News Update: April 2001

Off to Nashville!

Tull head to the music capitol of the USA, at least that’s how the proud Nashvillians would like to see it, for a brief TV recording of a few songs for the TNN Channel.

Recorded at the Wildhorse Saloon on the 1st May, this show will spearhead the new series of Classic Rock programmes entitled Let’s Rock due for broadcast in June/July 2001.

Tull and Edgar Winter will be the first guests for this series and a jolly time will be had by all. Problem is – what to play?

The Tull followers will cry, “Boring – we’ve heard it all before.”  The regular TNN watchers will reply, “Who the Hell are these weirdos? Too young to play country, too old to stay up late.”

What a quandary.  Well, the songs which we will play in a 50 minute set will be edited down to 30 minutes of obvious “hits” and many won’t feature in the set we will be playing in the few US dates this summer.

Personally, I just aim to have a fine time with a brief rehearsal, quick show and back to the bar and the only Indian restaurant in town. Then off to New York to meet up with my good lady/wife, Shona, for a few accountancy and tax meetings (whoopee!) before heading back to the UK for promotional radio and press stuff around the new compilation album, The Very Best Of Jethro Tull.

You lilly-livered Americans or foreign European types should not think twice about jumping on a plane to visit us folks here in Blighty. Foot And Mouth Disease only affects cloven-hoofed animals. So, unless you think you might be the devil incarnate or a dead ringer for Miss Piggy, you are not going to catch it! Not from breathing the air, drinking the water or eating the food. You might pick up a nasty rash from a toilet seat but that will be coincidence.  And Martin Barre has some ointment that will do the trick.

The last month has been spent in constant touch with our production manager Kenny Wylie setting up the travel and production details of the forthcoming tours. It is a bit like planning a major vacation with the benefit of experience and hindsight. You will see from the list of concerts on this website that there must be a lot of flights, hotels, car rentals, train journeys and taxi rides to endure. Some will be fun – some will be a roller-coaster trip to hell. Beats the dumpy-doo out of working in a bank ‘though.

Buses, trucks, crew, catering, per diems, lighting and sound systems, insurance, carnets, visas, freight and the location of the nearest Starbucks are amongst the vital ingredients of a tour and require the personal attention of moi, mes petits choufleurs.

I incurred the wrath of the Scots and the Welsh for not having concerts planned in their neck of the forests. But we played Glasgow and Cardiff last time in the UK and thought we should give the Irish a chance to throw tomatoes this time around. I know there are a lot of English concerts but we seem to be more popular there and we could get availabilities at the venues last year when the tour was planned. On the 1st April, 2013, there will begin a Scottish and Welsh tour of 53 shows where we intend to play to crowds of thousands. (Of sheep, cows and foot and mouth inspectors – since FMD looks like going on for a while to come.)

A new Mackie 24 track 24 bit hard disk digital recorder and a Mackie D8B mixing console have been added to my studio during the last few weeks and after a few tense moments are now fully functional. I am writing new music and working on some ideas from the last few months which have embedded themselves in my heart and mind.

A clever little plastic mount, fashioned from the surgically altered top of a Sharpie autograph pen, has been added to one of my bamboo flutes, to enable the addition of a little radio microphone for greater mobility on stage.

Martin Barre and Andrew Giddings have been acquiring some back-up instruments and equipment for basing in the USA, which will help when we do a quickie – like the Nashville TV show – and don’t want to take a ton of equipment expensively across the wild Atlantic for a dirty weekend.

A Jethro Tull DVD release is planned for late next year, based 50% on a live concert somewhere in Europe next summer and the remainder being compiled historical and more recent footage from the last 33 years together with documentary and other bits and bobs. Tentatively titled The Story Of Jethro Tull, this will be a definitive venture into the new medium of DVD and will be produced with a great deal of input from me and the other current and past band members.

Some folks are a little disgruntled that I didn’t make more of my brief appearances with the Uriah Heeplets on a couple of occasions in the last few months, but I didn’t want to talk up these potential moments of doom and have folks rush out try to buy a sold-out ticket or a CD which might have me edited out of the final mix!

Anyway, you can find out about this stuff from www.uriah-heep.com when you feel so inclined.

Martin Barre has been recording a “farm-aid” single down at his Devon studio with local musicians and the support of the media in the community – one of the worst-hit in the FMD crisis. More details will be on this website when Martin Barre wakes up to the fact that it actually exists – a simple problem of not liking computers or putting pen to paper which the stubborn fellow has admitted to having. While octogenarian Grannies the world over and half of the Asian-Indian population have embraced the joys and communication benefits of the Pentium Age, poor Martin seems determined to die qwerty-less and without a get-well-soon e-mail to his name.

But we will get the details of his farm-aid record release and publish for all to buy.

Doane Perry has a new laptop – a sparkling Dell 1GHz little monster with 256K of RAM and a twenty gig hard disk. And will that move him to supply some words of wit and wanton wisdom to this site? Probably not, but he will tote the damn thing around the world along with the seven check-in bags and the overstuffed, oversize carry-ons which have caused airlines the world over to add 2000 litres more fuel to the aircraft with his name on the passenger manifest.

Jonathan Noyce is once more in Italy, still working on his Italian.

Andrew G. has seven good men under him. Don’t worry girls – your raunchy playmate has not abandoned you for the firmer pleasures of the sticky bottom kind – it’s just that the team of builders working on his new residence number seven in full and respond to his every whim and fancy regarding skirting boards, kitchen units, bathroom plumbing and demands for sex. Forget that last bit. Just got carried away.

Andrew’s nubile music mate, personal trainer and hike-meister, Vyktoria Pratt Keating is back in the wilds of Arizona at present but will rejoin AG for more recording later in the year.

The Young Dubliners are set to join Tull in Europe this time, playing virtually all the dates and we are delighted to show them off to our audiences. Doubtless, they will have the same enthusiastic response that was accorded to them when they appeared with us on many of the US shows last year. Check out the Dubs at www.youngdubs.com – Celtic rock California style. Fiddle, flute and guitars a-strumming. Two genuine and fully paid-up Irishmen in the band for authenticity and advice on beers, stout and ale.

Another of our favourite opening acts, Willy Porter, will accompany us on the UK tour in November/December. Willy has opened for Sting and many other big acts and knows how to connect with an audience – mainly by being himself – with droll introductions and a little story-telling finesse. A great acoustic guitar player, Willy sounds like an entire band just on his own: unfortunately he costs the same as an entire band but we will bring him to you anyway, only a slight expense spared. (He is a light eater.)

The Youngdubs and Willy both go out to the merchandise stall to sell CDs and sign autographs so you can get to meet them face to face and even buy them a beer.

We are doing the Itullian Fan Convention in Fidenza, near Milan, Italy on Saturday the 30th June where we will play an informal and probably quite dreadful set using whatever equipment is to hand since our own gear will be with the crew on route to another show in Germany. Clive Bunker, Tull drummer from ’68 – ’71 will be there and David Palmer, second keyboardist and arranger from the ‘70’s will perform his own music as well as some Tull stuff. Rumour is that we will get together in some musical context without the benefit of rehearsal, just to test the powers of recovery.

Contact the organisers at www.itullians.freeweb.org/

or Aldo Tagliaferro ataglia@hotmail.com for details.

For those of you in the UK during August, I will be appearing (maybe with Martin and Andy) at the Fairport Convention Cropredy Festival on Saturday August 11th with a couple of Tull songs and a few of the Fairport’s pieces. Check out www.fairportconvention.com for details of the Cropredy Festival – rated as the best Folk(ish) festival in the UK.

Well, back to the studio for a quick run-through of some old and relatively un-played Tull songs for the next tours. Speak to you soon.

IA.