Judas Priest have issued a statement to reveal that guitarist Glenn Tipton has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.
As a result, the band report that he’ll miss some of the tour dates in support of their upcoming album Firepower, with producer/guitarist Andy Sneap stepping in.
The statement reads: “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 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.”
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Tipton says: “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”
Vocalist Rob Halford, bassist Ian Hill, guitarist Richie Faulkner and drummer Scott Travis add: “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!”
Firepower will launch on March 9 via Columbia Records, with tour dates set to commence from mid-March.
Judas Priest 2018 Firepower tour dates
Mar 13: Wilkes Barre Mohegan Sun Arena At Casey Plaza, PA
Mar 15: Youngstown Covelli Centre, OH
Mar 17: Uniondale Nassau Coliseum, NY
Mar 18: Washington The Anthem, DC
Mar 20: Newark Prudential Center, NJ
Mar 22: Uncasville Mogehan Sun Arena, CT
Mar 25: Ottawa The Arena At TD Place, ON
Mar 27: London Budweiser Gardens, ON
Mar 28: Oshawa Tribute Communities Centre, ON
Mar 30: Rama Casino Rama, ON
Mar 31: Detroit Masonic Temple, MI
Apr 03: Milwaukee Riverside Theater, WI
Apr 05: Green Bay Resch Center, WI
Apr 08: Bloomington Grossinger Motors Arena, IL
Apr 10: Casper Events Center, WY
Apr 11: Loveland Budweiser Events Center, CO
Apr 15: Kent ShoWare Center, WA
Apr 17: Portland Veterans Memorial Coliseum, OR
Apr 19: San Francisco The Warfield, CA
Apr 22: Los Angeles Microsoft Theatre, CA
Apr 24: Phoenix Comercia Theatre, AZ
Apr 26: Tulsa BOK Center, OK
Apr 28: Dallas Bomb Factory, TX
Apr 29: Sugarland Smart Financial Centre, TX
May 01: San Antonio Freeman Coliseum, TX
Jul 19: Athens Rockwave Festival, Greece
Jul 21: Plovdiv Hills Of Rock Festival, Poland
Jul 31: Munich Zenith, Germany
Aug 08: Dortmund Westfallenhalle, Germany
Aug 10: Bloodstock Festival, UK