Legendary guitarist Glenn Tipton has been an integral part of Judas Priest since joining the band in 1974. Today it was announced that Tipton was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease a decade ago and, due to the progressive nature of the condition, will not be performing on Judas Priest’s upcoming tour to support their nineteenth album, Firepower.
Andy Sneap–best known as a producer for his work with Arch Enemy, Amon Amarth, Carcass and others–has been tapped to fill Tipton’s shoes on the upcoming tour.
Tipton stresses that he has not left the band and hopes to play with Judas Priest again in the future.
“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,” he offered in a statement. “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.”
The rest of Judas Priest echoed Tipton’s sentiments with a message of support.
“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!”