Hi Reddit, this year Jethro Tull are celebrating the 50th anniversary of our album Aqualung, the deluxe edition release of our album A, and the release of Silent Singing, a brand new lyric book covering the works of Jethro Tull and Ian Anderson.

Proof: https://www.facebook.com/officialjethrotull/posts/275696727256850

Signing off now, thank you Reddit. Keep an eye on JethroTull.com for future news.

Ian Anderson.

Comments: 1362 • Responses: 18  • Date: 

mrsootgremlin569 karma

Thank you so much for all the music, Mr. Anderson! I have one question regarding the footage of Jethro Tull’s 1978 Madison Square Garden concert: at the end of Locomotive Breath, going into Dambusters March, you are seen twirling your flute with great flair and then, before heading to grab the big balloons, you appear to toss the flute towards the audience! Was this a magic trick, some sleight of hand? Or was that flute really thrown? The fate of that flute has been on my mind for years!

iamiananderson945 karma

I usually carried with me an old damaged flute referred to as 'the thrower' and tossed that around in the hope that one of the road crew would always catch it. If it appeared to go into the audience, it must have been that I had unduly sweaty hands that night! Never mind, I expect I can find it on eBay if I look hard enough.

KennyM1972401 karma

Hello Ian, Did you keep a diary back in the early days of your career? What are the chances of you writing an autobiography?

iamiananderson949 karma

Very good indeed. But it won't be an autobiography in the usual temporal sense of starting at the beginning and ending shortly before my death! It will be more a series of essays of my life and music in the context of world events and societal changes. But due to other projects, we are probably 2-3 years away from this.

RaggedMagick308 karma

Broadford Bazaar Question-. As a Tull fan who is 30 years old my favorite period of your music has always been the trio of “Songs from the Wood, Stormwatch and Heavy Horses” albums . “Broadford Bazaar” is a pretty obscure Tull track that never made it on to an album at the time, but I’ve always loved it so much, can you tell any backstory about the writing/recording of the song Ian? With the Stormwatch 2 record store day release I was overjoyed to finally be able to have this song on vinyl so thank you!

iamiananderson472 karma

Broadford is a very small town on the Isle of Skye. When I began my agricultural activities based on Skye in the late 70s, I was asked to judge the Broadford beauty queen contest at the village hall. The song was basically recounting my visit to perform those duties and talks about the evolving economy and tourism in the West Highlands of Scotland. I recorded it shortly afterwards at home in England, but it took a few years to find its way into the real world on record.

ArabellaWinkle273 karma

Hello Mr Anderson, I am thrilled to see you here… I was wondering if you had any stories you recollect concerning my favourite song of yours, Jack in the Green. I have read somewhere that you composed it just in a few hours alone in the studio, playing all the instruments by yourself. Is it true? Greetings from Portugal and I hope to see you in my country in a concert in the future!

iamiananderson435 karma

Jack in the Green was written after Sunday lunch and I went up late the same afternoon to record it in London alone in the studio with an acoustic guitar and a borrowed drum kit. A couple of other overdubs from instruments lying around allowed us to mix the track that same evening. A very enjoyable way to work, striking while the iron is hot. Hope to visit Portugal again soon since I have enjoyed many happy days cruising on the river Douro.

theine_addict136 karma

Hi Ian! A non music question since we all know of your love of cats - which one was your favourite?

iamiananderson418 karma

Tricky one, that. We lost out dear friend Samir a few days before Christmas, aged only 6 years. Due to heart failure. Last week we introduced a new little guy into the family household. His name is Khari and he will be 9 weeks old tomorrow. So he is everybody's favourite at the moment being the crazy kitten and very sociable with the household. We will see how sociable he is with the vet tomorrow when he goes for his first jabs against the usual feline diseases. I hope he is as brave as I was when I had my COVID vaccination a few weeks ago!

Delsin_Ross134 karma

In 50+ years, when people think or mention of Jethro Tull, what do you want for you and the band to be remembered for?

iamiananderson541 karma

I would rather like for us to be remembered as a bunch of nice guys who were never inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. We have always remained outside of the mainstream and carved a niche separate from other musical genres. Safer, I think, to be out there on the rim of the musical spiral galaxy.

Big-Aardvark5320129 karma

So if I may ask, what exactly happened with Martin Barre? The real deal, not the politically correct version. Thank you.

iamiananderson672 karma

What? You want the Meghan Markle tell-all version? I'm afraid Martin and I follow the example of our Monarch in diplomatic silence. I never discuss old girlfriends and the very special relationship I have with Martin (and all the previous band members) will remain confidential, treasured, and respected. Happy and fond musical memories. That's the way it should be.

RaggedMagick118 karma

My second question is as what are some of Ian Anderson’s favorite books and authors?!

iamiananderson230 karma

I have been a huge fan of John le Carre since he came to fame in the late 60s. Sadly, he is no longer with us, but his legacy lives on forever. Not just a spy thriller writer, but a great commentator on human stereotypes and foibles.

Andrew Marr is a favourite in regard to modern history and crime drama writer Mark Billingham is a pal whose work I have read since his first novel.

xd-snakebyte91 karma

are the facial expressions on command or do they come naturally?

iamiananderson380 karma

Mugging on Top of the Pops in 1969 was on command and to attract the attention of young music fans like the then 12 year old Marc Almond, who remembers me fondly during his tender years. Generally my facial expressions have never been contrived, but just a reaction to the emotions of that minute. But some of those twisted contortions may have been due to my codpiece having shrunk in the wash.

Delsin_Ross89 karma

Do you remember your first musical memory and or the first record you ever bought for yourself?

iamiananderson231 karma

American big band jazz of the wartime era, which were my father's small collection of 78 RPM records. And then when I was 9 years old I heard the first imported rock 'n roll followed by, a few years later, hearing Muddy Waters amongst many of the great American blues artists who visited the UK. But my first record purchase was at the age of 11 when I bought a single by Johnny Duncan and the Bluegrass Boys. It was called Last Train To San Fernando. It was a country/bluegrass authentic Appalachian hillbilly kind of thing. I later found out that Johnny Duncan was British and had never been near San Fernando in his life!

xd-snakebyte77 karma

how do you prepare yourself for playing infront of a big crowd?

iamiananderson347 karma

In exactly the same way as preparing for a small one! An hour of calm and disciplined relaxation in my lonely dressing room followed by 20 minutes of warming up and dressing for dinner! But it's only when I step on to the lit stage that I really face the reality of what I do for a living. The rest of the time I am the little old man you find lost in the fresh fruit and vegetable aisle of the supermarket having forgotten what he went in there for. You would pass me by in the street and never notice me. At least, that's what I aim for.

McLooly60 karma

Plans for any more cathedral concerts? I had the deep joy of seeing you at Worcester a few years ago with Lloyd Grossman, Marc Almond and your son in law. My daughter was 6 and fell asleep during Aqualung (I'm still working on her).

iamiananderson108 karma

I should have performed before Christmas at Lychfield, Coventry and St Edmundsbury Cathedrals but they have been postponed due to COVID and will now be taking place on the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th December this year. In addition, I hope to be re-invited for the annual Vatican concert in the middle of December, also postponed from last year due to my being prevented from international travel. Always nice to celebrate both the secular and religious aspects of the Christian festival, whether to true believers or heathens like me.

More_Guinness_Please49 karma

Hi Ian! Keith here. Which song on Aqualung do you enjoy performing 50 years later?

iamiananderson140 karma

3 songs immediately come to mind: the title track obviously, My God and Locomotive Breath. I have performed these songs in live concerts all over the world during these last 50 years, and so they are very much a part of my ongoing musical life. I feel very lucky to have more than 350 songs to choose from, but there are around 100 or so which have a special place for me as live performance songs.

itachiaizen43 karma

What was the inspiration/meaning behind Witches Promise? Such a timeless classic that has always left me wondering?

iamiananderson87 karma

Pure fantasy, but there might have been a hint of some influences from classical literature. Whatever it was, I managed to cast a spell on that young Marc Almond who insisted that we played the piece together during his concert at The Royal Festival Hall in London last March. Looking forward to seeing Marc and my other guests next Christmas in the cathedrals. We recorded a piece together a couple of weeks ago, produced by Florian Opahle, which I hope will see the light of day sometime soon.

WussyPillow4536 karma

Hi Mr. A, any new stuff upcoming? Musically I Mean…

iamiananderson112 karma

There is always the latest boxset extravaganza remixed by the good Steven Wilson and expanded upon with lavish packaging and additional musical elements, courtesy of the team at Warner Music who make the best of their catalogue rights to keep the spirit alive. In addition, I have to finish a new studio album later this year, which is 70% complete but suffering from the lack of band togetherness in yet another pandemic year. There are a number guest performances for various artists, some already released and some soon to be. Keep an eye on JethroTull.com for more information.

xd-snakebyte32 karma

what’s your favorite hobby besides touring, playing the flute, or any instrument for that matter?

iamiananderson89 karma

Being a songwriter who is usually inspired by visual references, photography has remained a favourite hobby since my teenage years. I miss not being able to travel in this last 12 months so I have endless photographs of house, garden, and naughty kittens. Some of my photographs appear in the soon to be released collected lyric book, Silent Singing, details of which you will find at JethroTullLyricBook.com.

lpapageo11831 karma

Any tips on how to get through lockdown?

iamiananderson152 karma

Take up a new hobby. Get fit and healthy. Watch all the back episodes of Line of Duty and Fargo. And, most of all, enjoy what you can of family and friends even if it is only via video calls and social media. Be realistic in your expectations of the pandemic one day being over and talk of COVID zero. It is here to stay and we have to manage it, and ourselves, for generations to come most likely. Good to be optimistic, but we must be prepared to take it on the chin if our hopes are dashed from time to time if further restrictions and lockdowns prove to be necessary. I remain hopeful that we can perform at least some concerts in 2021 and see a return to greater 'normality' in 2022.

ian_hurt_me-5 karma

Hi Ian, why are you so mean? I was in a supporting act on tour with you many years ago. You only spoke to us once to tell us how useless we were. When I foolishly asked for you to sign my LP on the last night you were visibly annoyed and threw it on the floor after begrudgingly signing it. It's sad losing respect for a musical idol you grew up aspiring to be. I gave that LP away because it just reminded me of such a low moment in my life.

iamiananderson47 karma

Are you kidding? I really think you're making this up. Especially since I go out of my way to be nice to opening acts, ensuring they have a proper soundcheck, dressing rooms, and access to backstage facilities. If you have somehow taken away a negative opinion of me as you describe it, I can only apologise if that's the way it seemed to you at the time. Are you sure you are not confusing me with Van Morrison or Bob Dylan?