by Robert Wilkinson
It's the birthday of Ian Anderson, founder and front man for Jethro Tull
Ian Anderson (10 August 1947) is a Scottish singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, known for his work as the lead vocalist, flautist, and acoustic guitarist of the band Jethro Tull. As I’ve told you in our Peter Green birthday celebrations, I had the incredible experience of seeing Jethro Tull play in Austin in December 1969 when Fleetwood Mac opened for Jethro Tull on the latter's "Stand Up" tour, complete with wildman Ian Anderson leaping on stage high kicking in his chequered coat complete with long tails.
It was truly one of the most amazing concerts I've ever seen. That night, Peter Green was a very long hairy creature in a long white robe, looking like some kind of ancient biblican figure playing a screaming version of electric blues-rock that was stunning in its impact, followed by Ian Anderson, a high kicking, swirling, leaping maniac playing flute, guitar, mandolin, and the audience like a master!
That hooked me for years. I saw 4 Jethro Tull tour performances, from “Stand Up” to “Thick As A Brick,” including “Aqualung” which blew everyone’s minds! In last year’s birthday tribute, also our Saturday Night Attitude dance, I gave you one of my favorite songs, since it embodies a certain attitude about God and the various churches that try to tell us how we’re supposed to live.
From the original studio album, here’s Ian Anderson’s indictment of those who worship a “god you don’t have to wind up on Sundays.” “Wind Up” (Lyrics to “Wind Up” are at the end of the article.)
Here’s a poor quality live video of Jethro Tull from 1987 performing a rocking version of “Wind Up”
I found this great clip of “Wind Up,” followed immediately by a song that generates the power of Godzilla stomping down city streets, the scorching “Locomotive Breath.” “Wind Up” starts slow and then cranks it up!
Live at the Hippodrome in 1977, here’s Jethro Tull very live and very rocking cranking up ”Wind Up” and “Locomotive Breath”I got lucky and found the entire 1977 Hippodrome concert brought to us by the BBC! This is an amazing show, with lot to listen to, dance to, and simply enjoy! Oh, and TURN UP YOUR SPEAKERS!! Jethro Tull at the Hippodrome, 1977 (the set list is “Intro,””Skating Away,” “Jack In The Green,” “Thick As A Brick,” “Songs From The Wood,” “Velvet Green,” “Hunting Girl,” “Aqualung,” “Wind Up,” “Locomotive Breath,” and “End.”
Here are some fantastic early performances!
From the legendary 1968 video “the Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus,” the early Jethro Tull line up with Tommy Iommi on guitar in a live performance of “Song For Jeffrey” and “My Sunday Feeling” Fantastic slide!!
Here are clips showing off Ian’s early flute work. From their first album “This Was,” the studio version of the very jazzy Roland Kirk tune, “Song For A Cuckoo”
Here’s a very early b/w documentary clip live in 1969 titled “Swing In” of Jethro Tull doing the beautiful classical piece “Bouree”
Here’s another remarkable color video live in 1969 of Jethro Tull performing “Bouree”
Here’s an interesting 2 part documentary done in 1969!
Jethro Tull at the Royal Albert Hall 1969 part 1 (15 minutes)
Jethro Tull at the Royal Albert Hall 1969 part 2 (13 minutes)
Jethro Tull at the Royal Albert Hall 1969 part 3 (3 minutes)
Also from 1969, a 7 minute b/w video of early Tull laying down the blues and some folk jazz! Jethro Tull live in Stockholm 1969
Here’s a full 70 minute video of Jethro Tull at Tanglewood in 1970 (Set list: “Nothing Is Easy,” “My God,” “With You There To Help Me,” “Dharma For One,” “We Used To Know,” “For A Thousand Mothers,” and “Guitar Solo”)
If you just can’t get enough of JT, then after you check out the final links in this birthday tribute, come on back to this hour long concert in Tampa in 1976! “Jethro Tull Live in Tampa 1976”
Here’s Jethro Tull live in 1978 at Madison Square Garden performing the title track of the Aqualung album, the twisted rocker “Aqualung”Here’s the full DVD. The video begins about 20 minutes in. Jethro Tull Live in Madison Square Garden 1978 – the entire concert
Here’s a fantastic live jam between Ian, Fela Kuti, and Jack Bruce in November 1983 on "Rock Classic Nacht" at the München Circus Atlas! “Fat Man”
Here a full one hour 10 minute concert video from Jethro Tull’s 1991 Turkish tour. Jethro Tull Live in Istanbul 1991
A great clip from the Late Late Show in 2000! Welcome to Ian and "a couple of members of Jethro Tull" performing a great 7+ minute medley of "Bouree," "Living in the Past," "Locomotive Breath," and a VERY short interview.
For our closer, here’s a great live audio-only version of “Wind Up.” The first clip is part 1, and 10 minutes long. The second clip is part 2, and 5+ minutes.
For your consideration, one man's view of Western religion as it existed in the UK in the 1950s and 60s:
Written by Ian Anderson
When I was young and they packed me off to school
And taught me how not to play the game,
I didn't mind if they groomed me for success,
Or if they said that I was a fool.
So I left there in the morning
With their God tucked underneath my arm --
Their half-assed smiles and the book of rules.
And I asked this God a question
And by way of firm reply,
He said -- I'm not the kind you have to wind up on Sundays.
So to my old headmaster (and to anyone who cares)
Before I'm through I'd like to say my prayers
I don't believe you, You had the whole damn thing all wrong --
He's not the kind you have to wind up on Sundays.
Well you can excomunicate me on my way to Sunday school
And have all the bishops harmonize these lines
How do you dare tell me that I'm my Father's son
When that was just an accident of Birth.
I'd rather look around me -- compose a better song
`cos that's the honest measure of my worth.
In your pomp and all your glory you're a poorer man than me,
As you lick the boots of death born out of fear.
I don't believe you, you had the whole damn thing all wrong
He's not the kind you have to wind up on Sundays.
lyrics Copyright Chrysalis Music group
Article © 2014 Robert Wilkinson