Judas Priest - Downing Quits Priest Weeks Before Farewell Tour

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Judas Priest guitarist K.K. Downing has stunned fans by quitting the band after 42 years - just weeks before they head out on a farewell tour.
The British rockers, who formed in 1969 and have sold 40 million records worldwide, announced in December (10) they plan to pack up their instruments for good after saying goodbye to their fans with a global series of dates.
But just weeks before the heavy metal legends are due to kick off their final tour with a concert in Tilburg, Holland in June (11), the band has announced Downing has quit.
In a statement, a spokesman for the band says, "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 tour. The band respect his decision and naturally wish him well."
Richie Faulkner, a guitarist in British singer Lauren Harris' backing band, will replace Downing on the farewell tour.


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Greg Caley's picture

Greg Caley

Yea Richie, that's amazing brother!!!! See you on the road, Plagueis!!
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John Doyle's picture

John Doyle

My bad....I work nights....not thinking clearly....sorry/
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Donald Parker's picture

Donald Parker

what a bummer man! pull it together for one more tour!
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drockin16's picture

drockin16

Ritchie WHO? Die hard Priest fan but I didn't agree with them carrying on with Ripper and I certainly don't agree with a replacement for KK. Only Priest's drummers are replacable, and replacing Travis would be a tough sell also! If this is truely their farewell tour I will go to see them, but will not truely feel closure without KK.
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Michael Lyons's picture

Michael Lyons

There is more to this story than is being released.....I hope KK is not having physical problems
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jaialailenny's picture

jaialailenny

it's gotta be some kind of pr ploy, to make you think he's gone then just before the dates are set they announce he's back and ticket sales go through the roof.
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vjboc's picture

vjboc

Yeah, there has got to be more to it. Why wouldn't he finish 40 years of rocking one more time. Wish you the best KK, Just play your guitar one more time..www.qpricing.com/s~q-Judas-Priest.aspx
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John Doyle's picture

John Doyle

How could he be with the band for 42 years if they formed in 1969? Did they get together in BeforeWombWorld?
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KeyboardWarrior's picture

KeyboardWarrior

@johnnyd: it's basic math 2011 (the current year) - 1969 (the year they formed) = 42 years. And actually, their wikipedia page says they formed in 1968, which would make them on their 43rd year. Rob Halford was born in 1951, which means the band formed when he was 17, not in the womb.
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diannaisnotty's picture

diannaisnotty

awwgh, what a bummer.Every single time ive seen priest they put on a phenonenal show. hopefully the new guitarist will be as good. def leppard did it and journey did it. wish him welldianna
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