When the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony took place last month, we in the metal community were treated to a special performance from the one and only Judas Priest as they were finally inducted. Not only would the regular lineup take the stage and quickly rifle through some of their greatest hits, but former drummer Les Binks and (previously) estranged guitarist K.K. Downing joined the band on stage as well.
It was a huge induction party and for seven or eight minutes, whatever rifts existed among the band members evaporated — especially the hard feelings that existed between Downing and his former bandmates.
While speaking with the San Antonio Current, legendary frontman Rob Halford said the brief moments he got to spend with Downing on stage and behind the scenes were pleasant and familiar.
Downing left Judas Priest back in 2011 after complaining of an internal conflict within the band, poorly run management, and what he believed was a deteriorating live performance. When he left, he reportedly sent two resignation letters, with the first being mostly cordial and the other ripping specific individuals who he felt contributed to his frustrations.
Though we shouldn’t look too deep into this as a possible statement of intent to get him back in with the band, especially since they already have Richie Faulkner manning Downing’s former position on the band, it’s good to know that whatever acrimony existed may finally be water under the bridge.