Legendary guitarist Glenn Tipton won’t be joining the heavy metal band Judas Priest on its upcoming tour.
The British rockers say Tipton is stepping down from touring due to Parkinson’s disease, a condition that began to afflict him a decade ago.
He will be replaced on the band’s “Firepower” tour by Andy Sneap, a veteran heavy metal producer, and the guitarist for the British band Hell.
Tipton was the lone remaining member of Judas Priest’s twin-lead guitar attack that powered solos on tracks including “Electric Eye” and “Hell Bent For Leather.”
Guitarist Richie Faulkner replaced the other founding guitarist, K.K. Downing, in 2011.
Tipton says he’s still part of the band, and hopes to play when he’s able.
The tour kicks off next month in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, with a stop at The Venue at Horseshoe Casino in Hammond, Indiana, scheduled for April 6.
WAYNE PARRY, Associated Press