS PRIEST about taking part in the band's 50th-anniversary tour but that their response was that they were not interested in including him in the celebrations.
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."
Downing later said that he believed the second letter was "a key reason" he wasn't invited to rejoin PRIEST after Tipton's decision to retire from touring.