Judas Priest frontman Rob Halford and bassist Ian Hill have reflected on the moment guitarist Glenn Tipton told them he couldn’t carry on due to his Parkinson’s disease diagnosis.

They exclusively tell Classic Rock, “As we said in the statement, Glenn’s been battling with this for 10 years, he’s been touring for 10 years, writing for 10 years, recording for 10 years – and it was only until last Thursday that he came to the conclusion that it was not going to be,” says frontman Rob Halford.

He continues, “He said, and this is typically Glenn, ‘I can’t do this because it’s not right for the band. If I go out, it’s not right for the band.’ He’s always thought about the band, always thought about the band first, so we know how difficult it was for him to make that decision and I think we were all relieved that he’s been able to find some balance and harmony in making that decision.”

Bassist Ian Hill reports that they went through a similar situation with the guitarist when they were rehearsing for their Redeemer Of Souls tour four years ago and adds, “When he started then, he was shaky, but, as we went through, he was getting better every day.”

He continues, “At the end of the second week, he was ready to go. He put in a superb performance on the last tour, and we were all hoping that was going to happen again. But after the first week, it was obvious to all of us that it wasn’t getting any better.

But Glenn being Glenn, he’s nothing if he’s not a scrapper. He will fight tooth and nail to make it happen and in the middle of last week, in the middle of rehearsals, he had to admit it. We were all hearing this and we were living it with him. We felt every note.

He came in and he made the bravest decision anybody will ever make, saying, ‘I can’t do it any more.’ There wasn’t a dry eye in the control room where we were sitting at the time.

It’s not like he’s been stupid and fell off his motorbike or got whacked out on some drug – it’s not a stupid decision he’s made, he just can’t do it. He said, ‘Guys, my brain is telling my hands to do something and they’re not doing it’ and he had to admit that to himself as well as us.”

Hill confirms that the band will be taking Tipton’s equipment on the road with them so he can join them onstage for some songs, and adds, “When he was doing the album he was fine – he was okay for 10 minutes or so to run through a song. But standing there for two hours and after a while you can see he’s got no stamina there.

But who knows? Strides are being made in medical science all the time, so we’re all hoping and praying that somewhere along the line somebody comes up with something that at least controls his symptoms if nothing else, so he can get out and at least play through a few songs with us on stage.”

Firepower will launch on March 9th through Columbia Records, with tour dates set to commence from mid-March.

source: Classic Rock via teamrock.com

12 Responses

  1. I get it. Glenn held out until the 11th hour so that’s why they’re taking Sneap out on the road. I wouldn’t want to cancel tour dates either. I say do the tour and retire.

    1. Totally agree, Nathan! The band should have this tour, and they said that Glen may join in on stage for the songs that he can still play. After that, announce their retirement. Rob could reform HALFORD with Richie, Ian, and Scott if he wants. They could even play some Priest tunes during live shows. Just don’t continue using the Judas Priest name. It can’t be done without Glen!

  2. You know…”Nostradamus” …I’m actually enjoying it now; been listening in the car…it’s a set piece, and it really is about a lot more than just Nostradamus; you have those wars, the Church wasn’t happy with him…lots of heavy drama, lol….but, the music is good, it’s a bit more mature I guess…Glenn said that that album would take a while before people got it, and I get what he meant. I also really like Demolition because in true Priest form, they were up the with times and early 2000s was the last time that “the times” meant anything. It’s a pretty bold statement really; you have these classic structures that you can either fix up, or demolish and start fresh.

  3. My Wife was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease when she was 52 years old 4 years ago. The levodopa did very little to help her. The medical team did even less. Her decline was rapid and devastating. It was muscle weakness at first, then her hands and tremors. Last year, a family friend told us about Natural Herbs Centre and their successful Parkinson’s Ayurveda TREATMENT, we visited their website www . natural herbs centre . com and ordered their Parkinson’s Ayurveda protocol, i am happy to report the treatment effectively treated and reversed her Parkinson’s disease, most of her symptoms stopped, she is able to walk and her writing is becoming great, sleep well and exercise regularly., she is pretty active now

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