K.K. DOWNING Issues Statement On GLENN TIPTON's Retirement From Touring - "I Am Shocked And Stunned That I Wasn’t Approached To Step Into My Original Role As Guitarist For JUDAS PRIEST"

February 27, 2018, 10 months ago

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K.K. DOWNING Issues Statement On GLENN TIPTON's Retirement From Touring - "I Am Shocked And Stunned That I Wasn’t Approached To Step Into My Original Role As Guitarist For JUDAS PRIEST"

Due to the nature of his Parkinson's progression, Judas Priest guitarist Glenn Tipton recently announced his retirement from touring life, requesting that Andy Sneap fly the flag on stage for him. Tipton's former bandmate, guitarist K.K. Downing, has issued the following statement in regards to Glenn's announcement:

"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. 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, 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.

"I know Andy Sneap - 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.”

In a recent interview with The Quietus, Judas Priest frontman Rob Halford discussed the possibility that Glenn Tipton could still perform with the band on the Firepower tour.

"The great positive side of this for us and for Glenn particularly is that he's not let this challenge change his life that much," Rob explained. "Glenn is still Glenn - Glenn can still play the guitar," he said. "Same guy — a wonderful, great heavy metal guitar player. His role is a little bit different now. And I can't wait for those moments when he's gonna show up unexpectedly anywhere around the world on the Firepower tour and come and jam out 'Living After Midnight', 'Breaking The Law', those kinds of songs. It's gonna be a really special moment. It could be the first show, it could be the last show — we don't know. But the joy is that Glenn is still playing and he's still with us, and he's as excited as we are to celebrate the release of Firepower."

Halford continued, "Glenn made the decision about not being able to full commit to the tour only last Thursday (February 8th). So we're still very much processing all of the possibilities. The other thing is, much like some of the other areas in these kinds of challenges, daily, there are incredible advances in medicines, in drugs and such things that can help to alleviate the condition. So that's all part of the ongoing story for Glenn. Who knows? Next year or the year after that, things could be dramatically different. But in the meantime, yeah, Glenn can show up, as we've said in the statement, anytime anywhere."

Confirmed tour dates:

March
13 - Wilkes Barre, PA - Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza
15 - Youngstown, OH - Covelli Centre
17 - Uniondale, NY - Nassau Coliseum
18 - Washington, DC - The Anthem
20 - Newark, NJ - Prudential Center
22 - Uncasville, CT - Mohegan Sun Arena
25 - Ottawa, ON - The Arena at TD Place
27 - London, ON - Budweiser Gardens
28 - Oshawa, ON - Tribute Communities Centre
30 - Orillia, ON - Casino Rama
31 - Detroit, MI - Detroit Masonic Temple

April
3 - Milwaukee, WI - Riverside Theater
5 - Green Bay, WI - Resch Center
8 - Bloomington, IL - Grossinger Motors Arena
10 - Casper, WY - Casper Events Center
11 - Loveland, CO - Budweiser Events Center
15 - Kent, WA - ShoWare Center
17 - Portland, OR - Veterans Memorial Coliseum
19 - San Francisco - The Warfield
22 - Los Angeles, CA - Microsoft Theater
24 - Phoenix, AZ - Comerica Theatre
26 - Tulsa, OK - BOK Center
28 - Dallas, TX - The Bomb Factory
29 - Sugarland, TX - Smart Financial Centre

May
1 - San Antonio, TX - Freeman Coliseum

You can pre-order the new Firepower album here. Set for release on Friday, March 9th via Epic Records - the album is comprised of fourteen tracks of pure and highly inspired metal.  And to mark the occasion Priest (singer Rob Halford, guitarists Glenn Tipton and Richie Faulkner, bassist Ian Hill, and drummer Scott Travis) has reunited with producer Tom Allom (the man behind the board for all of the band’s releases from 1979-1988, including such stellar classics as Unleashed In The East, British Steel, Screaming For Vengeance and Defenders Of The Faith) and with Grammy Award-winning producer Andy Sneap also helping to raise the sonic bar even higher.

“Tom Allom has got this classic metal thing,” explains Halford. “And Andy is a bit more of a ‘modern metal producer’ but his thinking is a little bit different to Tom’s. And I think to get this balance between that classic old school metal to what Andy’s world is was just a remarkable coalescence.”

“Tom Allom has been with us since 1979, so his knowledge of ourselves and our music in general is immense,” adds Hill.

And according to Travis, Priest returned back to a recording method that worked incredibly well on the band’s earlier classics - “We went back to the organic way of recording where it’s all of us in a room and we got to play together.”

Firepower tracklisting:

"Firepower"
"Lightning Strike"
"Evil Never Dies"
"Never The Heroes"
"Necromancer"
"Children Of The Sun"
"Guardians"
"Rising From Ruins"
"Flame Thrower"
"Spectre"
"Traitors Gate"
"No Surrender"
"Lone Wolf"
"Sea Of Red"

"Evil Never Dies" snippet:

"Firepower":

"Lightning Strike" video:

(Rob Halford photo - Mark Weiss, band photo - Justin Borucki)



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