News Update: April 1999

Hard on the heels of the last recording sessions for the Tull album, I am now ensconced in the studio mixing down the 24 track masters to two track stereo.  Mixing is a pleasure/pain exercise. Pleasurable, because the fun of hearing tracks again after a few days, or even weeks, is invigorating in itself but also a pain in the bottom (not always my own) because of the cruel reminders of musical infallibility which fill the studio air with psycho-acoustic reality. In other words, we’re talking balls-ups.  But, therein lies the charm perhaps?  Glorious imperfections of timing, pitch and aesthetic sensibility which make the Rolling Stones what they are. Which put the Led in the Zeppelin. Which are my excuse for an early bed and check-it-out-again-tomorrow with fresh ears in fresh air.

14 tracks will carelessly litter the resultant CD. And the name?  Well, I threw the idea at A. Giddings and then at Roy and Mike (Eldridge and Andrews, ex Chrysalis in the good old days) and finally at the chosen (nearly) record companies who all declared that “Dot Com” was the winner. The release date will be the end of August and the artwork and production masters are all on schedule.

So: the album will be titled after this very web-site: (j-tull) “Dot Com”, and I am shooting the cover artwork tomorrow. (Yes, I know it’s Sunday but everything is ready and it shouldn’t take but an hour or two. Still time for Sunday lunch.

The tour dates are still coming in and the US shows are all set, apart from the choice of few venues offered on the same days which must be resolved before putting them up on the site.

There are two or three European dates which have to be confirmed and added to those already listed and they should appear during the lifetime of this news update.

Plans for next year — yes, even next millenium — include a further US tour in February/March and Scandinavia with South America being discussed at present.

The bad news is that The Secret Language Of Birds IA solo album will not be released until February next year.  This is because the record companies agree that the retailers will not feature both records with twice the attention if they are released together. They seem to think that they are both Ian Anderson albums in different guises and the effort in terms of marketing and distribution will be split between the two. So, the decision has been taken to delay the solo record by six months to allow a new focus at retail as well as with the media.  That’s the official “business” account of the why’s and wherefore’s of it all. Blame the new record company guys. (They said it was all right for me to say this.)

The actual record companies will be named in two weeks time after we have agreed the final contractual terms, but they are both really supportive and keen to represent us and have major distribution deals in all territories, so there should not be a problem buying the records. If all else fails, click on the links to buy over the internet.

It’s back to the grindstone now and the latest faxes of tour dates and promo.

Thanks to everybody who has sent me e-mails over the last month. You know I can’t answer all of them, but some of you get replies and you know who you are. How do I choose?  Well, it’s really on a whim. Usually, it has to do with the brief and punchy nature of the mail I receive. The long-winded stuff is demanding and time-consuming, while the short and sharp solicits my more ready response. Something like that. Anyway, reading them all every couple of days is usually a pleasure and I respond to the few on the spot, however briefly.

Note the new e-mail addresses for me and Andy as well as the professional contacts for promoters, journos and the like.

We are not getting the inundation of applicants for the “Faithful Followers” page which I expected. Don’t you want the world to see who you are? Brief biography and photos to Andy, the Webmeister, will bring cyber-immortality.  I promise.  Check out Carsten, the German fan to see how it should be done.

See you next month with some more news updates, if not, sooner. Curry on, campers.

IA

April, ’99.