Judas Priest’s lead guitarist Glenn Tipton is taking a step back from touring due to his battle with Parkinson’s disease.
The 70-year-old musician was diagnosed with early-stage Parkinson’s a decade ago but continued to play live with the legendary metal group despite his illness, which affects brain and motor function.
However, his bandmates – Rob Halford, Scott Travis, and Richie Faulkner – revealed on Monday (12Feb18) that Glenn would not perform on their upcoming U.S. tour as a result of his condition.
“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,” they said in a statement posted on the Judas Priest Facebook page.
The Breaking the Law rockers added that Glenn would be replaced on guitar by Sabbat and Hell rocker Andy Sneap.
Meanwhile, Glenn has explained that he will still join his bandmates on stage from time to time.
“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 said. “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.”
Fellow rocker Neil Diamond announced last month (Jan18), that he would no longer perform live after he was also diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.