British heavy metal legends JUDAS PRIEST signed copies of their new album, "Firepower", this past Monday, March 19 at the Sony Square NYC in New York City. Joining singer Rob Halford, guitarist Richie Faulkner, bassist Ian Hill and drummer Scott Travis at the event was PRIEST guitarist Glenn Tipton, who announced last month that he was retiring from the road due to his battle with Parkinson's disease. Although Tipton played on "Firepower", he is being replaced on tour by the LP's producer, Andy Sneap.
Video highlights and photos of the New York City signing session can be seen below.
JUDAS PRIEST kicked off the "Firepower" world tour on March 13 at Mohegan Sun Arena in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.
"Firepower" was released on March 9 via Epic. The follow-up to 2014's "Redeemer Of Souls" was recorded by Sneap, the band's longtime collaborator Tom Allom and engineer Mike Exeter (BLACK SABBATH). The cover artwork for "Firepower" was created by the Chilean/Italian artist Claudio Bergamin.
The North American leg of the "Firepower" tour will wrap on May 1 in San Antonio, Texas.
Tipton found out he had Parkinson's four years ago — after being stricken by the degenerative condition at least half a decade earlier — but only recently announced he was going to sit out touring activities in support of "Firepower". The guitarist, who is now 70 and has performed on every PRIEST LP since the band's 1974 debut set, "Rocka Rolla", is not quitting the band, but simply cannot handle the rigorous challenges of performing live.
Asked how he sees his role in PRIEST going forward, Tipton told SiriusXM Volume host David Fricke: "It's a question that I can't really answer. I'm gonna see how things go. Medication is improving. Each day is different for me — some days, it's worse; some days, it's better. But I didn't wanna compromise the best heavy metal band in the world. So, to be on the safe side, Andy is in there now, and what will be will be. And that's all I can say. But I love this band; it's been my life. And maybe I'll do some more writing and recording — maybe even some more touring. It's an unanswerable question, really. It's in the lap of the metal gods."