Judas Priest announce the retirement of guitarist K.K. Downing
In an extremely brief press release issued early Wednesday morning, UK heavy metal legends Judas Priest announced that K.K Downing, one of Priest's founding guitar players, has retired from the band effective immediately.
The press release, issued on the Judas Priest website reads as follows:
"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 it's best complete with lasers, lights, bikes and hellfire!! It's a show not to be missed!!
April 20th, 2011"
No North American tour dates have yet been announced, but based on the trajectory of their announced tour dates, the earliest we could see Priest in the US would be late October to early November 2011. Stay dialed in touch with the latest on the Judas Priest Epitaph tour here on Metal Shop and 99.9 KISW.