Ian Anderson takes a moment to discuss what ever happened to Gerald Bostock, the Thick As A Brick Tour and Prostate Cancer
Ian took a moment to talk to us while on a small rest period between dates.
Interview with Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull
Last year I was lucky enough to get to see Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull fame, play in Long Beach his entire Thick As a Brick Album! Two hours of full on show that will leave TAAB fans very happy and yes he does break out a couple of the best of tunes for the encore.
If you are a fan you will really like this show.
To be honest Thick As A Brick would not be considered my favorite Jethro Tull Album and it opened in 1972 to some angry crowds that just wanted to hear Jethro Tull Aqualung and other faves, but on 40 years later Thick As A Brick has become an iconic album unto itself and since Ian’s group does not have a particular demographic, it has it’s own cult following.
It is actually cool to find out what happens to Gerald Bostock and this album did really wake up a couple of things in me.
I used to be very particular about my album listening. I choose very wisely, cleaned my album and placed it on my perfectly weighted and speeded turntable.
I listened to albums as they were produced from start to finish to get the whole experience the artist was trying to portray. I do admit that there were some bands where I started with song one of side two……
But with albums like TAAB you want to listen from song one to the end. I took a drive from Los Angeles to Irvine, which if you know anything about Los Angeles freeways, will almost allow you to listen to this 53 min album twice, depending on the day and time.
I now listen to satellite radio and whatever comes up is what I listen to. I also have the iPod at home on shuffle. To sit down and listen to an album in it’s entirety was amazing and brought back so many memories. It was an enjoyment I had long forgotten so I thank TAAB2 for bringing me back to myself musically. I have now loaded some of my favorite albums on my Android and have turned off shuffle.
I only had a short time with Ian. Not my usual 45min to an hour. Some of you will be happy about that, but we still had a great conversation about TAAB1 and 2 his concerts, his audience, his backgound and beliefs and his support of various charities and causes namely prostate and colon cancer. As I have recently been diagnosed with prostate cancer, it was an honor to be able to thank Ian for spotlighting a very common issue with men that with early detection, is usually the easiest form of cancer to beat. – JW
Ian Anderson, known throughout the world of rock music as the flute and voice behind the legendary Jethro Tull, celebrates his 44th year as an international recording and performing musician in 2012.
Ian was born in 1947 in Dunfermline, Fife, Scotland. After attending primary school in Edinburgh, his family relocated to Blackpool in the north of England in 1959. Following a traditional Grammar school education, he moved on to Art college to study fine art before deciding on an attempt at a musical career.
Tull formed in 1968 out of the amalgamation of the John Evan Band and McGregor’s Engine, two blues-based local UK groups.
After a lengthy career, Ian Anderson and Jethro Tull have released 30 studio and live albums, selling more than 60 million copies since the band first performed at London’s famous Marquee Club in February 1968.
After undertaking more than 3000 concerts in 40 countries throughout four decades, he has typically played 100-plus concerts each year to longstanding, as well as new fans worldwide. Widely recognized as the man who introduced the flute to rock music, Ian Anderson remains the crowned exponent of the popular and rock genres of flute playing. So far, no real pretender to the throne has stepped forward. Ian also plays ethnic flutes and whistles together with acoustic guitar and the mandolin family of instruments, providing the acoustic textures which has been an integral part of most of the Tull repertoire.
Anderson has so far recorded four diverse solo albums in his career: 1983’s “Walk Into Light”, the flute instrumental “Divinities” album for EMI’s Classical Music Division in 1995 which reached number one in the relevant Billboard chart, and the more recently recorded acoustic collections of songs, “The Secret Language of Birds”, and “Rupi’s Dance”. New recordings are scheduled for release in 2012 and 2013.
In recent years, he has toured more and more under his own name in solo concerts with orchestras, string quartets, featured soloists and in his other eclectic acoustic shows. Most of the concerts scheduled for 2012 and 2013 will feature the Thick As A Brick sequel, TAAB2 – Whatever Happened To Gerald Bostock? as well as the original Thick As A Brick album, both performed in their entirety live or, on some shows, various other repertoire staples and favourites.
Anderson lives on a farm in the southwest of England where he has a recording and rehearsal studio and offices. He has been married for 36 years to Shona who is also an active director of their music and other companies. They have two children – James and Gael – and two grandchildren. Gael is married to actor Andrew Lincoln, currently shooting more episodes of the hugely-acclaimed zombie thriller, The Walking Dead, for TV broadcast in 2012 and 2013.
His hobbies include the growing of many varieties of hot chile peppers, the study and conservation of the 26 species of small wildcats of the world and the appreciation of mechanical watches, fountain pens and vintage cameras. He reluctantly admits to owning digital cameras and scanners for his work on the photographic promotional images related to Tull as well as his solo career.
In 2006, he was awarded a Doctorate in Literature from Heriot Watt University in Edinburgh, the Ivor Award for International Achievement in Music and, in the New Years Honors List 2008, an MBE for services to music. In 2011, he received another Doctorate in Literature from Dundee University.
Ian owns no fast car, never having taken a driving test, and has a wardrobe of singularly uninspiring and drab leisurewear. He still keeps a couple of off-road competition motorcycles, a few sporting guns and a saxophone which he promises never to play again.
He declares a lifelong commitment to music as a profession, being far too young to hang up his hat or his flute, although the tights and codpiece have long since been consigned to some forgotten bottom drawer.
Thick as a Brick is the fifth studio album by the English progressive rock band Jethro Tull. Released in 1972, the album includes only one song, the title track, which spans the entire album. Thick as a Brick was deliberately crafted in the style of a concept album (and as a “bombastic” and “over the top” parody). The original packaging, designed like a newspaper, claims the album to be a musical adaptation of an epic poem by a (fictional) 8-year-old boy, though the lyrics were actually written by the band’s frontman, Ian Anderson.
Thick as a Brick was Jethro Tull’s first deep progressive rock offering, coming four years after the release of their first album (1968). The epic album is notable for its many musical themes, time signature changes and tempo shifts — all of which were features of the progressive rock scene, which was emerging at the time. In addition, the instrumentation includes harpsichord, xylophone, timpani, violin, lute, trumpet, saxophone, and a string section—all uncommon in blues-based rock.
Band leader Ian Anderson was surprised by the critical reaction to the previous album, Aqualung (1971), as a “concept album”, a label he firmly rejects to this day. In an interview on In the Studio with Redbeard (which spotlighted Thick as a Brick), Anderson’s response to the critics was: “If the critics want a concept album we’ll give the mother of all concept albums and we’ll make it so bombastic and so over the top.”
Ian Anderson has been quoted as stating that Thick as a Brick was written “because everyone was saying we were a progressive rock band, so we decided to live up to the reputation and write a progressive album, but done as a parody of the genre.” With Thick as a Brick, the band created an album deliberately integrated around one concept: a poem by an intelligent English boy (named Gerald) about the trials of growing up. Beyond this, the album was a send-up of all pretentious “concept albums”. (The simile “Thick as a brick”, in English, is an expression signifying someone who is “stupid; slow to learn or understand”.)
Anderson also stated in that interview that “the album was a spoof to the albums of Yes and Emerson, Lake & Palmer, much like what the movie Airplane! had been to Airport.” The formula was successful, and the album reached number one on the charts in the United States.
On 3 April 2012, Ian Anderson released a long-delayed sequel, Thick as a Brick 2, on the EMI label, continuing the story of Gerald Bostock. The original in a deluxe CD/DVD edition with a large book will be reissued by EMI on 6 November 2012.
Thick as a Brick 2, abbreviated TAAB 2 and subtitled Whatever Happened to Gerald Bostock?, is an album by Jethro Tull frontman Ian Anderson, released in 2012 as a follow-up of Thick as a Brick, Jethro Tull’s highly acclaimed 1972 concept album. It entered the Billboard chart at #55.
According to Anderson, TAAB 2 (pronounced /tæb tuː/ by Anderson) focuses on Gerald Bostock, the fictional boy genius author of the original album, forty years later. “I wonder what the eight-year-old Gerald Bostock would be doing today. Would the fabled newspaper still exist?”
The follow-up album presents five divergent, hypothetical life stories for Gerald Bostock, including a greedy investment banker, a homosexual homeless man, a soldier in the Afghan War, a sanctimonious evangelist preacher, and a most ordinary man who (married and childless) runs a corner store; by the end of the album, however, all five possibilities seem to converge in a similar concluding moment of gloomy or pitiful solitude. In March 2012, to follow the style of the mock-newspaper cover (The St Cleve Chronicle and Linwell Advertiser) of the original Thick as a Brick album, an on-line newspaper was set up, simply titled StCleve: www.stcleve.com.
Biographies – Jethro Tull 40 years – updated Jan. 2008
Early in 1968, a group of young British musicians, born from the ashes of various failed regional bands gathered together in hunger, destitution and modest optimism in Luton, North of London. With a common love of Blues and an appreciation, between them, of various other music forms, they started to win over a small but enthusiastic audience in the various pubs and clubs of Southern England. The breakthrough came when they were offered the Thursday night residency at London’s famous Marquee Club in Wardour Street, Soho.
The early Jethro Tull released their first Blues-oriented album, This Was, in the latter part of 1968 before moving on to more home-grown and eclectic efforts in 1969 with Stand Up and a flutter of single releases, including Living In The Past, in the UK market.
Benefit, Aqualung, and Thick As A Brick followed and the band’s success grew internationally. Various band members came and went, but the charismatic front man and composer, flautist and singer Ian Anderson continued, as he does to this day, to lead the group through its various musical incarnations.
Jethro Tull were, by the mid-seventies, one of the most successful live performing acts on the world stage, rivaling Zeppelin, Elton John and even the Rolling Stones. Surprising, really, for a group whose more sophisticated and evolved stylistic extravagance was far from the Pop and Rock norm of that era.
With now some 30-odd albums to their credit and sales totalling more than 50 million, the apparently un-commercial Tull have continued over the next three decades to travel near and far to fans across the world.
After forty years at the bottom, at the top and various points in between, Tull are still performing typically more than a hundred concerts each year. Ian Anderson and Martin Barre remain at the centre of a group of sometimes changing but highly capable – indeed excellent – musicians. Currently, Doane Perry, veteran Tull drummer of some 24 years experience, together with John O’Hara on piano and accordion, and David Goodier on bass guitar are to be found in the line-up, delighting audiences and continuing the legacy of Tull’s music with its rich variety and depth of expression wherever fans, young and old, want to hear Rock, Folk, Jazz and Classical-inspired music for grown-ups.
Publicity: Anne Leighton: 718-881-8183