Legendary Judas Priest guitarist Glenn Tipton has revealed he has Parkinson’s Disease.
The metal titans have taken to Facebook to reveal that their axeman has been silently battling the disorder for 10 years, and has made the decision to tap out of touring with Priest for the time being.
“Ten years ago Glenn was diagnosed to have the onset of the early stages of Parkinson’s,” the band write. “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,” they continue.
“True to the metal spirit of ‘the show must go on’ Glenn has requested [Grammy winning UK producer and Hell guitarist] Andy Sneap to fly the flag on stage for him.”
Parkinson’s is a nervous system disease that affects movement. However, the news does not mean Tipton will be exiting the band.
“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,” he tells fans in a statement.
“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.”
Priest are currently in the midst of their Firepower tour, which includes a spot on the Download Madrid 2018 lineup, and Tipton’s bandmates say that it was his wish for them to complete the tour without him manning the axe.
“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!” They write.
“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!”
Judas Priest were last in Australia for Soundwave 2015.
Read their full statement below.