Judas Priest’s tour in support of their new album Firepower kicked off last night in Pennsylvania, and it was the first show since guitarist Glenn Tipton went public with his Parkinson’s disease diagnosis, which has led him to step down from touring with Priest.
This band news, of course, has been getting a lot of press but also a lot of support from the fan for Tipton who issued the following statement just this morning:
“By now many of you will know I won't be doing the forthcoming Judas Priest tour because of health issues---I’m so sorry but four years ago I was diagnosed with Parkinson's and was told by my specialist that I had already had it for over ten years - I knew something was wrong with my co-ordination and fluency regarding my playing but I worked around it and battled on - I have good days and bad days but the disease is degenerative and I would never want to compromise the greatest metal band in the world---it was therefore during the last rehearsals I decided to step down and have Andy Sneap fill in---he's a great guy and I'm sure he'll do a great job - I'm sure the band will be as strong than ever.
I have been overwhelmed by the massive support and love I’ve had from other artists and from fans all over the world and from many friends and metal maniacs out there - it's not the end for me - I’ll still be able to write and record and on good days even join the band on stage for a few songs - with new medication and advances being made who knows what the future holds - but one thing's for sure - it will certainly involve Priest!
Finally the biggest thanks goes to Rob, Richie, Ian and Scott who have stood by me and supported me through everything.”
Erica Banas is a rock/classic rock blogger who once did a presentation in a college public speaking course about why The Rolling Stones were better than The Beatles. (She received an A.)