Glenn Raymond Tipton (born October 25, 1947 in Blackheath, UK) is one of the guitarists, and occasional keyboardist, of the British heavy metal band Judas Priest. He was previously a member of The Flying Hat Band. Principal composer of the group, Tipton is known for his complex solos, sometimes influenced by classical music, and for his duet with his partner Judas Priest, K. K. Downing. He has participated until today in all the discography of Judas Priest spanning more than 40 years.
Tipton was born October 25, 1947 in Blackheath, Staffordshire, Olive and Doug Tipton. He attended Olive Hill Elementary School when he was about five years old. His brother, Gary, was a guitarist for a local band called Atlantics. Although Glenn did not practice the guitar before the age of 19, his mother taught him the piano from an early age. He will occasionally play piano on some of Judas Priest's albums, including Sad Wings of Destiny, especially on Epitaph, a song without guitar parts.
Little developed in the piano that his mother taught him, Tipton invested fully in the guitar at the age of 19. He often told with amusement that he stole his brother's guitar secretly to practice. His first guitar was a Hofner acoustic guitar, then he played on a Rickenbacker until he could afford a Fender Stratocaster. This guitar became his main guitar, until it was stolen. Tipton quickly acquired a black Stratocaster and later a Gibson SG - both of which were frequently used by Tipton later at Judas Priest's concerts.
The first group of Tipton was Shave Em 'Dry, which became the Flying Hat Band. This group quickly broke down due to management issues. Following the advice of the producer of Judas Priest who suggested the addition of a second guitarist, he was hired by the band, then little known, in May 1974, for the recording of their first album Rocka Rolla. During the recording, Tipton quickly added his guitar parts to the album, even though the catastrophic production removed most of them.