Rob Halford says that Glenn Tipton made the decision only five days ago to sit out JUDAS PRIEST‘s touring activities as a result of his battle with Parkinson’s disease, with which he was diagnosed a decade earlier.
Only a few hours after PRIEST made the announcement about Tipton‘s condition, the JUDAS PRIEST singer spoke to U.K.’s The Quietus about the prospect of performing without the lone remaining member of the band’s twin-lead guitar attack that powered solos on such classic tracks as “Electric Eye”, “Hell Bent For Leather” and “Painkiller”.
Halford said: “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.”
Although Tipton will not be traveling with PRIEST, Halford left the possibility of the guitarist joining the band onstage open 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,” Rob explained. “Glenn is still Glenn — Glenn can still play the guitar,” he said. “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’.”
You can watch entire interview below.