Lineup changes are always weird when they happen, but what about when a band’s legacy is being cemented in the annals of time? Who gets recognized and who doesn’t? It’s a tricky question for some bands, for sure.
When it came time for British heavy metal legends Judas Priest to enter the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, we learned that it meant the current lineup of Rob Halford, Scott Travis, Ian Hill, and Glenn Tipton would get in, along with former members Les Binks, Dave Holland, and K.K. Downing. Yet for ex-Judas Priest frontman Tim “Ripper” Owens, his exclusion from the ceremony still stings.
His feelings were made known during a recent interview with Robert Cavuoto of MyGlobalMind (as transcribed by Blabbermouth), in which he was asked whether the band ever reached out to him about at least performing at the induction, let alone being brought into the fold.
“I don’t know. They never called me, thanked me. The only time Judas Priest calls me is to say they’re gonna sue me or something. But no one reached out. I’m glad Ken [original Priest guitarist K.K. Downing] went in. I’m happy for K.K. Yeah, I was just shocked that I didn’t even get a mention, a call from the band. [I was in the band for] almost 10 years and [we got] a Grammy nomination [during my time with the band] and all that. I would’ve liked to have heard a ‘thank you’ or maybe on stage a ‘thank you’, but it’s not shocking. And that’s what happens.”
It’s true that Owens wasn’t mentioned at all in Judas Priest’s run up to their induction. And that’s kind of wild, considering he stepped up to fill in the massive spot left vacant by Rob Halford back in 1996. During his time with the band, they recorded two albums (Jugulator and Demolition) and were nominated for a Grammy, so it’s not like the band were necessarily going through a dark age with Owens behind the mic.
Still, Owens believes it’s a bit of a concerted effort by the members of Judas Priest to make it seem like Halford was the only vocalist that matters, though he swears that he still considers his former bandmates friends to this day.
“They erased my part of the Judas Priest history, so it’s not shocking. It is really great for Ken, other than after it was all said and done, the management threw him under the bus and said bad things about him in the press. But Ken had nothing but great things to say about it. He said he had a blast, and it was great seeing the guys. And I like Ken’s perspective on it. When we talked about it, he said how great it was, and I’m just really happy for him. I’m happy for all the guys. I love ’em to death, and Glenn [Tipton] and Ian [Hill] and Scott [Travis] and Rob [Halford]. [It’s] well deserved.
“I love the fact that even though I’ve been erased, I still call ’em friends and family, including Rob. I love, whenever I see Rob somewhere and we talk, and I love watching him and I love that his voice is sounding so great again. It’s a shame that I’ve been erased, but it doesn’t change the fact that I love the guys and it was a great time.”
Tim “Ripper” Owens has had a lot of time lately to have Judas Priest on his mind, as he continues to work with another ex-Priest member K.K. Downing in the guitarist’s project KK’s Priest. Their new album The Sinner Rides Again is set for release on September 29 via Napalm Records, but you can preorder your copy today. You can also check out their handful of scheduled live dates, as well as details about the album, down below.
The Sinner Rides Again track listing:
1. Sons Of The Sentinel
2. Strike Of The Viper
3. Reap The Whirlwind
4. One More Shot At Glory
5. Hymn 66
6. The Sinner Rides Again
7. Keeper Of The Graves
8. Pledge Your Souls
9. Wash Away Your Sins
KK’S PRIEST live one-offs:
July 6, 2023 – Wolverhampton, UK @ KK’s Steel Mill
July 9, 2023 – Knislinge, SE @ Time to Rock Festival
August 9, 2023 – Villena, SP @ Leyendas Del Rock Festival
August 12, 2023 – Kortrijk, BE @ Alcatraz Festival
December 2, 2023 – Mexico City, MX @ Life After Death Horror Fest
March 2-7, 2024 – Monsters of Rock Cruise
KK’S PRIEST w/ Paul Di’Anno & Burning Witches across the UK in October:
October 7, 2023 – Birmingham @ O2 Institute
October 8, 2023 – Glasgow @ SWG3
October 10, 2023 – Nottingham @ Rock City
October 11, 2023 – Manchester @ O2 Ritz
October 12, 2023 – London @ O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire
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