When guitarist and founding member K.K. Downing left Judas Priest earlier this year, it came as a surprise, but it wasn’t exactly a shock. He’s 60 years old, after all, and had definitely done his time in the trenches after spending more than 40 years in the studio and on the road. In fact, a lot of people assumed he was retiring to pursue a life of well-deserved leisure, running the golf courses on his property.
As it turns out, Downing’s reasons for leaving the band were a little more complicated — and all too familiar to anyone who’s watched their favorite bands splinter over personality conflicts. Without getting too deeply into the specifics, Downing revealed in a recent interview that it “pretty much came down to an unsettlement on my part with working relationships.”