The British heavy metal band Judas Priest announced some shocking news today: guitarist K.K. Downing has formally retired from the band and will not be joining them on their forthcoming "Epitaph" tour.
The band sent out the following 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!!
The 59-year old guitarist was in the earliest incarnations of Judas Priest, and at one point during those years, K.K. Downing was the obvious leader of the band. It will be hard to see this great talent absent from the duel guitar attack this legendary band has become known for.
Goldmine wishes Downing all the best, with some hope that he will still record music in his retirement.
Go to www.kkdowning.net for more information in the coming days.