Even their name – Jethro Tull – set them apart among their fellow rockers, and their music surely didn’t sound like any rock group I had ever heard. Add to the mix a frontman wielding a flute and it is easy to see that Jethro Tull and Ian Anderson are in a league of their own.
Although the story of how the group wound up with a name like Jethro Tull has been related here before, it does seem to be one of the more common questions asked when Anderson is interviewed, so perhaps it is worth mentioning that it was a name given to them by their manager, and not something they expected to use for all that long. Things don’t always end the way you expect them to, I suppose.
But, as it turned out, borrowing the name of the pioneering agriculturist actually fit quite well, given Anderson’s interest in the subject.
As for how Anderson became interested in playing the flute, it was a conclusion he reached as a teenaged guitar player when he heard Eric Clapton play and decided that Clapton was too far ahead of the pack to compete with.
Known as an environmentalist and certainly sounding like a man who doesn’t have a shortage of ideas, Anderson touches on that subject as well and states that, “The question of population management on a planetary basis has got to be something where someone’s got the balls to get up and speak about in public.”
Ian Anderson is not easily mistaken for a typical rock star, and is clearly someone who is not full of himself. When asked how he would like to be thought of during this point in his life, he responds by saying: “I’d like them to have a picture of slightly befuddled confusion. Nothing is black and white and there are so many shades of confusing greys. I rant and rave on all sorts of different subjects, as you may have noticed.”
See The Sun for the full text of the interview with Ian Anderson.