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Judas Priest to Tour as a Quartet

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Judas Priest have announced that when they return to the stage this year, it will be as four-piece.

And while you might assume the missing member will be guitarist Richie Faulkner, who suffered a near-fatal aortic aneurysm and dissection on stage less than four months ago, it will, in fact, be the group’s other current guitarist, Andy Sneap, sitting out the shows.

Various media outlets have reported that Sneap will be focusing on his work as a producer instead of touring with the band, but that seems like an assumption based on one line of Judas Priest’s brief, fairly vague announcement (below).

Sneap, of course, was just a touring member of the band, filling in for Glenn Tipton, whose ability to perform has been tragically limited by Parkinson’s Disease. The same statement announcing Sneap won’t be part of the band’s upcoming tour also says Tipton will join Priest live “here and there” as he has been doing.

To the best of my knowledge, this is going to Priest’s first time playing as a quartet. I’m not quite sure how it’s gonna work — will there be backing tracks to make up for the absence of a second guitarist? I hope not, but…

Here’s Priest’s statement, which I assume was dictated to my grandmother because it’s the only reasonable explanation as to why it’s written in all caps:

HELLO MANIACS!
 
WE ARE CHOMPING AT THE BRITISH STEEL BIT TO RETURN TO WORLD TOURING….CELEBRATING 50 YEARS OF JUDAS PRIEST AS AN EVEN MORE POWERFUL, RELENTLESS FOUR PIECE HEAVY METAL BAND – WITH GLENN COMING OUT ON STAGE WITH US HERE AND THERE AS BEFORE…..!!  BIG THANKS TO ANDY FOR ALL YOU’VE DONE AND CONTINUING TO BE IN THE PRODUCTION TEAM FOR OUR NEW ALBUM….
 
SEE YOU ALL SOON HEADBANGERS!

In related news, somewhere K.K. Downing is processing the news that the band would rather tour as a quartet then invite him back into the fold. I assume smoke is shooting out of his ears as he does this.

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