Ian’s Diary: May 1999

A rough month, in the sense of having to work some pretty long hours on the vocal and flute overdubs, together with mixing the 24 tracks to digital stereo. Not a day off since I came back from the brief Caribbean cruise.

Anybody feeling sorry for me yet?  No, I didn’t think so.

The design and artwork origination had to be created in the same period, ready for delivery, both electronically and in person, to Bogdan Zarkowski, the graphic designer who has worked on Tull stuff since 1984.

Some of our weather has been beautiful for the time of year, and some days, it was a pain to have to cross the drive to the studio in wind, rain and worse. Poor Andrew G. is desperate, by now, for a holiday in the sun and so, we (A.G., Trumpy-Trace, Shone and I) are off to get egg-whipped (to Egypt) for a week on the Mighty Nile and to lurk and perambulate by a pyramid, or two. It’s O.K…… Only a package tour and you can all come along. Buy your own drinks ‘though and don’t add the ice. Don’t eat the salad or the un-peeled fruit. Don’t accept gifts from strangers and don’t pet the dogs unless you want to pass on a nasty rash and a touch of rabies.

Martin Barre and the svelte Julie-Two-Shoes have recently returned from a week in Florida, driving around in a sexy convertible, buck-nekkid and tanned from top to tit.  Probably.  Martin was over here yesterday to run the master tapes with all the guitar parts for the next album up LOUD, to learn them for the forthcoming tours. Andy dropped by too to get the copies of the live tracks and the new stuff, and make copies for the other guys.  Jon is due to return today from Italian lessons and Doane has

e-mailed me to say …. “Well…Hi, there: it’s the big guy.” Actually (as the Germans say a lot, and John Le Carre has noticed this too in his excellent new novel), Doane has been furiously new-aging; even frantically frugging and tepee-ing with the Japanese fellow whose name I can never remember, on tour as drummer with……well, what’s-his-name?

Kitaro! Now there it was after all. Anybody see him? Was he fab? Does Kitaro have two T’s? Does Doane have two tubes? It’s all a mystery to me.

Najma dropped by to sing on the title track, Dot Com last week. Najma (Akhtar) is the premier lady Indian (Asian) singer on the planet and has several fine albums, some of which you can find and purchase on the CDNOW website. Recommended are “Pukar” and “Qareeb” if you like to be transported by the rapturous and seductive tones of a gal who really ought to know better. What untold damage could be visited upon the hearts and minds of us gullible and Western fools? I don’t suppose she does it on purpose, but be warned: dollars depart from wallets as she Plants her soul on the Pages of your bank account. Thanks, Najma for liking the song enough to give up your Sunday.

Maartin Allcock wrote to me the other week to ask if I could play on a track from his new record. Well, of course I can, but it better be easy!

Support acts for the next tours include some familiar names (in Germany) and, in the USA, we are hopeful of securing a few really good artists who have written to me and sent their records and live tapes for consideration. Thanks to all those who have recommended various acts to us: somebody got it right and I hope you enjoy the results.

I had a call today to say that Mark Knopffler was interested in doing something with us next year. That would be great so long as I get to be Rhythm Guitarist and do back-up flute and vocals on some of the great Dire Straits songs.

Last week, Hariprasad Chaurasia, the frighteningly brilliant Indian classical flautist, invited me (well, his son did) to Bombay on the 31st December for a concert with some other “stars” but it’s a bad time of the month for me. Gael, my daughter, has her 21st Birthday that week and I have to take a few days off before the start of the early Spring touring plans to visit….. but that would be telling…..

See you soon,

IA