Ian’s Diary: March 1999

We holidayed (vacationed) with lots of rich Americans on board the MS Lucky Windstar, cruising to the most exotic destinations in the Caribbean. Tobago, Grenadines, Martinique, Barbados and St. Lucia came and went and so did rather a lot of our money, it being a luxury cruise, you understand. The good Captain and the Chief Officer were both Tull fans but, of course, didn’t tell me until the last night, when it was too late for me to lean on them for a steer of the ship or trip to the crow’s nest or something equally nautical and exciting.

Went to the cinema (unusual for me) to see “Shakespeare in Love”, which was most enjoyable although slow to get under way. A sort of literary and thespian Spinal Tap affair, and worthy of many an Oscar.

I popped over to Hannover in mid-Feb. to meet with a nice man and his dog at Germany’s biggest independent record company. Nice to feel wanted.

Doane arrived a couple of days later to overdub to some earlier tracks before the other guys came in to record a couple of new songs.  After working on new stuff for 10 days, I had to finish writing the last three songs and run up to London to appear in a TV programme for the Discovery Channel, on the life and times of one Mick Jagger. I was interviewed for the show and talked about, well, this and that but not Jerry or anything controversial. After all, someone might ask him about me one day……I did venture to suggest that the Stones faces these days resembled “Mount Rushmore with attitude”, but that was meant in a kind and loving sort of way.

Last week, I went to Frankfurt for the day to do a demonstration of the new Shure Bros. in-ear monitor system at the Frankfurt Music Fair, the biggest of its kind in the world.  The awfully nice folks at Shure have supplied our microphones for both stage and studio over the years, and it was the least I could do.  Just like it was the least I could do last year, and the year before that. Check out the good brothers Shure at www.shure.com.

This week, I have to finish off some touring budgets with Kenny Wylie and carry on with vocal and flute overdubs on various otherwise completed tracks.

All the band boys are back in the studio next week for the last few sessions to finish off their part of the recording and Doane will bring his lovely wife, Heather, to enjoy a little vacation in Ireland after he finishes towards the end of the month. Heather writes, and a touch of the blarney will no doubt invest her next creation with local charm.  Blarney and Doane are, of course no strangers to each other, Doane being able to talk the pants off a nun.

Shona and I are planning another week off (only the second one in over a year) to visit India — Rajastan in particular — and I am trying to persuade Martin and Julie to come along, since a week without cheese sandwiches but with replacement compulsory curry instead would do him the world of good.

We kick off the next work period with a marathon all-day photo session to provide new band and individual shots for the album cover, programme, press/promo material and for this web-site. Martyn Goddard will be the photographer as usual and will get frazzled, as usual, towards the end of the day, when the pressure is really on to finish on time.  I have hired some really sympathetic outfits for the boys to wear and Doane will not believe the waist size necessary to accommodate his now ample frame.  Still, who am I to talk. Time to get on that rowing machine.  Whoops, must go now: the takeaway curry has just arrived.

More next month.