Judas Priest’s Glenn Tipton Breaks Silence on K.K. Downing’s Accusations
In a new interview with Guitar World, Judas Priest's Glenn Tipton has responded to many of the public accusations levied by disgruntled former bandmate K.K. Downing over the last decade following his 2011 departure from the legendary metal band.
In the press and in his 2018 biography, Heavy Duty: Days and Nights in Judas Priest, Downing has aired his grievances with the group as well as management and took particular aim at Tipton, both personally and professionally. Downing had asserted that his creative role in Judas Priest was consistently undermined or unheralded and that he was responsible for devising the band's iconic studded leather imagery, among other things.
"I never wanted to get into a public argument after K.K. left," began Tipton. "I never said a word, and I stuck to my guns for over 10 years, but there comes a point when you read things that have been said that are just crazy. It's time to say something, really because he's saying things that he really shouldn't be saying. They aren't fair."
The guitarist, who stepped back from his full-time live role in Judas Priest in 2018 due to complications from Parkinson's Disease, went on, "He's insinuated that he was the driving force of the band. It just isn't true. Priest [is] made up of five guys working together. [There's] not just one person driving the band. He's said all these things that, I think, are meant to upset us and get us to say something in response and for a long time we didn't. But I've got a lot to say and enough's enough."
In his book and in an interview with Guitar World last year, Downing alleged that Judas Priest's live performances were inhibited by Tipton's onstage drinking habits, to which Tipton replied, "Everyone knows it's not true. Like I said, the fans aren't stupid and they've seen me for 50 years playing around the world. I may have had a couple of beers onstage, but that's all. It's never affected the concert or my performance whatsoever and he knows that."
Tipton later suggested that Downing's work in the studio was not up to par and that he "used to piece [Downing's] leads together." "I did a lot of editing to make his lead breaks worthwhile," Tipton revealed.
Reiterating his reluctance to touch on the things Downing has said about him and the band over the last decade, the veteran Priest guitarist added, "I would never have talked about Ken that way. It’s just that his accusations have gotten sillier and sillier – and I deserve to respond. He left the band. We couldn’t convince him to stay. And then he accused me of taking six years off to write two solo albums. I only did the solo albums because we were inactive at the time while Rob was doing his solo things."
Meanwhile, Richie Faulkner, who replaced Downing after he retired from Judas Priest, recently expressed that he wishes both sides could put away the bitterness of the last 10 years. "To me, music aside, they should maybe pick up the phone and just talk to each other as buddies and go and have a beer and just be pals. You know, fuck music for a minute; let's just be pals. And then whatever happens, happens," he said.