Judas Priest has launched the Glenn Tipton Parkinson's Foundation in honor of the band's guitarist, who is suffering from the degenerative neurological disorder.
In a statement announcing the formation of the Foundation, Tipton said, “As you probably know by now, I've had to pull out of the current Priest tour due to ill health. I am still doing some shows and joining the guys on stage for some songs and will carry on for as long as I can without compromising the band. So far, when I walk on stage, the audience reaction has been amazing, heartwarming and quite emotional.”
Tipton continued, “It was the band that suggested we start a foundation which, although in my name, is really a Judas Priest foundation. We are selling T-shirts with the slogan 'No Surrender' (a track off the latest album), which is very appropriate considering the determination you have to summon up to get on with life and beat this illness.”
The 70-year-old guitarist added that the funds raised through the foundation will go to support a new treatment for Parkinson's known as MR-guided focused ultrasound thalamotomy, which has reportedly yielded positive results in its early stages.
Tipton was officially diagnosed with Parkinson's disease four years ago — and may have been suffering from it for at least half a decade before that — but only recently announced he was going to sit out touring activities in support of Priest's latest album, Firepower. His replacement on tour is Andy Sneap, who co-produced the album and was a guitarist himself in British bands like Sabbat and Hell.