Devastating News: JUDAS PRIEST’s Glenn Tipton Diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease

In absolutely shocking news, JUDAS PRIEST have just announced that guitarist Glenn Tipton has battling Parkinson’s Disease for the past decade.  All seemed normal in the world with the band’s new album, Firepower, set for a March 9, 2018 release date via Epic Records.

For the time being, Glenn Tipton will step aside from the stage and renowned producer/SABBAT guitarist Andy Sneap will perform live with the band.  Here is their official announcement:

“Ten years ago Glenn was diagnosed to have the onset of the early stages of Parkinson’s – from then until recently Glenn has lived his life as the great heavy metal guitar player he has always been, maintaining by his own definition a standard of quality and performance that is incredibly important.

“Right now Glenn is able to play and perform some of the Priest songs that are less challenging but due to the nature of Parkinson’s progression he wants to let you all know that he won’t be be touring as such –

“True to the metal spirit of ‘the show must go on’ Glenn has requested Andy Sneap to fly the flag on stage for him

‘“I want everyone to know that it’s vital that the Judas Priest tour go ahead and that I am not leaving the band – it’s simply that my role has changed.
“I don’t rule out the chance to go on stage as and when I feel able to blast out some Priest! So at some point in the not too distant future I’m really looking forward to seeing all of our wonderful metal maniacs once again’

Rob, Richie, Ian and Scott have this to say:

“‘We have been privileged to witness Glenn’s determination and steadfast commitment over the years, showing his passion and self belief through the writing, recording and performing sessions with Priest – he is a true metal hero!
“We are not surprised by Glenn’s insistence that we complete the Firepower tour and thank Andy for joining us to make Glenn’s wishes become real –
“As Glenn has said we also can’t wait to have him with us at any time any place on the road…..
We love you Glenn!'”

Song of the Day: When Rob Halford Joins Forces with PANTERA

Today marks the seventh anniversary of PANTERA/DAMAGEPLAN guitarist Dimebag Darrell‘s murder. I’m sure we all remember where we were when we heard the news. Friends of mine received eyewitness accounts of what happened that fateful night in Ohio and it’s just absolutely tragic. Let’s also not forget the other people who were killed that night, Jeff “Mayhem” Thompson, Erin Halk, and Nathan Bray. If you were into metal in the early to mid 90’s, this was a very big deal.

So let’s enjoy this song from the “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” movie soundtrack, which features JUDAS PRIEST‘s Rob Halford with PANTERA as his backing band on “Light Comes Out of Black.” The way Dime follows Halford‘s awesome falsettos (i.e. “Cemetery Gates“) and Halford and Phil Anselmo‘s dual vocals are killer.

K.K. Downing Retires from JUDAS PRIEST

In shocking news, legendary JUDAS PRIEST guitarist K.K. Downing has retired from the band. Here is the band’s official statement:

“It is with regret that JUDAS PRIEST announce that K.K. Downing has formally retired from the band and will therefore not be joining them on their forthcoming epitaph tour.

“The band respect his decision and naturally all wish him well.

“Having thought long and hard about how to proceed, Rob, Glenn, Ian and Scott unanimously agreed that they should go ahead with the tour and not let the fans down all around the world.

“Fate also stepped in and delivered the perfect replacement – 31 year old British guitar player Richie Faulkner – he has blended into the band perfectly and is a great talent who is going to help set the stage on fire!

“The Epitaph Tour will include songs from every priest studio album and also tracks they have never before performed on stage plus all the old favourites!

“With a new album due to be released next year the metal gods are preparing to tour the planet once more – heavy metal at its best complete with lasers, lights, bikes and hellfire!! It’s a show not to be missed!!”

JUDAS PRIEST Announce Farewell Tour

After storming the world for nearly 40 years and taking their very special brand of heavy metal to all four corners of the planet, JUDAS PRIEST -one of the most influential heavy metal bands of all time, have announced this will be their final world tour!

However, the mighty PRIEST will certainly be going out strong as they rock the planet starting in 2011 on the massive Epitaph Tour – hitting all the major cities throughout the world they will be playing the songs that helped make the name JUDAS PRIEST synonymous with heavy metal.

JUDAS PRIEST will be starting their world tour in Europe – we have just confirmed the following festivals for 2011:

9th June Sweden Rock Festival, Sweden
11th June Sauna Festival, Finland
17th June Copenhell Festival, Copenhagen, Denmark
19th June Hellfest, Nantes, France
22nd June Gods of Metal Festival, Milan, Italy
25th June Graspop Festival, Belgium
23rd July High Voltage Festival, London, UK
5th August Wacken Festival, Germany

Stay tuned as we announce more dates – information will be forthcoming soon.

HALFORD Announces Intimate Show in San Francisco

Metal God Records and Rob Halford are pleased to announce an intimate HALFORD concert performance Saturday, July 17th at The Regency Ballroom in San Francisco, California.

Join the HALFORD band members as they prepare to embark upon their first concert tour in more than seven years performing soon-to-be released tracks and rare tracks from The Metal God’s HALFORD, FIGHT and JUDAS PRIEST repertoire.

“It’s 2010 and I am excited to say the HALFORD band are heading back to the Bay area this July (17th),” comments Rob Halford. “We are preparing the HALFORD set lists, crew, etc., for this year’s Montreal Heavy Metal Festival, Ozzfest and many soon-to-be-announced dates. The Regency Ballroom will be a great venue to enjoy the band work, up-close. Get ready my Bay-area Metal Maniacs I’m bringing a night of blistering Heavy Metal to town.”

Tickets go on-sale Sunday, May 23, 2010 at www.TicketMaster.com.

JUDAS PRIEST to Perform British Steel in its Entirey on U.S. Summer Tour

JUDAS PRIEST will be celebrating the 30th anniversary of their album British Steel with a U.S. tour this summer in which they’ll perform the album in its entirety.

“The opportunity to perform live on stage in its entirety the whole of British Steel is a dream come true for all of us! We’re really excited and looking forward to presenting the album live on stage – fans will be able to enjoy a taste of true heavy metal when it was in its early, raw state!” said the group in a statement. “Plus, we will of course be throwing in a few other PRIEST classics!”

Confirmed dates as of this writing are as follows:

July 1st The Family Arena St. Charles, MO
July 2nd Summerfest (Harley Davidson Stage) Milwaukee, WI
July 3rd Taste of Minnesota at Harriet Island * St. Paul, MN
July 7th Comcast Center * Mansfield, MA
July 8th CMAC * Canadaigua, NY
July 9th Molson Amphitheatre * Toronto, ONT
July 11th PNC Bank Arts Center * Holmdel, NJ
July 12th Nikon at Jones Beach * Wantagh, NY
July 14th Time Warner Cable Amphitheatre * Cleveland, OH
July 15th DTE Energy Music Theatre * Clarkston, MI
July 17th Moondance Jam * Walker, MN
July 18th Rockfest/Cheppewa Valley Music Cadott, WI
July 21st PNC Pavillion @ Riverbend Music * Cincinnati, OH
July 29th California Mid State Fair * Paso Robles, CA
July 31st Sleep Train Pavillion * Concord, CA
August 1st 98 Rock Jamboree @ Sleep Train Amp* Marysville, CA
August 2nd Gibson Amphitheatre * Universal City, CA
August 4th SDSU Open Air Theatre * San Diego, CA
August 5th Pacific Ampitheatre/OC Fair * Costa Mesa, CA
August 7th Dodge Theatre * Phoenix, AZ
August 8th Thomas & Mack Center * Las Vegas, NV
August 10th Sandia Casino Albuquerque, NM
August 11th Red Rocks Ampitheatre * Morrison, CO

Dates with an asterisk (*) denote performances with WHITESNAKE.  More dates will be announced.

Visit the official JUDAS PRIEST site for more information: http://www.judaspriest.com

TESTAMENT Schedule In-Store Signings

TESTAMENT, who are about to hit the road with JUDAS PRIEST, have announced a few in-store signing sessions on their trek.

Currently scheduled signings:
07/24/08 Scrape Records – Vancouver, BC – CANADA (time n/a)
08/05/08 Vintage Vinyl – Fords, NJ @ 6:00PM
08/10/08 Looney Tunes – W. Babylon, NY @ 1:00PM
08/15/08 Spin Street store – Mohegan Sun Casino @ 5:00PM

For the latest in-store appearances and tour dates, check out their official website.

Free JUDAS PRIEST Tickets with Album Purchase

While supplies last, when you purchase any configuration of the initial pressing of JUDAS PRIEST’s double disc concept album, Nostradamus (release date – June 17th), specially marked CD’s will contain an insert with a exclusive code inside the CD package for one free lawn ticket to see JUDAS PRIEST on selected dates of the Metal Masters Tour this summer. Visit www.judaspriest.com for details on this special offer. This seemingly too-good-to-be-true offer will be good while supplies last. Also, this offer will not pertain to all the dates of the Metal Masters Tour (see below for complete list of dates that the offer is good for).

The Metal Masters Tour will undoubtedly be the top metal concert attraction of the summer. In addition to a headlining performance by JUDAS PRIEST, fans will also be treated to sets by HEAVEN & HELL, MOTORHEAD, and TESTAMENT. “As ever, we look forward to screaming out loud with our metal maniac fans when we hit the road,” enthuses PRIEST singer, Rob Halford. “The PRIEST is back!”

The album takes you on a nearly two-hour journey. It is without a doubt best looked at as a complete work as all true concept albums are. You can really see it living out on a stage. It sounds like PRIEST have truly created something special and once again lived up to their rightful billing as ‘Metal Gods’.”

As to why they chose to make a concept album about Nostradamus, Glenn Tipton explains: “We didn’t – he chose us. We feel it was meant to be!”

Tickets for all shows on sale now at www.livenation.com.

Offer good only for one of the following shows, while supplies last:

06-Aug-08 Camden, NJ
07-Aug-08 Bristow, VA
09-Aug-08 Holmdel, NJ
16-Aug-08 Pittsburgh, PA
19-Aug-08 Chicago, IL
22-Aug-08 Dallas, TX
23-Aug-08 Houston, TX
24-Aug-08 San Antonio, TX
27-Aug-08 Albuquerque, NM
28-Aug-08 Phoenix, AZ
30-Aug-08 San Bernardino, CA
31-Aug-08 Mountain View, CA

Metal Legends JUDAS PRIEST, HEAVEN AND HELL, MOTORHEAD, and TESTAMENT Unite for Metal Masters Tour

After weeks of speculation, Live Nation has put together a killer package that is bound to go down as the heavy metal event of 2008 – JUDAS PRIEST, HEAVEN AND HELL, MOTORHEAD and TESTAMENT will be touring together for the first time.

Dubbed “The Metal Masters Tour,” the fifteen-date U.S. trek kicks off August 6th at the Susquehanna Bank Center in Camden, New Jersey. Tickets go on sale to the public beginning this weekend at www.livenation.com. JUDAS PRIEST will be supporting their epic concept album, Nostradamus, arriving June 17th via Epic Records, which tells the tale of the renowned 16th century prophet. A few tracks from Nostradamus will make their in-concert debut on “The Metal Masters Tour,” but the majority of PRIEST’s set list will include some of metal’s all-time classics, as well as fan favorites that span the quintet’s entire career. Without a doubt, this will be one of PRIEST’s most powerful sets ever.

HEAVEN AND HELL will be supporting the release of The Rules Of Hell, a five-CD boxed set available July 22nd from Rhino Records, which features re-mastered versions of all four Dio-era BLACK SABBATH albums (Heaven And Hell, Mob Rules, Live Evil and Dehumanizer) in a deluxe package with new liner notes.

Perennial road rats MOTORHEAD will be offering a blistering barnstormer of a set spanning more than three decades of molar-rattling biker metal. A new studio album – the 20th of their storied career – is currently being recorded at their old pal Dave Grohl’s studio with an August release date targeted. Frontman Lemmy, named by the U.K.’s Guardian newspaper as “the nation’s greatest living Englishman,” blairs out, “Here it comes everybody, the test of your Metalness in 2008 and the years to come! Come one come all and be abused!”

Rounding out the line-up will be legendary thrash metal titans TESTAMENT, whose new album, The Formation of Damnation, (April 29th) displays TESTAMENT as the quintessential modern heavy metal band, whose experience and accumulated skill allows them to attack with reserves of anger, energy and finesse that make them more powerful than ever. Lead singer Chuck Billy says, “Uniting these bands is the heavy metal event of generations. We are so proud to be a part of it.”

“As ever, we look forward to screaming out loud with our metal maniac fans when we hit the road,” enthuses PRIEST singer, Rob Halford. “Thank you once again for your devotion and support. The PRIEST is back!”

This tour will be limited to fifteen very special engagements, and Citi cardmembers will have pre-sale access to tickets through Citi’s Private Pass® Program, available to all Citi cardmembers at www.privatepass.citi.com.

Metal maniacs seeking the ultimate concert experience can access unique VIP ticket and fan experience packages that offer premium seats, meet & greets, pre-concert parties and more brought to you by the band’s official websites,
www.judaspriest.com and www.heavenandhelllive.com.

VIP packages for the first events will be on sale by 10 a.m eastern time on Friday, April 25th. Also, not all VIP packages are the same, so be sure to pick the right one that suits you best.

See the official web sites for continually updated tour information and on-sale dates.

The dates are as follows:

Wed 06-Aug-08 Susquehanna Bank Center, Camden, NJ – PUBLIC ON SALE APRIL 26, 10 am
Thu 07-Aug-08 Nissan Pavilion, Bristow, VA – PUBLIC ON SALE SOON
Sat 09-Aug-08 PNC Bank Arts Center, Holmdel, NJ – PUBLIC ON SALE APRIL 26, 10 am
Sun 10-Aug-08 Nikon at Jones Beach, Wantagh, NY – PUBLIC ON SALE APRIL 26, 10 am
Wed 13-Aug-08 Molson Amphitheatre, Toronto, ON – PUBLIC ON SALE APRIL 25, 10 am
Sat 16-Aug-08 Post Gazette Pavilion, Pittsburgh, PA – PUBLIC ON SALE APRIL 25, 10 am
Mon 18-Aug-08 DTE Energy Music Theatre, Detroit, MI – PUBLIC ON SALE SOON
Tue 19-Aug-08 First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre, Chicago, IL – PUBLIC ON SALE APRIL 25, 5 pm
Fri 22-Aug-08 Superpages.com Amphitheatre, Dallas, TX – PUBLIC ON SALE SOON
Sat 23-Aug-08 Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, Houston, TX – PUBLIC ON SALE SOON
Sun 24-Aug-08 Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre, San Antonio, TX – PUBLIC ON SALE SOON
Wed 27-Aug-08 Journal Pavilion, Albuquerque, NM – PUBLIC ON SALE SOON
Thu 28-Aug-08 Cricket Wireless Pavilion, Phoenix, AZ – PUBLIC ON SALE SOON
Sat 30-Aug-08 Glen Helen Pavilion, San Bernardino, CA – PUBLIC ON SALE SOON
Sun 31-Aug-08 Shoreline Amphitheatre, Mountain View, CA – PUBLIC ON SALE APRIL 27, 10 am

JUDAS PRIEST Roars Back with Nostradamus

Think “Double vinyl, gatefold sleeve concept album,” and some of rock’s all-time classic recordings come to mind. But in the realm of heavy metal, there has never been a double vinyl (now disc!) concept album that has managed to balance a thought-provoking storyline with metallic thunder. That was, until now. Metal legends JUDAS PRIEST will be releasing their sprawling double disc concept album, Nostradamus via Columbia Records on Monday, June 16th in the UK/Europe, and a day later in the US on Epic Records.

Long in the works, Nostradamus takes epic storytelling to a whole new level, as it recounts the life of this mysterious, world-known 16th Century French prophet. Some of the events that Nostradamus experts have interpreted as his predictions include the great fire of London in 1666, the rise of Adolf Hitler, and most recently, 9-11, among countless other renowned events.

“As in any concept piece, the lifeline needs to be of a solid source, taking the music over many levels of interest and perception,” points out singer Rob Halford. “Nostradamus contains new frontiers explored and defined. The sense of adventure and the journey we undertook bringing the man’s life alive with metal was a real labour of love.”

As with all new PRIEST releases, the group – singer Rob Halford, guitarists Glenn Tipton and K.K. Downing, bassist Ian Hill, and drummer Scott Travis – will embark on a mammoth worldwide tour in support of Nostradamus. PRIEST will be performing at the 2008 Download Festival – on a bill also featuring KISS – which will serve as a homecoming of sorts for the group, as they performed at the first-ever Monsters of Rock Festival at Donington Park in 1980.

“The Nostradamus album – above all others – is perhaps the one I’m most proud of,” says Tipton. “Whilst in essence and character still very much JUDAS PRIEST, it has afforded the opportunity to explore areas of classical and operatic dimensions that the band normally wouldn’t. As a guitarist and writer it has inspired me to greater heights and opened new doors to intrigue and passion. From start to finish, it will take you through a magical experience filled with light, shade, drama, melody and emotion that reflects this unique man and his life.”

“For me, Nostradamus has been a musical journey without comparison,” adds Downing. “The intrigue and mystery that surrounds this revered man has expanded my perception of heavy metal to the highest plateau and enabled me to reach the outer limits of my imagination and transport unique feelings and emotions to the instrument that allows me to express myself.”

In addition to the regular jewel case double CD version of the album, collectors will undoubtedly be interested in hunting down a copy of a Deluxe Double CD housed in a 48 page hardbound book package. But that’s not all – a Super Deluxe Box-set version will also be available with triple vinyl, the double CD, an expanded booklet & a poster.

As to why they chose to make a concept album about Nostradamus, Tipton explains: “We didn’t – he chose us. We feel it was meant to be!”

To get a taste of what awaits for you within Nostradamus, go to livenation.com/JUDASPRIEST to download exclusive free mp3 of the album’s title track, as well as view the world premiere of the album cover art.