Could K.K. Downing play with Judas Priest at Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame performance?

Rob Halford and K.K. Downing
(Image credit: Getty)

Rob Halford has confirmed that Judas Priest are in touch with former guitarist K.K. Downing ahead of the metal legends' upcoming performance at the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame ceremony on November 5 in Los Angeles, leading to speculation that Downing could perform with the band. Priest will be receiving the Musical Excellence Award at the show, while the artists getting inducted directly into the Performers wing of the Hall Of Fame will be Eminem, Dolly Parton, Duran Duran, Lionel Richie, Pat Benatar, Eurythmics and Carly Simon.

Speaking to Ultimate Classic Rock, frontman Halford confirms that the Priest camp have been speaking to Downing, as well as former drummer Les Binks, both of whom will be inducted with Halford and other current Judas Priest members, guitarist Glenn Tipton, bassist Ian Hill and drummer Scott Travis, plus late drummer Dave Holland. 

"Everybody's been very cool and agreeing," Halford notes. "There's just been [an attitude of], 'Let's just relish this opportunity and jam and put everything on 11.'"

While Halford stopped short of confirming if Downing will play with the band, he has confirmed that the guitarist, who left Judas Priest in 2011 after 42 years, and Les Binks will both be involved in the induction in some capacity.

"We are gonna play live because there is all this roar: How are we gonna do it?" Halford says. "Because we want to try and make the best things happen. So the best things to happen are to bring in all of the people that are included in the induction — which includes, obviously, K.K. and Les, and Dave. So, we've been able to work things out, so we will be playing live. We've got, like, eight minutes and 24 seconds and a half-second to play live."

Halford also confirmed that work is well underway on the follow-up to 2018's Firepower, with a release expected some time next year.

Merlin Alderslade
Executive Editor, Louder

Merlin moved into his role as Executive Editor of Louder in early 2022, following over ten years working at Metal Hammer. While there, he served as Online Editor and Deputy Editor, before being promoted to Editor in 2016. Before joining Metal Hammer, Merlin worked as Associate Editor at Terrorizer Magazine and has previously written for the likes of Classic Rock, Rock Sound, eFestivals and others. Across his career he has interviewed legends including Ozzy Osbourne, Lemmy, Metallica, Iron Maiden (including getting a trip on Ed Force One courtesy of Bruce Dickinson), Guns N' Roses, KISS, Slipknot, System Of A Down and Meat Loaf. He has also presented and produced the Metal Hammer Podcast, presented the Metal Hammer Radio Show and is probably responsible for 90% of all nu metal-related content making it onto the site.