Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Former Judas Priest guitarist comments on Glenn Tipton’s retirement from touring

Retired Judas Priest guitarist KK Downing is sharing his thoughts on the news that bandmate Glenn Tipton has stepped aside from touring in support of the group’s March 9 set, “Firepower”, after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease.

Tipton, whose twin-lead guitar work with Downing provided a signature sound for the group through the years, has been dealing with the health issue since the early stages were first detected a decade ago – three years before Downing retired from the lineup in 2011.

“The news that Glenn has finally been forced to come to terms with his unfortunate condition long term came with deep regret and sadness for me,” says Downing on his social media sites. “Equally, this ending of our guitar duo era is also something that I have to come to terms with. The insatiable
appetite that myself and Glenn had for creating inspired and unique music for the world to enjoy for many decades, is something that can never be erased. However, everyone who has witnessed the evolution of our beloved music must come to terms with the fact that things will inevitably change, or just simply end.

“I have to state with great sadness also that I am shocked and stunned that I wasn’t approached to step into my original role as guitarist for Judas Priest. Whether I could have stepped back into the band or not, the potential for this situation arising never entered my head when I departed – although I too am officially and legally still a member of Judas Priest.”

“However,” Downing continues, “I know now more clearly than ever that I did the right thing by leaving the band when I did – as it seems that my time spent in the band, and my value in terms of crafting its huge legacy, was and is unappreciated by more than one member. I sincerely hope, for the fans’ sake, that the decision not to approach me was not a financial one.”

“Firepower” co-producer Andy Sneap will join Judas Priest on guitar alongside Richie Faulkner for their upcoming world tour, which begins in Wilkes Barre, PA on March 13.

“I know Andy Sneap,” says Downing, “and he is one of the greatest contributors to rock and metal that you will ever have the privilege to meet. To that end I have no doubt that his contribution to the new Judas Priest album was much more than just as a producer. All that’s left is for you the fans to go out and enjoy the band as it is, in order to complete a part of music history in which every one of you has played such an important role.”

As the band prepares to hit the road, Downing will publish his memoir, “Heavy Duty: Days And Nights In Judas Priest”, via Da Capo Press on September 18.

Co-written with Mark Eglinton, the project explores Downing’s history with the British metal icons, who he joined in 1969 and was featured on all Judas Priest releases from their 1974 debut, “Rocka Rolla”, to 2009’s “A Touch Of Evil: Live.”

See also:

Judas Priest preview Firepower track Evil Never Dies
Judas Priest preview Firepower track Traitors Gate
Judas Priest: Glenn Tipton retires from touring following Parkinson’s diagnosis
AUDIO: Judas Priest streams Firepower title track
Search Judas Priest at hennemusic