Judas Priest’s Glenn Tipton diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease

Judas Priest guitarist Glenn Tipton has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease and will no longer tour with the band he has been a part of since 1974. The announcement came Monday morning, just weeks before the legendary band from Birmingham, England were to release their new album, “Firepower,” and begin a tour in support.

A press release from the band’s publicist is as follows:

“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 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.”

Bandmates Rob Halford, Richie Faulkner, Ian Hill and Scott Travis had 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. We also can’t wait to have him with us at any time any place on the road. We love you Glenn!”

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