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Glenn Tiptons Early Bands

Glenns Gear

Glenn Tiptons Guest Appearances


"You go on stage, already full of tension, take your guitar and strike the first chord. Then there's a 'bang' and everything goes off within you, you merge with your guitar into a unit which interprets emotions."
- Glenn Tipton, Fachblatt Music Magazine, September 1976


Rare photos of Glenn with short hair...

Glenn started his musical journey learning some piano (which later came into play on "Prelude" and "Epitaph" from the Sad Wings Of Destiny album), but quickly switched to the guitar as his instrument of choice:

"My mother, who's an excellent pianist and used to be a professional teacher, got me started on the piano when I was about nine years old. Mind you, it was very short-lived and she stopped giving me lessons after a while because I didn't pay attention! I actually got interested in guitar when my brother Gary started playing and I found that I was able to pick it up quite quickly. I guess it helps if you've already got that basic knowledge in music."
- Glenn Tipton, Heavy Duty official biography, 1984

"I was a bit of a late bloomer, having started learning guitar and writing songs at the age of 20, but once I started, I was totally absorbed. I never put the guitar down in those days. I gave dedication a completely new meaning. I had the choice; I either worked in a factory for the rest of my life or I did something different, The advantages of doing something different were obvious. I went into it because I loved heavy metal and it was a great career move."
- Glenn Tipton, ChatShow, 1999

Glenn's older brother Gary not only helped Glenn take up the guitar, but he also served as Glenn's guitar tech on the PAINKILLER tour!



Glenn lives in the countryside of Romsley, Worcestershire, in the West Midlands near Birmingham, England and has a state-of-the-art recording studio built next to his home. He is married with a son and a daughter.

"I live in England and in Spain. I'm building a house in Spain. I jump between the two. The tax situation does that to you. It used to be less of a problem, because we were out on the road somewhere anyway. Now we can play less, and to more people doing bigger venues in America, so that gives us more time, so I have to live in two places."
- Glenn Tipton, Atlantis Online, October 24, 1986

     "Iíve lost this whole summer with my son and daughter. My daughter is 21 and my son is 16, but it would probably be the last summer I would have gone off with him and done something. Thatís been the biggest sacrifice -- just being away from home.
- Glenn Tipton,, September 10, 2002


                                                      This room has a "Hot Rockin'"fireplace!                         Nothin' like working at home!


Glenn Tipton's Early Bands:

Shave And Dry (1970)
Glenn Tipton (gtr, key); Pete Hughes (voc); Barry Scrannage (drm); David Shelton (bss).

Merlin (1971-1972)
Glenn Tipton (gtr, key); Pete Hughes (voc); Trevor Foster (drm); Frank Walker (bss); Andy Wheeler (bss).

The Flying Hat Band (1972 - 1974)
Glenn Tipton (gtr, key); Pete Hughes (voc); Trevor Foster (drm); Frank Walker (bss); Andy Wheeler (bss).
Glenn Tipton (gtr); Peter Mars Cowling (bss); Steve Palmer (drm).

Four songs from the unreleased Flying Hat Band sessions were placed along with songs by Antrobus on a bootleg CD titled Buried Together in 1992. Two more very rare Flying Hat Band demos have also leaked into circulation among traders.



First Guitar:

"I started out with a semi-acoustic Hofner, and then my first all-electric was a short-scale Rickenbacker. It didn't sound right, but it was a great guitar. Then I changed to a Stratocaster; that got stolen, so i got another one. Eventually I got some money back from the guitar that was stolen, which gave me a chance to buy another guitar. I thought, 'Well, the alternative is a Gibson,' so I bought an SG, and that's the sound I've adopted ever since. My first amplifier was an AC-30 Vox."
- Glenn Tipton, Guitar Player Magazine, July 1983

"When I was in the Flying Hat Band before joining Priest my only guitar of the time was an SG and it was nicked after a gig in Newcastle. It was a point in my life where I seriously thought of packing it all in. I had no money to buy a new one and then I got offered [a '61 Fender Stratocaster] for thirty quid. A lot of early Priest songs where written and recorded on that. It's a beautiful guitar - completely original, it's still one of my favourites... Just look down through the years, Hendrix, Gallagher, they only had Strats, but each one sounded like its master - that's the beauty of that particular guitar."
- Glenn Tipton, BallBuster, 2003

'70s - '80s Gear:

Roland Chorus pedal

Late '80s Gear:

     "The synth guitar has got some fantastic sounds on it, but live it was a nightmare. It really was innovative at the time. We got criticized for it and then everybody started using them."
- Glenn Tipton, BallBuster, 2003

Current Gear:

Greg "Weasel" Morgan has been Glenn's guitar tech since 1993, and Glenn's brother Gary was his guitar tech during the Painkiller tour.

"I seem to have acquired a lot of old vintage guitars recently, including an old Telecaster with an amazing tone."
- Glenn Tipton, Total Guitar, 1998

"The Tele is a '69 or '70. I wanted one because I think if you play a chord on a Telecaster it has got a musical quality that few guitars have. I tried loads of models and this jumped out at me. I use it quite a lot in the studio for rhythm work."
- Glenn Tipton, BallBuster, 2003

     "I've always had a Les Paul of one sort or another. I have a replica of a 1960 model made in '95. As you know, the Les Paul is a pretty unique sounding guitar, especially if you play the blues. A friend who worked at the Musical Exchanges in Birmingham brought a few over for me to try. This sounded far better than the old original ones, so I bought it. Just plug in and instantly you've got that famous Les Paul sound."
- Glenn Tipton, BallBuster, 2003

     "This is a wonderful guitar to play. Plug this in and it almost writes songs itself, it's so inspiring. 12-string guitars always have a place for me."
- Glenn Tipton, BallBuster, 2003

Graphite Fernandes Sustainer guitar

"I really love this guitar, it's incredible. I haven't been working with Fernandes long when they gave me this. It's great as it uses a magnetic process which gives endless sustain - flick a switch and you get harmonic sustain. Soaked in echo it sounds wonderful."
- Glenn Tipton, BallBuster, 2003

"I originally bought this guitar to make a lamp out of it for the studio... But, when I got back here and tried it I discovered it's got a very raw, un-refined sound, so it didn't become a lamp. I think that guitar alone proves my way of thinking - if a guitar has a place and a use then it appeals to me."
- Glenn Tipton, BallBuster, 2003

"I tend to catch the Floyd Rose's fine tuners when playing, so I've always preferred the Kahler."
- Glenn Tipton, BallBuster, 2003

"Glenn also uses Ernie Ball RPS-10's strings specially re-enforced for Kahler Trem systems."
- Greg "Weasel" Morgan,
BallBuster, 2003

"With EMGs, you're not worrying about picking up the local radio station mid way through a solo."
- Glenn Tipton, BallBuster, 2003

"All the EMG 81s on Glenn's guitars are wired with the batteries in series so they run the pickups at 18 volts. That makes them last longer and the pickups sound hotter with more edge and poke."
- Greg "Weasel" Morgan,
BallBuster, 2003

Crate amplifier stacks

"I've had a lot of SG's - usually I've sprayed them black. I started to use the mirror plate on the Strat. It's a nice visual effect to use on stage. Usually for picking out big breasted women in the audience. No, I'm only kidding, people will think that sexist. I use it for the effect it gives on the lights on stage... The '63 SG has the original ivory tuning pegs, fixed bridge, Gibson humbucker in the neck position, but with an EMG fitted on the bridge position. It's served its time live and has been retired but still frequently gets used for recording... I don't know what it is but I seem to have broken or lost a lot of SG's!"
- Glenn Tipton, BallBuster, 2003

Ernie Ball picks and strings

"Legendary British metal guitarist Glenn Tipton has joined up with Ernie Ball strings and accessories... In addition to Ernie Ball medium nylon picks, Glenn uses the Ernie Ball RPS 10 gauge Slinkys on all his guitars. The reinforced wrapped ball end helps with his heavy tremolo use."
- Guitar Site, September 23, 2002

"I'm definitely not a collector of guitars..." Okay, Glenn...              ON/OFF switch, DigiTech Tone Driver, Crybaby wah-wah        DigiTech Multi Chorus

"I seem to have acquired a lot of old vintage guitars recently, including an old Telecaster with an amazing tone."
- Glenn Tipton, Total Guitar, 2002

"I'm definitely not a collector of guitars. Guitars for me are a tool - they do a job and that's it. Even though I have guitars I'm really fond of, they all have a function either in the studio or on the road. When I'm working here [in my home studio] I take a selection out that I think I'm going to use. Also when I refer to a guitar as valuable I mean valuable in a personal way.
- Glenn Tipton,
BallBuster, 2003

Glenn had several Hamers made for him based off of the Hamer Phantom platform. In 1982, Hamer introduced the Phantom A5 with a humbucker and a single-coil pickup then updated it in 1984 with a six in-line headstock, and in 1986, added the A7 (with synthesizer controller). For the 1984 Defenders Of The Faith tour, Hamer released the Phantom GT which had a single Hamer Slammer humbucker pickup and single volume control, as well as a Kahler tremolo system. This, along with the Vector KK were introduced to the public in 1984 as part of the Defenders Of The Faith campaign and they remained in production through 1986.

For the 1986 Turbo/Fuel For Life tour, Hamer designed a unique model exclusively for Glenn. It was a black angular guitar with a white stripe outlining the body that loosely resembled a Gibson Explorer (which has caused some to mistakenly call this the Scarab GT, though it is not a Scarab model at all). The Glenn Tipton Custom Hamer was also made in white with a black outline stripe and for 1990/91 Painkiller/Operation Rock N Roll tour, the white guitar's outline stripes were removed in favor of painting the bevels black to accent the body. This has been Glenn's main guitar of choice ever since.


Glenn Tipton's Guest Appearances:

Samantha Fox - Just One Night (1991) - "Spirit Of America"


                                                                           Glenn Tipton and Samantha Fox in the studio 1991

"...Glenn did put some guitar down on one track for Samantha Fox - he did it as a favor as he knew her when she was living in Spain and she was a bit of a heavy metal fan! He has done this sort of thing for various different bands he knows."
- Jayne Andrews, Management Co-ordinator for Judas Priest, 2003

Interesting note: Stock, Aitken, Waterman produced Samantha Fox's Greatest Hits album in 1992 which included "Spirit Of America" - so once again, there is a slight SAW/Glenn Tipton/Judas Priest connection!

The Nixons - Foma (1995) - "Drink The Fear"

Ugly Kid Joe - Live June 30, 1998, Nottingham, England - "Grinder", "Rapid Fire", and "Green Manalishi"

"I've even been playing out some. Recently I played with Ugly Kid Joe at a place called Nottingham here in England. The kids were chanting "Priest! Priest! Priest!" It was great."
- Glenn Tipton, Memoirs of an Invisible Man, 1996

Glenn and K.K. are also listed among the cast in the 1996 movie In A Metal Mood, a film about '50s pop icon-turned-Gospel-singer Pat Boone's dream of recording his own version of a heavy metal album. In the film, Pat falls asleep by the pool and dreams of rock stardom, but his dream quickly turns to nightmare as he descends into the dark world of heavy metal hell! Several big names in metal (such as Ozzy) make cameo appearances. Pat followed up the next year with his own Las Vegas lounge-act cover of "You've Got Another Thing Comin'" on his album release In A Metal Mood: No More Mr. Nice Guy...

     ďPatís waaaay too deep in the closet. Come out, Pat! Oh, dear.Ē
- Rob Halford, LA Weekly, August 2000