Richie Faulkner says that Glenn Tipton's first performance with JUDAS PRIEST since he stepped down from the band due to his battle with Parkinson's disease was a "goosebump moment."
Last night, during PRIEST's show at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey, the band welcomed Tipton for its three-song encore, playing blistering versions of "Metal Gods", "Breaking The Law" and "Living After Midnight", much to the delight of the thousands of fans in attendance.
During an interview earlier today with Jonathan Clarke of Q104.3's "Out Of The Box", Faulkner praised his bandmate as a "hero" and described the experience of playing with Glenn again as "phenomenal."
The guitarist said (see video below): "We always said that, obviously, due to Glenn's situation, he will be stepping down slightly from touring, but he will be back at some stage. And in true Glenn Tipton hero form, there he was at the Prudential in front of all the metal maniacs, and they went absolutely ballistic. I mean, you can imagine — it was like a goosebump moment; it was phenomenal. And we went straight into 'Metal Gods', which is pretty fitting. It was a 'metal god' right there, and it's just a testament to how much of a hero Glenn Tipton is."
PRIEST singer Rob Halford was also full of admiration for his longtime bandmate, describing Tipton's guitar-playing style as "remarkable. His heritage really comes from the blues. And the blues started everything — the blues was there before even rock and roll came into existence," Rob said. "So Glenn's bones in metal are really embedded in the blues, and that's how he grew from that experience as a guitar player. And that's his style, that's the Glenn Tipton sound. And the Glenn Tipton way of playing guitar is very special and very unique."
Although Tipton played on PRIEST's new studio album, "Firepower", he is being replaced on tour by the LP's producer, Andy Sneap.
Glenn recently told Guitar World that his decision to step down from the "Firepower" tour was not one that he took lightly. "I decided that it was really going to be too much for me," he said. "With the medication and the time zone changes and everything else, I realized it was time to retire — from touring at least."
"I don't ever want to compromise JUDAS PRIEST. It's too big a part of my life," he added.
Tipton said that "even up to the rehearsal stage," he was capable of playing 99 percent of all the PRIEST material, "but you can have good days and bad days with Parkinson's, and I didn't want to go onstage with that possibility looming," he explained. "I wanted to go onstage with total confidence if I was going to do it."
Asked if he has hand tremors, muscle stiffness or balance issues, all of which are symptoms of Parkinson's, Tipton said: "I don't suffer too much from tremors. It's more coordination and getting up to speed. It's almost like you've got a governor sitting at the speed you can go to and you can't go through the barrier. And if you've seen PRIEST onstage, with the adrenaline rushes, you can see why that might be a problem."
Glenn also didn't close the door on the possibility of contributing material to another PRIEST studio album once the group is done with the "Firepower" cycle. "I'll see how the band feels when they finish the tour," he said. "With regards to writing, I sincerely hope I maintain a contribution to the band in terms of songs and composition."
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.
Rob Halford and Richie Faulkner from Judas Priest are LIVE with Jonathan ClarkePosted by Q104.3's Out of the Box on Wednesday, March 21, 2018