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Rob Halford Says Glenn Tipton Only Decided Last Week to Sit Out Judas Priest Tour

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My heart aches for Glenn Tipton. The guy has been in Judas Priest for FORTY FOUR YEARS — almost all of his adult life in one of the most important metal bands of all time — and he just had to make the decision to stop touring, the only lifestyle he’s ever known, due to complications from Parkinson’s Disease.

Look: Tipton is 70 years old now. Perhaps there’s a part of him that didn’t want to be touring anymore, that had grown tired of it, that instead wanted to stay home with his family, cook, watch TV, tend to the vegetable garden, what have you. Still; even in that scenario — and for all we know Tipton wanted to keep touring until the day he died, Lemmy style — it couldn’t have been a small pill to swallow. And no matter what, having to go out on any terms other than your own is never easy.

Just how difficult was Tipton’s decision? Rob Halford told The Quietus in an interview yesterday that Tipton only decided to remove himself from Priest’s touring obligations last week! He waited until basically the last minute to pull the plug. It’s not as if his condition suddenly got much worse within the past couple of weeks or whatever; that’s how badly he wanted to see if he could muster up the power and energy to play.

At least there’s this: Halford reassures us that Tipton is still very much able to play guitar — just that he has difficulty performing some of Priest’s more technical material — and is promising that Tipton will join the band for a few surprise live appearances along the way. That should certainly be very exciting for anyone lucky enough to be in attendance.

Get dates for Priest’s upcoming tour here, and jam their new track “Firepower” below. The album of the same name comes out on March 9th.

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