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Hello, My Name Is Ian

| September 29, 2006

Hello, My Name Is Ian
Q&A with Ian Anderson

IE: How is touring with the orchestra project different than touring with Jethro Tull?

Ian Anderson: Well, it’s a little bit scaled down. We don’t use as many people in the crew; we have less in the way of equipment, but we do have more *people to move around. I have the same hand-picked orchestra, which are traveling with us all the way through the 22 shows in North America. We have a group of young musicians who, strangely, most of them who answered the audition calls were female. We only have one guy. So there’s one guy and a whole bunch of girls so he’ll be kept busy. I think he actually might be gay, so in that case . . . [laughs].

IE: A lot of people are never going to forgive Jethro Tull for winning that Metal Grammy in 1988.

IA: If you are given some kind of recognition by your peer group, the musicians, the producers, the engineers, the creative people in the music industry, then of course that’s an accolade you welcome and you’re humbled by it. [Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance] was a new category that year, bit of a catch-all, and the other entrants were Metallica and Iggy Pop, Jane’s Addiction, stuff that was obviously hard rock/heavy metal. But the thing is nobody uttered a peep of protest when Jethro Tull were nominated in that category, obviously because they thought ‘Oh, a little odd, but don’t worry, they’re never going to win.’ But of course what happened was the 6,000 voting members of the National Academy Of Recording Arts And Sciences had other ideas and awarded Jethro Tull the Grammy, not because we were the best hard rock band, because we were the nicest bunch of people who hadn’t won a Grammy before. And since they don’t have a category for one-legged flute player, hell, I’ll take whatever they offer.

IE: Did you ever cross paths with Metallica and share a laugh?

IA: Not really, but I think Metallica had a sense of humor about it. The following year they took out a full-page ad in *Billboard magazine where they thanked their mothers, their fathers, their record producers, the family dog, and Jethro Tull for “not putting out a record” that year.

IE: The Chicago stop of your tour falls on a Friday The 13th, have you taken any precautions to avoid bad luck?

IA: I have. I’m arriving in Chicago on Thursday the 12th.

Ian Anderson plays the orchestral Jethro Tull Friday, October 13th at Park West.

— Trevor Fisher

Category: Columns, File, Monthly

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