Glenn Tipton of Judas Priest
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Judas Priest Guitarist Glenn Tipton To Scale Back Touring Due To Parkinson's
Guitarist Glenn Tipton, of the GRAMMY-winning heavy metal outfit Judas Priest announced via the band's Facebook page that he will be stepping aside as full-time touring and live guitarist, due to worsening complications from Parkinson's disease, with which he was diagnosed roughly ten years ago.
"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," explained Tipton in the statement, which can be read in full below. "I don’t rule out the chance to go on stage as and when I feel able to blast out some Priest!"
Judas Priest will complete the remainder of their Firepower Tour show dates with Andy Sneap (Sabbat, Hell) taking over Tipton's duties as guitarist. Band members Rob Halford (vocals), Ian Hill (bass), Scott Travis (drums), and Richie Faulkner (guitar) also commented on Tipton's "metal spirit" in the band's statement, adding, " We have been privileged to witness Glenn’s determination and steadfast commitment over the years …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."
Tipton originally joined Judas Priest in 1974, during the recording sessions for their debut album Rocka Rolla, and has played on all of the band's album releases to date. He is credited as having played a large role in the band's transition towards a more metal sound, in contrast to the blues-based psychedelic rock of Rocka Rolla, much of which was written before Tipton joined the group. Tipton and Halford have collaborated as the Judas Priest's primary songwriters since the band's sophomore album Sad Wings Of Destiny, released in 1976.