Aside from Rob Halford’s leather-lunged vocals, Judas Priest’s iconic sound was defined by the twin guitar attack of KK Downing and Glenn Tipton. In 2011, KK Downing stepped away from the band, with Richie Faulkner admirably filling his shoes. Today, it was announced that Glenn Tipton will be sitting out the band’s current tour, as his Parkinson’s Disease, which he’d been diagnosed with a decade ago, has progressed to the point of him not being able to perform all of the songs. Producer Andy Sneap will be playing instead. Here’s the band’s statement:
Ten years ago Glenn was diagnosed to have the onset of the early stages of Parkinson’s – from then until recently Glenn has lived his life as the great heavy metal guitar player he has always been, maintaining by his own definition a standard of quality and performance that is incredibly important
Right now Glenn is able to play and perform some of the Priest songs that are less challenging but due to the nature of Parkinson’s progression he wants to let you all know that he won’t be touring as such – True to the metal spirit of ‘the show must go on’ Glenn has requested Andy Sneap to fly the flag on stage for him
“I want everyone to know that it’s vital that the Judas Priest tour go ahead and that I am not leaving the band – it’s simply that my role has changed. I don’t rule out the chance to go on stage as and when I feel able to blast out some Priest! So at some point in the not too distant future I’m really looking forward to seeing all of our wonderful metal maniacs once again”
Rob, Richie, Ian and Scott have this to say:
“We have been privileged to witness Glenn’s determination and steadfast commitment over the years, showing his passion and self belief through the writing, recording and performing sessions with Priest – he is a true metal hero!
We are not surprised by Glenn’s insistence that we complete the Firepower tour and thank Andy for joining us to make Glenn’s wishes become real – as Glenn has said we also can’t wait to have him with us at any time any place on the road…..
We love you Glenn!”
It’s encouraging that Tipton is remaining in the band, and while Firepower is just about to come out, it will be interesting to see how the band’s next studio output happens and what role he plays in it.