Ian Anderson: 'I Think Tony Iommi Was Quite Embarrassed for Playing in Jethro Tull'

"Tony was kind enough to make himself available to mime a pre-recorded backing track," Anderson explains.

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Jethro Tull mainman Ian Anderson has been speaking with the Examiner about the band's experience performing on the Rolling Stones' "Rock and Roll Circus" TV program in 1968.

As Anderson notes, the performance was one which temporary Tull and future Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi was somewhat embarrassed by:

"Yes. The Stones probably didn't realize they would be booking a band that was only 75 per cent complete. Tony was kind enough to make himself available to mime a pre-recorded backing track. I actually think Tony was quite embarrassed, because he really was not familiar with our music, and had to pretend he was playing slide guitar. He actually had his hat pulled down over his face so no one could see him. (Laughs.)"

Anderson also explained why, after years of touring under the Jethro Tull monicker, he is now going solo:

"I just felt that after all these years, I'd rather leave the name Jethro Tull in the annals of rock music history, where it belongs. The band hasn't performed together since 2011. It was time for me to leave that all behind. You know, when you're working on a new album, you want to pick some of the guys you like, the ones who have been key important members of Jethro Tull, but then it's difficult to decide where to start and where to finish. If I'd asked Martin to play on the album, but not Doane Perry who was a Jethro Tull drummer for 25 years, he would have probably been upset. Now when I go on tour, it's Ian Anderson and bunch of guys, but they're an important group of colleagues, and I try to give them their proper time to shine onstage."

Anderson's new album, titled "Homo Erraticus," is out now.

4 comments sorted by best / new / date

    he's the opposite of Axl Rose.
    He's exactly like Axl, I witnessed this dude throw a temper tantrum on our in house lighting guy, why?, because while holding a flashlight and curtain back for Mr. Anderson to climb a set of dimly light stairs onto the stage, they make eye contact and the guy simply says "Have a good gig, watch your step". Ian Anderson erupts into a tirade yelling and screaming, not just at our lighting guy, but at all of us around him, saying things like "Who the hell do you think you are talking to me, I'm Ian Anderson, I don't need your good luck, I always have good gigs..." It was absolutely ridiculous, dude actually used his own name in the third person and acted like some kind oy royalty we were supposed to wait on hand and foot but not make eye contact with. Bottom line, he's an arrogant dick...
    That's a good idea. It allows him to play with new people without disappointing the other members or fans. Few bands in my opinion can survive with only one member as the group. Their are tons of obvious exceptions of course, but those were typically one man projects from the beginning.