Former Judas Priest guitarist K.K. Downing opened up about lead singer Rob Halford’s reunion with the band in 2003 during a recent interview with Classic Rock. According to the guitarist, he had to convince the other band members to take the frontman back, even after his unpleasant statements about the Judas Priest.

For those of you who may not recall, Rob Halford left Judas Priest after working with the band for almost two decades. The reason behind his departure was the infamous motorcycle incident he had on stage on the last date of the tour for ‘Painkiller’ in August 1991. Following the incident that caused a dispute between the band members, the lead singer left in May 1992.

Although Halford spent years away from the band during which he formed two bands named Fight and 2wo, he eventually reunited with Judas Priest in July 2003. The band even embarked on a tour in 2004 to celebrate his return, and they have been together ever since.

Judas Priest’s members had never revealed the real motivation behind their reunion after being apart for more than ten years. During a recent interview, the band’s ex-guitarist revealed the actual reason behind Halford’s reunion with the band when asked about his autobiographical book, ‘Confess.’

According to K.K Downing, he was the one who convinced his other bandmates to bring Rob Halford back when they weren’t happy with his attitude about Judas Priest after his departure. The lead guitarist Glenn Tipton wasn’t particularly happy about his return, but they seemed to bury the hatchet in the following years.

The interviewer said:

“Rob Halford’s autobiography, Confess, is a great read, but he handled your Priest exit in a lightweight manner.”

To which Downing replied:

“When all is said and done, Rob knows I was the guy that brought him back into Priest. Glenn wasn’t happy about it, and I understood that because after he left Rob said a few things about the band, a lot more than I ever did. Given a choice, I think Rob would have had me back in the band. We had fought so many battles together and traveled so many miles.”

Even though they aren’t bandmates anymore, as K.K. Downing left Judas Priest on 20 April 2011, he considers himself close friends with Rob Halford. Furthermore, he thinks the singer would have brought him back to the band if given a chance since they supported each other during their bad times.