Judas Priest have announced the creation of the Glenn Tipton Parkinson’s Foundation.
The guitarist issued a statement addressing his ongoing battle with Parkinson’s disease earlier this year (opens in new tab) after it became public in February, with Tipton taking a step back from the majority of Priest’s live Firepower tour dates. Producer and guitarist Andy Sneap was brought in to take his place on the road.
Now the band have announced that they’re selling special t-shirts, with proceeds from sales going towards pioneering new research into the disease.
Tipton says in a statement: “As you probably know by now I’ve had to pull out of the current Priest tour due to ill health. I am still doing some shows and joining the guys on stage for some songs and will carry on for as long as I can without compromising the band.
“So far when I walk on stage the audience reaction has been amazing, heart-warming and quite emotional.
“I knew that something was wrong as my co-ordination and speed were affected and both have been slowly getting worse over the last 10 years. Accordingly, when I was diagnosed, it wasn’t really a shock.
“Rob, Richie, Ian and Scott are playing better than ever and Andy is doing a really great job – they have all given me so much support. It was the band that suggested we start a foundation which although in my name is really a Judas Priest foundation.
“We are selling t-shirts with the slogan ‘No Surrender’ – a track off the latest album, which is very appropriate considering the determination you have to summon up to get on with life and beat this illness. It’s the sort of thing that always happens to ’someone else.’”
Tipton says that while there are many Parkinson’s charities the band could contribute funds to which deal with different aspects of this disease both physically and mentally, he’s excited by the progress in MR-guided focused ultrasound thalamotomy.
The guitarist adds: “Although in its early stages, it has already had great success with a Parkinson's related condition called essential tremor.
“Dr Bain, my specialist, who is one of the leading experts in this field, and his colleagues are now turning their attention to treating Parkinson's patients with this state of the art MR scanners and are very optimistic as to the positive results that are emerging.
“All proceeds we receive from you will go to this cause and I urge not just Judas Priest fans, but everyone out there to help.”
Tipton adds: “We will keep you posted on what you have all raised through this tour so remember, keep the faith and No Surrender!”
Judas Priest are currently on tour across Europe and will headline the UK’s Bloodstock festival in August (opens in new tab).