Judas Priest guitarist ends touring due to Parkinson's
NEW YORK - AFP
Judas Priest's Glenn Tipton, whose aggressive but classically influenced guitar helped shape the direction of heavy metal, announced on Feb. 12 that he was retiring from touring due to Parkinson's disease.
The veteran British band said that Andy Sneap, a longtime metal producer, would replace Tipton on a tour that opens on March 13 in Pennsylvania after the release of Judas Priest's 18th studio album, "Firepower."
While Downing, who has left Judas Priest, played raw, blues-influenced guitar, Tipton, who learned on acoustic guitar, brought a classical flourish that complemented the voice of frontman Rob Halford.
Judas Priest was perhaps most influential in setting the stage for the more mainstream subgenre of "hair metal" with the band's 1980 album "British Steel," which featured comparatively accessible songs "Breaking the Law" and "Living After Midnight." Tipton, who on the side travels the world as an avid fisherman, has also released two solo albums.