JUDAS PRIEST fans were recently assured by guitarist Richie Faulkner, who was once the guitarist in the backing group for Lauren Harris, daughter of IRON MAIDEN bassist Steve Harris, joined the band in 2011 as the replacement for the band’s founding guitarist K.K. Downing, that fellow axeman Glenn Tipton, despite the fact that he is battling Parkinson’s disease, he will indeed play with the band once again.
The guitarist, who is now 70 and has appeared on every one of the bands’ albums since their 1974 debut set, ‘Rocka Rolla’. While he is not quitting the band, he is simply unable to handle the challenges that come with performing live. Joining Priest for its upcoming dates will be the band’s co-producer and HELL/ex-SABBAT guitarist Andy Sneap.
Faulkner said while speaking to Indiana’s X-Rock 103.0 radio station earlier this week that Tipton contributed heavily to the bands’ upcoming new album, ‘Firepower’ to be released March 9 via Epic, despite the challenges of his disease. Follow the link below to hear audio.
“Glenn Tipton is involved in this record in the same way that he always has been, the only difference this time is that he’s been battling with Parkinson’s. If anything, it’s a testament to what a hero Glenn Tipton is. If you listen to that record and you listen to the intensity, and you can hear the dedication that’s gone into that, and the man is suffering 10 years of Parkinson’s? Hats off to the guy. It’s just a testament to his love for the band, his love for the fans and his dedication to the cause. Obviously, live is a different scenario. In the studio, you can take time and redo things and just take time and he’s more comfortable. Live is a different kettle of fish. So Glenn’s had to step back a little bit from that. But rest assured, I think we’re gonna see Glenn Tipton at some point in the tour.”
He continued: “We’ve already said, at some point he’s gonna come out, as and when he’s willing and able and he’s healthy enough to do it and turn up and do some songs with us, and I think the fans will go nuts. I think it’s gonna be unannounced, it’s gonna be a surprise. And who knows, man? Maybe we can keep him out — we can [get] him to stay out on the tour bus with us and come around the world with us. But we’ll see Glenn Tipton on stage again — rest assured.”
The North American leg of the “Firepower” tour will kick off on March 13 in Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania and will wrap on May 1 in San Antonio, Texas.