Rob Halford says that Glenn Tipton "still fully immersed" in the world of JUDAS PRIEST, despite the fact that he is battling Parkinson's disease.
The 71-year-old guitarist announced his retirement from touring in February 2018 after revealing his unfortunate diagnosis. He passed on the torch to the producer of the "Firepower" LP, Andy Sneap.
Asked for an update on Tipton's health, Halford told Ayo of the 97.1 The Eagle radio station (hear audio below): "It's always important to remember that Glenn is still fully immersed in JUDAS PRIEST. JUDAS PRIEST is Glenn and Ian [Hill, bass] and Scott [Travis, drums] and Richie [Faulkner, guitar] and myself… And Andy is doing great work for the band. Glenn is back home in the U.K., and every day he's usually in the studio coming up with this riff and that riff that we put together in the vaults so we can prepare for the next bunch of songs we're gonna make.
"The songwriting aspect has always been on a triple level, because the guitar angle of writing that Glenn created will be different to the way that Richie would [approach his ideas]," he continued. "If you listen to some of those early songs that PRIEST did where it was two people working together or just one person, there would be a different texture to the songs. And then we made the conscious decision to write as a trio, as writers. So, yeah, that's the way we make our metal."
Tipton was diagnosed with the degenerative neurological disorder five years ago, after being stricken by the condition at least half a decade earlier. The guitarist, who has performed on every PRIEST record since the band's 1974 debut set, "Rocka Rolla", is not quitting the band, but simply cannot handle the rigorous challenges of performing live.
Glenn has appeared onstage with PRIEST many times following his retirement, always performing the same fan-favorite tracks "Metal Gods", "Breaking The Law" and "Livin' After Midnight".
JUDAS PRIEST recently completed a U.S. tour with fellow classic heavy rockers URIAH HEEP. The 32-date trek kicked off on May 3 at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida and wrapped on June 29 at The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada.