Rob Halford Takes Issue With K.K. Downing’s Recent Statement, Downing Offers Clarification

K.K. Downing recently released a statement saying he was “shocked and stunned” that he wasn’t approached about rejoining Judas Priest after Glenn Tipton stepped away from touring due to his struggles with Parkinson’s disease. Now, Rob Halford has taken issue with one part of the statement, which he saw as an insinuation that producer Andy Sneap, who will be taking over for Tipton on tour, performed Tipton’s parts on the band’s new album “Firepower“ (out March 9).

Halford said the following [transcribed by Blabbermouth]:

“Let me just say that the great joy of Judas Priest is that we’ve never gone into this kind of arena of a public dispute. And it’s so easy to fall into that trap in social media today. How many people have you seen in sports, for example, that have made a rash comment on Twitter, just on the heat of the moment, emotionally.

You know, we’re all human, we’ve all got feelings, and we have a tendency to blurt out the first thing that is on our minds, and rightly or wrongly, things can kind of come back and chase you afterwards in a negative way.

So, with regards to everything that was made in [K.K.‘s] statement today, a lot of it, to me, is completely superfluous. But the one point that I would like to clarify and have on record is this insinuation that Andy Sneap was covering Glenn‘s guitar parts on ‘Firepower‘, and I can categorically state that that is a thousand percent false.

Because I was with Glenn for all of his guitar work, and he worked really, really hard. Imagine this guy in the tenth year of Parkinson’s. I’ve never seen anybody so brave in the fact that every song was a challenge for him to make it work, but he did — consistently, day after day. It was just a very powerful thing to experience firsthand. And this just goes to show you about the amazing stories that surround invididuals around the world that are dealing with Parkinson’s in their life.

So, thank you for that opportunity, Kenny. I just wanted to touch on that one issue, because out of everything that was laid out in that statement, that one hit me personally. And so now I’ve been able to clarify that and make sure that everybody out in the world listening to the show, on the Internet and elsewhere, understands that everything that you hear from Glenn on ‘Firepower‘ is the amazing Glenn Tipton. Oh yeah!”

Downing has since offered a clarification:

“Hi everyone,

just to clarify that my complimenting Andy Sneap as I did was no more than I would have said about any other guitar playing producers that have also contributed much more than expected to our past albums. Great talent such as Chris Tsangarides (R.I.P) and Roy Z both not only produced – but also contributed song ideas, riffs and licks, lyric ideas etc.

Consequently, albums like Painkiller and Angel of Retribution would not have been the same without them. Even George Martin, I believe, provided much more for the Beatles than just the role of a normal producer. An extra musician in the studio, like the aforementioned talented producers, really does bring a great benefit.

K.K.“

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K.K. Downing Says He Is “Shocked And Stunned” That He Wasn’t Approached About Rejoining Judas Priest

With Glenn Tipton set to step away from touring with Judas Priest due to his battle with Parkinson’s disease, K.K. Downing has issued a statement saying he was “shocked and stunned” that he wasn’t approached about rejoining the band. As previously reported, producer/musician Andy Sneap will now be stepping in for Tipton.

Here’s what Downing had to say:

“The news that Glenn has finally been forced to come to terms with his unfortunate condition long term came with deep regret and sadness for me. Equally, this ending of our guitar duo era is also something that I have to come to terms with.

The insatiable appetite that myself and Glenn had for creating inspired and unique music for the world to enjoy for many decades, is something that can never be erased. However, everyone who has witnessed the evolution of our beloved music must come to terms with the fact that things will inevitably change, or just simply end.

I have to state with great sadness also that I am shocked and stunned that I wasn’t approached to step into my original role as guitarist for Judas Priest. Whether I could have stepped back into the band or not, the potential for this situation arising never entered my head when I departed – although I too am officially and legally still a member of Judas Priest.

However, I know now more clearly than ever that I did the right thing by leaving the band when I did – as it seems that my time spent in the band, and my value in terms of crafting its huge legacy, was and is unappreciated by more than one member. I sincerely hope, for the fans’ sake, that the decision not to approach me was not a financial one.

I know Andy Sneap – and he is one of the greatest contributors to rock and metal that you will ever have the privilege to meet. To that end I have no doubt that his contribution to the new Judas Priest album was much more than just as a producer. All that’s left is for you the fans to go out and enjoy the band as it is, in order to complete a part of music history in which every one of you has played such an important role.

K.K.“

Judas Priest’s Rob Halford Further Opens Up About Glenn Tipton’s Announcement That He Will Step Back From Touring

Yesterday, it was revealed that guitarist Glenn Tipton was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease ten years ago, and that he would be stepping away from touring due to the progression of the disease. Now, in a new interview with The Quietus, Rob Halford has further opened up about the announcement.

Halford said the following:

“Glenn has been battling hardcore with Parkinson’s for 10 years and he’s not let it stop him in any way whatsoever — you know, writing, recording, touring the world for the last 10 years. He can still play guitar — we have to emphasize this as well — he can still play the guitar, but when it comes to some of the more challenging songs that PRIEST has written over the years and songs that, for the most part, have to be included in the set, that’s when it’s just becoming a little bit difficult for him. So the biggest thing for Glenn — this is why he’s really a hero for us — was to come to the conclusion that Andy Sneap would be flying the flag for him. We know Andy, and Andy has been so gracious to accept the request from Glenn, to be on stage for him for the ‘Firepower’ tour.”

Halford went to say there is still possibility that the guitarist could join the band onstage at some point on during the upcoming trek:

“The great positive side of this for us and for Glenn particularly is that he’s not let this challenge change his life that much. Glenn is still Glenn — Glenn can still play the guitar. Same guy — a wonderful, great heavy metal guitar player. His role is a little bit different now. And I can’t wait for those moments when he’s gonna show up unexpectedly anywhere around the world on the ‘Firepower’ tour and come and jam out ‘Living After Midnight’, ‘Breaking The Law’, those kinds of songs. It’s gonna be a really special moment. It could be the first show, it could be the last show — we don’t know. But the joy is that Glenn is still playing and he’s still with us, and he’s as excited as we are to celebrate the release of ‘Firepower’.”

Halford, said it is “an open book” in terms of how much involved Tipton will be “’cause we’re still kind of digesting all of this.” He continued:

“Glenn made the decision about not being able to full commit to the tour only last Thursday [February 8]. So we’re still very much processing all of the possibilities. The other thing is, much like some of the other areas in these kinds of challenges, daily, there are incredible advances in medicines, in drugs and such things that can help to alleviate the condition. So that’s all part of the ongoing story for Glenn. Who knows? Next year or the year after that, things could be dramatically different. But in the meantime, yeah, Glenn can show up, as we’ve said in the statement, anytime anywhere.”

He also added that Tipton will be there “in spirit — every show, every song” and that he was touched by the fans’ support:

“I’ve been [checking my phone] every hour or so, and it’s just been beautiful — it’s been absolutely beautiful,” he said. “Thank you, everybody that’s been sending these wonderful messages for Glenn. I know he’ll be reading them and I’m sure he’ll be so uplifted by the love that’s coming to him.

This is the other side of anyone that’s dealing with Parkinson’s, cancer, anything of that nature. There’s always this beautiful thing of hope and optimism and positivity that’s pushing ahead of everything else. And so if you do go on to the Facebook of PRIEST or our Instagram and leave a message like that, it’s not only great for Glenn, but it’s also great for other people that are dealing with the same kind of issues.”

[via Blabbermouth]

Judas Priest’s Rob Halford Says “There’s Been A Lot Of Emotion” Following Glenn Tipton’s Announcement That He Will Step Back From Touring

Earlier today, it was revealed that guitarist Glenn Tipton was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease ten years ago, and that he would be stepping away from touring due to the progression of the disease. Now, in a new interview with Kerrang!, Rob Halford has opened up about the announcement, saying “there’s been a lot of emotion today.”

Halford said the following:

“There’s been a lot of emotion today with the announcement, but we’re very happy for Glenn, that he’s been able to make a decision that’s good for him and where he’s at right now. Glenn’s thing was that this was all about the band. It was the band, the band the band. And we said, ‘No, it’s about what’s best for you,’ and he said, ‘No, I want what’s best for the band.’ Which just goes to show you where his heart is at.”

“The most important thing is that Glenn is still in Judas Priest. It’s just that his role is going to be different. He can’t tour, but it’s going to be great for fans when he comes out every now and then to do ‘Breaking The Law’ or ‘Living After Midnight’. The love that we’ve had already has been amazing, and I know when he walks onstage whenever we do that, it’s going to be something special.”

Judas Priest Guitarist Glenn Tipton Diagnosed With Parkinson’s Disease

Sadly, Judas Priest have revealed that guitarist Glenn Tipton was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease ten years ago, and that he will be stepping away from touring due to the progression of the disease. Producer Andy Sneap will now be taking his place at live shows.

The band posted the following:

“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!’”