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Judas Priest’s Glenn Tipton Refused to Use Backing Tracks Live; Richie Faulkner Questions Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Kevin Winter, Getty Images
Kevin Winter, Getty Images

Judas Priest guitarist Glenn Tipton continues to be a metal hero even when choosing to excuse himself from the band’s Firepower tour. Though Tipton is unable to perform at his full potential due to a battle with Parkinson’s, the Priest shredder refused the idea of playing to a backing tape onstage, according to Rob Halford.

Tipton has remained a phenomenal player throughout his 10-year struggle with Parkinson’s, with Halford only noticing minor slips during Priest’s Redeemer of Souls dates. It would be easy for Tipton to enjoy the limelight while getting a studio magic boost onstage, but he quickly swatted down the concept.

“We were making rehearsals just recently,” Halford describes to Masa Itoh. “We could see he was having tremendous difficulty and we wondered, ‘Will we be able to tour? Is there a way to make him able to tour with some kind of support with another guitar or backup tapes or something like that?’ And we had initially suggested that to Glenn. But Glenn is a purist in performance and his feeling was that he didn’t want to have anything assisting him while he was playing live.”

Halford continues, “He made the decision and said, ‘I want to do what’s the best for the band. Not what’s the best for me.’ He was always thinking about the band, not thinking about himself … So, we said ‘Glenn, it’s not about the band for us. It’s about you. We want you to find the peace and harmony in the decision that you make.’ But, he kept saying, ‘No, no, no. It’s got to be for the band, the best thing for the band is if I step away from some touring and we find a friend, find someone to stand in my place for me.’ So, that was just a remarkable display of emotion.” [via Blabbermouth]

In other Priest news, guitarist Richie Faulkner has questioned the legitimacy of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame after Judas Priest were looked over after being considered for a 2018 induction. “If Priest is not inducted, what is the credibility of it,” Faulkner questioned while talking to The Vindicator. “On the other hand, I think after 50 years of creating new music and touring the world, with our fan base, that’s more of an accolade than any award. Our fans are passionate.”

Judas Priest’s 18th studio album is out now, so check out our review of the album here and be sure to grab a copy.

See Where Does Firepower Ranks Among Judas Priest’s Albums

Judas Priest’s Rob Halford + Richie Faulkner Talk Firepower

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