KK Downing Says Rob Halford’s Departure From Judas Priest Was An ‘Ugly Affair’

Co-founder and former guitarist of Judas Priest, KK Downing, recalled the time when Rob Halford quit the band back in 1990 during a recent interview with  Classic Rock Magazine.

Judas Priest released one of the best albums of their history, ‘Painkiller,’ back in 1990, and they started to promote it in the same year.  However, the singer Rob Halford decided to leave Priest after the Painkiller Tour due to communication problems.

Even though Rob returned after few years, Judas Priest filled his position with Tim ‘Ripper’ Owens, who recorded two studio albums during this period, 1997’s ‘Jugulator’ and 2001’s ‘Demolition.’

As Rob left Judas Priest, he formed a new band named ‘Fight,’ and the first record that they published was ‘War Of Words.’ Then, Rob released the last studio album of the band after two years, ‘A Small Deadly Space.’

In the conversation, KK Downing talked about the departure of Rob and stated that it all got ugly for them. KK Downing reflected on the first album Rob released after leaving Priest, ‘War Of Words,’ and said that it was referring to what happened with Priest, which is why Rob’s departure was an ugly affair.

Even though KK Downing admitted that they have lived through some hard times together, he also pointed out that Rob is a great performer and praised his talent. However, he didn’t forget to mention that Rob is a sensitive person.

KK Downing talked about Rob Halford’s departure in the interview:

“Well, it all got proper ugly – Rob’s first album was called War Of Words. It was an ugly affair. Look, artists have difficult temperaments. There’s good, bad and ugly within us all and we get fired up about things.

How many times have you broken up with a girlfriend and said never again, and a year later she’s back? Shit happens in life. Rob is a great performer, everybody knows that. But he’s sensitive. I can’t guarantee to say all of the right things in an interview, because everybody’s human.”

Later in the conversation, KK Downing claimed that he is the one who brought Rob Halford back into the band in 2003 and said that even Rob knows it from the inside.