Ex-JUDAS PRIEST guitarist K.K. Downing says that he hasn't been approached by his former bandmates about taking part in the group's upcoming 50th-anniversary tour, which is expected to launch next spring/summer.
PRIEST recently announced that it will mark the half-century milestone with a world tour in 2020, including an appearance at next year's edition of the Wacken Open Air festival, set to take place July 30, 2020 - August 1, 2020 in Wacken, Germany.
Downing, an original member of PRIEST who left the band eight years ago, told "Rock Of Nations With Dave Kinchen" that he hasn't been contacted about returning to the group for next year's festivities.
"No, [I've heard] absolutely nothing at all," Downing said. "I think it's not gonna happen. I really don't think so, because those guys, they've got their lawyers sending me letters, so I'm dealing with that. Nothing that I've done — it's just a business arrangement, a contractual thing. I think I've said that they want me out of the way, every speck of me. It's a complicated issue, really. As I said, it wasn't my choice, not my doing, and I asked the guys not to go that route, 'Let's sit down and talk about it,' but they said no. And that's it, really. So I assume that the phone's not gonna ring. So I will be, just as I said before, in a previous statement… I can't spend the rest of my life expecting that things will happen when chances are that they won't."
K.K., who has spent the last few months promoting his autobiography, "Heavy Duty: Days And Nights In Judas Priest", previously said the other members of PRIEST have tried to remove him from his ongoing position as a co-director of the PRIEST organization, a role he's unwilling to relinquish.
Downing said last October that all of PRIEST's living former and current members should be involved in the group's upcoming 50th-anniversary celebration.
K.K. left PRIEST in 2011 amid claims of band conflict, shoddy management and declining quality of performance. He was replaced by Richie Faulkner, nearly three decades his junior.
Last summer, Downing revealed that he sent two resignation letters to his bandmates when he decided to quit JUDAS PRIEST. The first was described as "a graceful exit note, implying a smooth retirement from music," while the second was "angrier, laying out all of his frustrations with specific parties."
Downing later said that he believed the second letter was "a key reason" he wasn't invited to rejoin PRIEST after Glenn Tipton's decision to retire from touring.
"Heavy Duty: Days And Nights In Judas Priest" was released in September via Da Capo Press.
Downing will join ex-MANOWAR axeman Ross "The Boss" Friedman for several songs at this year's Bloodstock Open Air festival on August 11 at Catton Park, Derbyshire, United Kingdom. This will be Downing's first public performance since October 17, 2009 when JUDAS PRIEST played the final "British Steel 30th Anniversary" date on the "Nostradamus" world tour at Japan's Loud Park festival in Chiba City, Japan.