The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has made it pretty clear that for the most part it doesn’t put a lot of value on hard rock or heavy metal acts for induction into the Hall. Now former Judas Priest guitarist K.K. Downing has offered his opinion on the subject, saying that even with the Hall’s apparent lack of interest, he is hopeful that the band will eventually be inducted.
Artists are eligible for the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame 25 years after the release of their first album or single. Iconic hard rock and metal bands like Iron Maiden, Judas Priest and MOTÖRHEAD, have all been eligible for years, but have yet to be recognized by the institution. In more recent years, Metallica, Black Sabbath and Deep Purple made the grade, but in some cases, had to wait for years for recognition. Other hard rocks like Guns N’ Roses, were inducted in its first year of eligibility.
Priest have been on eligible since 1999, and finally made this year’s ballot, but they didn’t receive a nomination.
Downing left Priest more than seven years ago, and while he has had a somewhat up-and-down relationship with his former bandmates, he told Rob Rush of the 94.3 The Shark radio station that induction into the Rock Hall “would be nice.” He said that appearing with his former mates would be a celebration: “They make all of the inducted members of the band get together and play a couple of songs, so it would be interesting to see how it panned out,” he added, “There is time, but I’m sure the guys in charge of the whole thing are aware that time is not necessarily on our side now, being at the age that we are at. We’ll have to wait and see.”
Downing had the same opinion when speaking with BlastEcho in a 2016 interview. At that time he said, that he “would be fine” with performing with his former bandmates at a Hall induction ceremony. Singer Rob Halford was also open to the idea of reuniting with Downing on the night, telling Billboard in 2017, “Everything’s on the table for anyone that’s been associated with Priest in and out of the band.”
Downing was a founding member of the Priest in 1969. He announced his retirement in April 2011. He has since been replaced by Richie Faulkner. Next month (September 18), Downing‘s autobiography, ‘Heavy Duty: Days And Nights In Judas Priest,’ will be released. The book was co-written by the Scottish author and journalist Mark Eglinton.