K.K. DOWNING Says He Tried Talking To GLENN TIPTON About His Drinking: 'That Didn't Get Me Anywhere'

September 26, 2018

In a brand new interview with Rolling Stone, former JUDAS PRIEST guitarist Ken "K.K." Downing was asked if he ever tried talking things out with Glenn Tipton to let his bandmate know what was bothering him about their working relationship before Downing exited the group in 2011. "I did when it came to his drinking before and during the gig," K.K. said. "That didn't get me anywhere. It just made me nervous, because I'm a beer drinker and I know I couldn't do that. It seemed to be slowing the show down as well."

Downing confirmed that PRIEST's roadies tried to limit Glenn's alcohol intake by watering down his beer during live performances. "I just hated going on every night and wondering, 'Are we together here?'" K.K. said. "It made me so fucking nervous. It wasn't funny. Ripper [Tim Owens, PRIEST's vocalist at the time] used to come over and tug at my stage clothes and say, 'Do something.' I'd go, 'I'm playing the guitar, mate. I can't do anything.' Not that anybody probably noticed. I stopped enjoying playing. It got to me."

Downing also said that he thought Tipton was controlling band decisions, such as when PRIEST toured. Asked if he ever discussed that with Glenn, Downing said: "The thing was, so much of it went on [behind the scenes], and we knew, but there was never any kind of proof. You can't make an issue out of something you can't back up. For the most part, it was done in a certain way. You knew it was done, but you couldn't make an issue out of it. Sadly."

Downing claimed that the other members of JUDAS PRIEST felt pretty much the same way as he did about Glenn's control issues, which is why K.K. thought it was odd that he wasn't approached to rejoin the band following Tipton's decision to retire from the road due to his battle with Parkinson's disease. "Yeah, because they all knew my problem was with Glenn with the beer drinking and the decision-making with him and [management]," Downing said. "I was just tired of it. I felt like I was working a nine-to-five job and the other guys felt the same. There's no doubt in my mind their preference would have been to have me in the band, because why wouldn't you?"

K.K., who is a founding member of the British heavy metal legends and was part of the group since 1969, announced his retirement from PRIEST in April 2011.

Downing's autobiography, "Heavy Duty: Days And Nights In Judas Priest", was released on September 18 via Da Capo Press.

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