Glenn Tipton Joins Judas Priest Onstage In San Francisco, California

During Judas Priest’s April 19 at The Warfield in San Francisco, California, the band were rejoined by guitarist Glenn Tipton for a three song encore featuring “Metal Gods,“ “Breaking The Law,” and “Living After Midnight.” This was Tipton’s third live performance since stepping away from touring due to his struggles with Parkinson’s Disease. He previously joined the band onstage during their April 15 show in Kent, Washington and during their March 20 concert in Newark, NJ.

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Glenn Tipton Joins Judas Priest Onstage In Kent, Washington

During Judas Priest’s April 15 show at ShoWare Center in Kent, Washington, the band were rejoined by guitarist Glenn Tipton for a three song encore featuring “Metal Gods,“ “Breaking The Law,” and “Living After Midnight.” This was Tipton’s second live performance since stepping away from touring due to his struggles with Parkinson’s Disease. He previously joined the band onstage during their March 20 concert in Newark, NJ.

Glenn Tipton Joins Judas Priest Onstage In New Jersey

During Judas Priest’s show in Newark, NJ tonight (March 20), the band were rejoined by guitarist Glenn Tipton for a three song encore featuring “Metal Gods,“ “Breaking The Law,” and “Living After Midnight.” This was Tipton’s first live performance since stepping away from touring due to his struggles with Parkinson’s Disease. Andy Sneap has been filling in for him as of late.

Judas Priest’s Glenn Tipton Shares New Statement On His Struggles With Parkinson’s Disease

Judas Priest’s Glenn Tipton has issued a new statement following his decision to step away from touring due to his struggles with Parkinson’s disease. You can read that below. As previously reported, producer/musician Andy Sneap will take his place on the band’s upcoming tour.

Here’s Tipton’s statement:

“By now many of you will know I won’t be doing the forthcoming Judas Priest tour because of health issues—I’m so sorry but four years ago I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s and was told by my specialist that I had already had it for over ten years – I knew something was wrong with my co-ordination and fluency regarding my playing but I worked around it and battled on – I have good days and bad days but the disease is degenerative and I would never want to compromise the greatest metal band in the world—it was therefore during the last rehearsals I decided to step down and have Andy Sneap fill in—he’s a great guy and I’m sure he’ll do a great job – I’m sure the band will be as strong than ever

I have been overwhelmed by the massive support and love I’ve had from other artists and from fans all over the world and from many friends and metal maniacs out there – it’s not the end for me – I’ll still be able to write and record and on good days even join the band on stage for a few songs – with new medication and advances being made who knows what the future holds – but one thing’s for sure – it will certainly involve Priest!

Finally the biggest thanks goes to Rob, Richie, Ian and Scott who have stood by me and supported me through everything – GLENN“

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.“

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]