News Update: July 1999
Tull have completed the first major series of tours for 1999.
These consisted of 33 shows in five countries from Budapest, Hungary to Roseto, Italy. The majority of these have been outdoor dates in amphitheatres and castle grounds with a few town centres and an industrial wasteland thrown in for good measure. A TV show of a live concert in Baden Baden, Germany was recorded for transmission in September. The show, “Ohne Filter” has Tull for an hour-long performance but I have to confess to being very disappointed with the sound and audio mix. Lots of shiny new gear in their studio but they didn’t read the instruction book, so it would seem.
Twenty-five minutes of our show at the Pistoia Blues Festival were recorded for Italian TV.
I did a series of interviews two weeks ago in Prague and at home for Czech TV who are featuring me on one of a series of programmes about “legendary” songwriters, at least, the ones who agreed to appear. Such a cynic, aren’t I? Anyway, it should be out in September/October for those of you in the Czech Republic, and there is some talk of the programme being made available to other territories as well.
An interesting stop early on was at the quaint and historic town of Hameln (Hamelin) in Germany. Site of the famous folklore surrounding the Pied Piper and his rat and child-luring antics, its inhabitants, the good but ratophobic people of Hameln, were most kind to us, especially the tourist department chief, Harald and his wife, Thelma. They had some months earlier invited Shona and me to judge the competition for the new city logo to promote the tourist trade and the famed but dubious exploits of the pied Piper.
Many of the recent shows were in the former East Germany and the tangible effects of reunification are now evident in varying degrees in the towns and countryside. Anyone travelling to Germany on vacation should not miss out on some of these glorious towns and cities which still retain their original and now rejuvenated character. Erfurt, in particular is an enchanting spot and since our previous visit two years ago, has developed even further and offers a god two day visit for those on the tourist trail.
The new record deals are, of course firmly in place, and the name of the UK-based record company can now be revealed as “Papillon Records”. Being the French word for “butterfly”, it is as close as you can reasonably and legally get to Chrysalis Records without pissing off EMI who, of course bought the Chrysalis Record Company from Chris Wright, our former manager and agent, ten years ago. The other Chrysalis companies, (Publishing, TV, Radio, Sports etc.), are still part-owned by Wright and form Chrysalis Group Plc. This entity is the owner of Papillon and Tull is the first group to sign to the new label, much as it was the first act on the original Chrysalis label 30 years before. Headed by Roy Eldridge who started at Chrysalis in 1972 and Mike Andrews, former Marketing Director at Chrysalis in the early nineties, the new label will feature future signings from classic rock and pop artists of the 60’s 70’s and 80’s. The licensee in mainland Europe is Roadrunner Records who are a relatively young aggressive company with a substantial track record in heavy rock and more recently in other genres.
I travel to the USA next week for a promotional visit to New York and LA.
The constant schedule of interviews leading up to the release of the new album should ensure that those who do not follow this web site may have a fighting chance of hearing about the record and tours.
Webmeister Andrew Giddings and Tracy Trews are off for a couple of well-earned weeks in Menorca so the next updates to this site will be around the second week of August.