July News Update by Ian Anderson

Friday 5th July 2013

So – here we are with the new-look website. Much of the archival content remains for reference. But there are new features and a new architecture. There are exciting new releases now and in the coming months.

Available now, there is the Eagle Vision Jethro Tull, Around The World Live DVD boxed set. 4 DVDs of concerts and sessions from 1970 – 2005 with lavish hardback booklet. Over 6 hrs of content. And, to be released in October, the Steven Wilson-remixed and remastered Benefit Collector’s edition in stereo and 5.1 surround.

Early in 2014 the remixed and remastered A Passion Play and the Chateau D’Isaster Tapes Collector’s editions in stereo and 5.1 surround (which have also been completed by Steven) will be released pending the relocation of all our catalogue to Warners/Rhino Records under the sale of EMI, currently going through.

Sadly, after more than 50 years of landmark Pop and Rock record releases and so many other genres of music, EMI – that great British Company, has been broken up with assets going to Universal Music Group on the one hand and Warners Music Group on the other. The Jethro Tull catalogue master will now go with the other artists on the Chrysalis and Parlophone labels to the Warners side of things. Ironic and timely since that is exactly where Jethro Tull started its North American recording career back in 1968/9 when we were signed to Reprise Records, Frank Sinatra’s division of Warner Brothers Records.

As some of you may know, a new album is in the works for recording in December/Jan. The release of this new concept album (no – I am NOT going to tell you the title) is scheduled for Easter 2014.

Tours throughout 2014, beginning with the UK tour starting late April, will feature this new material in its more theatrical setting, once again, together with a selection of The Best Of Jethro Tull. “Is this to be an Ian Anderson album or a Jethro Tull album,” I hear you ask? “Not sure, really,” I reply, if somewhat evasively….

But I wrote the music in January and did the demos in February and it just requires a few tweaks by my old chum, lyricist Gerald B to have it all locked down and ready for rehearsal beginning 25th November at 10.00 sharp.

It is set in a more aggressive style than the TAAB2 record. Much less acoustic guitar from me and more flute and heavier guitar sounds. Folk-Prog-Metal, you might say, if you were desperately searching for a descriptive term. There are lots of dynamics and varied tempos and keys throughout its lengthy 55 mins. But since it was demoed all on acoustic guitar in a Barbados hotel room, it doesn’t quite sound like that at the moment. But trust me! I know exactly what I am doing.

But then again, knowing me (as I am learning to do), I might just scrap it all and start afresh.

Martin Barre is releasing his new album recorded over the last few months in Devon and has many tour dates popping up now on his website, www.martinbarre.com where you can follow his activities in detail and hear samples of the new tracks on the music player.

Doane Perry is studying orchestration and arranging in Los Angeles and plans to release his first symphony, “Beethoven and I” in 2028. Just kidding about the last bit but he has been having great fun extending his life-beyond-drums with a careful analysis of what the rest of us have been doing for the last 45 years. “Maybe the first violins can play the third above the melody in the 7th bar after Letter D?” Or, “What about getting the drummer to go Ba-ba-ba-boom-chick, kabosh, right after the flute goes, wooooo, wooo, woooooooo” Seems perfectly simple to me…

I would like to express my great gratitude to Dr. David Coursey who has run our website for most of its 13 year history. His passion and skills have been much appreciated by all the band members over this period but his full-time commitment to teaching over there at the University of Texas has left him with little time for the increased workload on our new website. Rob Skarin, here in the UK, takes over as webmaster and designer/administrator from July although DC will continue to offer advice and input from time to time.

There will be a number of changes in the “Management” and other pages of this new site to reflect the changing contacts at the record companies and I remind all NOT to contact these folks unless for professional enquiries. They are strictly unable to help you with freebie tickets, passes or meet and greets.

Gerald Bostock will continue to write the occasional “Letter” but I fear he is becoming increasingly opinionated and polemical in older age. Try not to be offended by his words even when he is being beastly to others and indulging in vicious argument, often simply for the sake of it, or so it seems to me.

Our current US tour is under way so I look forward to see you in the upcoming weeks and again in October when we return for more shows, including Canadian cities. Check the tour dates page for details regarding the rest of the year in Belarus, Russia, Finland, Denmark, Czech, Austria and so on.

And, as Christmas swings by once again, Santa beards-up and the little Babba-jeez dons the swaddling-clothes, we visit Ely Cathedral and St Johns, Oxford for the usual Christmas charity shows in aid of maintenance and repairs to our great places of worship. 100% of the ticket money goes to the cause as I cover all the costs of the production. A mere drop in the (collecting) bucket as far as the annual costs go but every little helps. When Ely, Canterbury, Exeter, Salisbury etc fall down, they won’t be making any more. So let’s keep our options open even if, like me, you are not a true Christian believer but simply value our heritage, the tradition and the spiritual sanctuary of such places.

Facebook and Twitter remain our voice for the adherents to such media and we, the team at Management remain your faithful servants in all things webby.

Ian Anderson,
On a plane, somewhere over South Dakota near the Missouri River. Ground speed 588 mph, altitude 40,000 ft, outside temperature minus 70 F.

Brought my shorts with me? Roger that. But not for wing-walking.

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Ian Anderson.(Jethro Tull)

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