Judas Priest has released a new promo image on their Facebook page highlighting their new line-up for their upcoming tour — and you can see the larger version at the bottom of this post. As previously reported here, the band announced their final tour, which they’ve titled The Farewell EPITAPH World Tour.
Following this announcement, it was revealed that guitarist K.K. Downing had formally retired from the band and will not be joining them on tour. Stepping into Downing’s shoes for the tour will be Richie Faulkner, who previously performed with Lauren Harris, daughter of Steve Harris from Iron Maiden.
Downing recently also released a formal statement on his official website regarding his retirement.
It is with much regret that I will not be with you this summer. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart for your concerns about my health. Please rest assured that I am O.K.
There has been an ongoing breakdown in working relationship between myself, elements of the band, and the band’s management for some time.
Therefore I have decided to step down rather than to tour with negative sentiments as I feel that this would be a deception to you, our cherished fans.
However I would urge you to please support the Priest as I have no doubt that it will be a show not to be missed.
While I’m absolutely certain that Judas Priest will still kick ass on-stage, and Faulkner will do a brilliant job, there are a lot of fans disappointed about Downing not being with the band on tour. This reaction is understandable; not just because it’s their farewell tour, but because Downing contributed so much to one of the bands that would help define metal.
The legacy of Judas Priest has spanned over 40 years, seeing the release and performance of songs such as “Diamonds And Rust,” “Breaking The Law,” “Painkiller,” and “Living After Midnight.”