Jethro Tull

ARTICLE ABOUT Jethro Tull FROM New Musical Express, May 2, 1970

An interesting piece that was in print at about the time that John Evan formally joined the band after being a session musician for a while. Tull was now on the verge of being a premier live act, capable of selling out 20.000 seater arenas.
Read on!

IMG_0813

Jethro haven`t fallen victim to the mighty dollar

By Nick Logan

Any band that appears to spend a good deal of its time in America puts itself in the firing line for accusations of having “sold out” to the all-consuming dollar.
Jethro Tull more than others – perhaps because they’ve courted both sides of the Atlantic simultaneously and been so damn successful at it – seem to have been a popular target for the most spiteful barbs of late.
In their case, it isn’t just a question of turning the other cheek. Words do hurt, as I found out when I got Ian Anderson on to the subject during a talk at his London flat a few days before the band left for its fourth (first this year) tour of the States.
“It obviously hurts a lot when people think you have gone big time,” he volunteered. “But let me explain to those people who say ‘Yaroo you have sold out because you can get more money in America…`
“In the States it has taken us six months of solid touring to reach the stage there that we reached here by playing round the tiny blues clubs.
“On the first tour we lost money, on the second we broke even and on the third we made a little. We are coming out a little ahead now but it’s nothing like a big Led Zeppelin thing.
“So on this coming tour we hope we’ll be at the stage we are at in England… headlining our own concerts, playing where and when we want to.
“We haven’t really achieved very much in terms of financial gain from playing in America. We have from record sales, but not from gigs.
“This year we want to go and play there again and sell more records and play to more people but if everything works out well there won’t be any need to keep going back there all the time.
“You see, we’ve made enough to put deposits on houses – we still need mortgages – but beyond that nobody feels a need to build up vast amounts of money.
“At this time that isn’t so important as playing and enjoying making music in the way you want. That’s why it hurts when people say we’ve sold out.”

As Ian explained it, the group will play mainly in America this year to reach a point where a demand can be maintained. When that has happened they’ll be able to choose where they want to play…
“…And England is the place we’ll choose first. You see we aren’t going to make much money playing in England; it is just bread and butter money to do the odd concert here so we might as well forget about the money and just play for the people where we like.
“At the moment we don’t mind America but we want to play here because this is home and this is where we started. We all think it would be nice to go back and play the Marquee but that is impractical right now. But after this year England will get more than its fair share.”
Progressing solidly here and in the States in terms of standing, and having produced their musically most successful album in “Benefit,” Ian told me that he finds it “heartening” that Jethro Tull isn’t looked on as a supergroup.
“We are one of those groups that sell large quantities of records and are big but we have never been called a supergroup, or individually described as superstars.
“JT is not like that. It has had its success, rather like The Who and is capable in the same way of producing good music. We have been around for two years and will probably be around for two or three more without ever becoming a tremendous fad.
“It’s heartening to think that people can take us seriously and not think of us in a soft way as a trendy and silly, inconsequential product of the day.”
As far as recorded sounds go, he says they plan now to produce two albums a year; with a second 1970 one around October.
“It never seems much,” he put in, “but it is in terms of work.”

IMG_0814

John Evan, the young organist/pianist who played on “Benefit” and has since joined the band, did a quick piece of mathematics on JT’s song output, the results of which pleasantly surprised lan.
“To think we have been producing songs at the rate of one a fortnight for a year is good,” he argued. “Considering all the touring, that’s quite an output.”
When we do hear JT in England again, and Ian maintains that they hope to fix concerts here in the summer and again at the end of the year, there will not only be John Evan to listen for but also another, unseen, John making a substantial contribution to the sound.
This John one is John Burns, a young engineer from Morgan Studios (where he assisted on “Benefit”) who was lured away to become Jethro Tull’s own travelling sound engineer.
Relying on equipment provided at each gig, the group has had to suffer through poor PA systems on previous US tours, often having to have speakers flown in from major cities at some cost.
So beside the addition of John, they’ve now also got their own PA system — giving them 80 pieces of equipment to cart around the States. Tour manager Eric Brooks, now needs four roadies to assist and the cost of the whole operation will take quite a chunk out of their earnings.
“It means,” says Ian, “that half the money we earn on every gig will be gone before we even get there.
“And when people say you have sold out they should at least think of all the trouble you have gone to to make sure the sound is okay for those who’ve come to hear.
“You can get away with making excuses on stage about lousy gear, and you can get away with it to a certain extent, but it is eminently more satisfying for the audience and for us as musicians to know that the sound we are playing is the best we can make it.”

IMG_0815

I think Sunday, 24th May, afternoon would be the day for me! 😉

If you have a music-related web-page where this fits – please make a link to the article. With credits to the original writer of the article from all of us music fans!

ARTICLE ABOUT Jethro Tull FROM New Musical Express, April 11, 1970

A record review that is a bit longer than the other ones that I sometime post on my blog. I like this way of reviewing records – the journalist and a representative from the band telling their own story of each song that is presented on the album. It is how every record review should have been if there were room for it in the music papers.
Read on!

IMG_0793

Benefit: New Tull album

Track-by-track by Nick Logan & Ian Anderson

JETHRO TULL: “BENEFIT”
Chrysalis stereo ILPS 9123, 39s 11d;
released April 24

“BENEFIT” won’t startle as “Stand Up” did viewed in relation to “This Was.” It is more an affirmation of the leap in a new direction they took on the last… with what they did then improved upon, fuller, mellower and more mature… an album that will unfold to growing pleasure with each play.
It comes across simpler on the surface than “Stand Up” but is in fact more complex once you get past the insistent riffs and phrases to the nub of the song, and that’s where the cleverness of the construction comes in. Like peeling away layers.
Underlined is Ian Anderson’s verve as a songwriter — he wrote all ten tracks; the Englishness of their music; its uniqueness laying bare the dearth of originality among most of their contemporaries; while a pleasant revelation is Martin Barre’s lead guitar work.
In every way it’s an excellent album and one which will greatly enhance the group’s reputation.
I listened to it with Ian Anderson and his comments on each track follow mine:

“With You There To Help Me” is medium paced with Ian playing piano and a lunatic flute fading in and out between verses; linking with Martin’s guitar for the lengthy fade out.
Ian: The flute was recorded backwards and I’ve double tracked the vocals in harmony — it adds a totally new perspective to the voice. We’ll be doing this on stage.

“Nothing To Say” is a fairly slow one that builds, with the chorus against a solid, spiralling guitar riff. Through it Martin plays a dreamy underlying guitar.
Ian: This is one for journalists — written from a growing dislike for American “rap” sessions where the Underground writers come up and say “Well what do you want to talk about man?” I would rather talk about nothing.

“Alive And Well And Living In” is typical JT; verses over an insistent riff. Also a somewhat subdued flute and piano.
Ian: I must apologise for having a bad cold on this. This is a song for Jennie; it’s a happy one. There are two things I write about — Jennie and me, sometimes together.

“Son” is a fascinating, clever construction. More forceful… gritty, growling guitar then nice graceful lines against the vocal, voice and guitar merging as one. Fades out and changes tempo midway through.
Ian: This is a dialogue between father and son, who at the end of the song turns out to be 30 years old. I play acoustic guitar. It’s an amusing one that brings back, as it does for me, all the personal experiences one`s dad passes on.

“For Michael Collins, Jeffrey And Me” gives Ian’s friend Jeffrey his usual album credit. It grows from soft acoustic opening with nice fancy guitar parts and again uses tempo changes. Snatches of rippling piano too. A bit strange, and clever.
Ian: Michael Collins was one of the astronauts, the one who stayed in the ship while the others went down to the Moon. Jeffrey has a bird called Bananas! (Don’t ask me what that has to do with it.) I watched the moon shot on TV in America. it was nice watching it; I half wished I was there. It’s one of those things… you think beforehand what a waste of money it is but when they are there and you’re watching it is a great thing for mankind. Then when it’s over you feel the same as before.

“To Cry You A Song” is a personal favourite; it certainly has the most naggingly, marvellous guitar riff that’s lodged itself in my head. A long one at 6 mins 9. Ian and Martin are on guitars which weave in and out of each other to achieve something of a Cream-type liquidity. Praise, too for Glenn’s bass and Clive’s drumming.
Ian: Martin gets a really good, malleable sound here. I think it’s his best guitar to date and it’s also one of the stage numbers we can reproduce just like the record.

“A Time For Everything” is one of the few where the flute plays a prominent role.
Ian: I wrote this on mandolin. It was some time ago in Malvern – Jennie and I went back there for our honeymoon — we played there and stayed in a hotel on the side of a hill. I went off on the hill to write the song. As luck would have it it was one of the few occasions when I was pursued by fans. There I was, sitting down trying to take in the Donovan thing… trees and sunshine and nature… and there were half a dozen grubby little 13 year olds thrusting fag packets at me for autographs.

“Inside” is also the single and very commercial really too. It’s nice and folksy and pleasant yet pushy with something of a Byrds feel, but still very much Jethro Tull.
Ian: You’ll like this one: It’s a sing-along and another mandolin track. We chose it as the single because while it’s not typical of the other tracks… it’s a nice pleasant happy little song — it doesn’t imply any veering away from what we’ve done before.

“Play In Time” is back to forcefulness again after prettiness; a hard driving riffy number that they did on stage last time in America. Glenn contributes a gutsy bass, with organ heavily featured too. Has a kind of hunting rhythm and distortion effects.
Ian: This is about songs I like singing… like I was saying about writing about what I do. The fade out is like a nightmare at a fairground.

“Sossity: You’re A Woman” is the last and most fascinating track, opening with acoustic guitar and churchy organ. Basically it’s a vehicle for Martin and Ian on acoustics with lots of nice flecks of sound like brushstrokes. It’s very tasteful, very thoughtful, very cleverly bound together and possibly the best track.
Ian: I don’t want to talk about the lyrics of this one. It’s another stage number. We wanted to do an acoustic thing and Martin and I worked this out in a hotel room in America.

IMG_0796

If you have a music-related web-page where this fits – please make a link to the article. With credits to the original writer of the article from all of us music fans!

ARTICLE ABOUT Jethro Tull FROM New Musical Express, February 21, 1970

Recording their third album, they allowed Mr. Logan to sit in on the sessions. No wonder, as he was an avid supporter of the band at an important stage of their career. The album was released a couple of months later and was titled “Benefit”.
Read on!

IMG_0773

Jethro go for live feel on their next album

NME`s Nick Logan sits in on a recording session

THERE can be few more boring occupations known to man than being a spectator in a recording studio. All you can do is sit impotently and marvel as the musicians enthuse their way through the umpteenth playback and devote most of an afternoon to perfecting in the simplest riff a dud note you gave up trying to spot hours ago.
After spending two afternoons in the North London studio where Jethro Tull are working on “Benefit,” their third album, I began to doubt if anything of remote value could come out of such a slow and turgid process — let alone the five completed tracks played before I left that were sufficient to convince me a further invigorating blast of Jethro goodness is on the way.
A longish beaty piece with the most maniacal flute and instrumental riff, a folksy track and “Play In Time,” which they are already performing on stage, left strong impressions.
“It`s going to be a lot live-r than the first two,” commented bass guitarist Glenn Cornick during a break.
“I felt the last one sounded like a group of session musicians performing various songs. It was pretty cold. This one will have more of a live feel.”
In between takes of a shorter version of “Teacher” for the American market, Ian – The Pop Star Mothers Would Least Like Their Daughters To Marry – was finalising pick-up arrangements with tour manager Eric Brooks for his marriage the following Monday.
He was a little self-conscious about admitting that he’s moved from his £3 lOs a week Kentish Town bedsitter to a temporary flat in more celubrious Belgravia – “where a tin of beans costs eight bob.”

Zappa

Clive Bunker was unconsciously doing his Frank Zappa impression: newly grown beard and hair tied back. “It’s to hide his identity,’ joked Martin Barre, explaining that while shopping in a supermarket with his mum Clive had been the victim of a female fan attack between the dried fruit and the frozen veg.
When Glenn and I took ourselves aside for a chat he told me that although in the past the group hasn’t placed over-much importance on their singles chart placings he personally hoped their current double A side would make No 1.
He explained that when their record company had first taken the single out to play to radio producers many of them had refused it.
“They just turned round and laughed and didn’t even want to keep it,” says Glenn, who feels that on the evidence of his friends the single isn’t getting it’s fair share of airplay. “If it got to the top then they’d have to play it.”
The group had been to a photo session for a German magazine that morning and Glenn had acquired as his own a bottle of Scotch that started life as a picture prop.
He’d made substantial inroads into the bottle when I arrived, and had finished it when I left.
That’s not to say that Glenn is a heavy drinker, but his occasional liking for liquor and for socialising does put him out of line with the rest of the group, who are mainly teetotal and endowed with varying degrees of shyness.
Unlike the others, Glenn also draws his friends from the music business — among them Mick Fleetwood and Faces Rod Stewart and Ronnie Wood.
Although he says he doesn’t feel out of place, Glenn feels he is more “easy going” than the others. “But I know them well enough to be able to adapt to the way they are.
“I don’t do things to offend them. Sometimes I get a little drunk but I know when I can drink and when I can’t. I have drunk a lot today but I’m not drunk; I can still play my guitar.
“Most of my friends are in music because when I first came down to London I didn’t know anybody and the only people I met were people in the music business.

IMG_0774

“I did get very lonely, and I’m not one of those people who can just sit at home by myself and read. I have to be in contact with other people. You find, anyway, that the only people who understand musicians are other musicians.”
Without achieving much, Glenn had played in various groups for five years before finding his way to Jethro Tull. He and Ian came down from Blackpool together to “do the big London thing,” along with five others.
Under a name that changed every week they were being booked out by Terry Ellis, now their manager, as a seven piece blues band featuring two saxes and an organ player.
“But,” recalls Glenn, “we had so little money that we couldn’t afford to employ them all. Three of them went home. We’d get to a gig and say that the saxes and organ hadn’t been able to make it but we’d carry on without them.”
All this went on without Terry’s knowledge, but by the time he came along to a gig the band was getting such good reports that it didn’t matter.
So far Glenn’s only large acquisition has been a house in Barnes which he and his Chinese American girl friend Judy Wong — Glenn met her in San Francisco on the group’s second US tour — are decorating ready to move into after their wedding in March.
The group’s popularity has its draw-backs. “I am getting sick of going on tours, which I think all of us are, but if you don’t play to the public you start losing your audience. So you have to work out a balance.
“The bad aspects, the hotels and continual travelling, are compensated by the good aspects, the playing before an audience.”
And the reasons for Jethro’s success? — “At the time we started to make it, during the blues boom, all the groups were going on with long faces making like they really had the blues.
“We went on playing blues but we were sending ourselves up… well maybe that’s a bit too heavy… but there was an element of humour about it; like we were laughing at ourselves for doing it.
“When we started we were playing all the standard blues things, ‘Dust My Broom,’ `Rock Me Baby,’ but we were not trying to prove anything. People were entertained by that.”
The warming thing about the group is that, despite the startling progression in their music and paypackets, they haven`t lost that sense of humour and have retained an ability to view their success in perspective.
To them, “not believing that it can all be happening,” is not an empty cliche and they are genuinely amazed when established groups refer to them favourably in interviews.

Happy

Apart from dreads of touring, they’re all in a reasonably happy frame of mood nowadays, except the changeable Martin who one week was wreathed in smiles of contentment and the next bathed in female-inflicted waves of depression.
Glenn has his house; Martin has his eye on a mews cottage on Putney Heath; Ian and Jennie are searching for a new home and Clive is torn between moving up the status ladder or keeping to the Kentish Town bedsitter he still has a fondness for.
Of all of them a house of his own will mean most to Martin who, for the past three years or so, has lived a nomadic life split between dowdy bedsitters an small unfriendly hotels.
Whenever he tried for a flat his hair and appearance would bring out the “Sorry it’s gone” excuses among unsympathetic landlords.
Back at work, Clive had finished his day’s stint and gone, and Martin was alone in the studio playing a short guitar riff over and over again. Ian was at the control panel.
“Again Martin, you can do better than that,” he cajoled the guitarist.
“I think it’s the same bad note,” put in Glenn. “Listen again.”
Ian, hearing it back: “You’re playing a minor when it should be a major.”
Martin, protesting: “Are you sure?”
Glenn: “Put a ‘d’ on it.”
And on the umpteenth time, plus a dozen, it was finally passed fit for human consumption.

IMG_0775

If you have a music-related web-page where this fits – please make a link to the article. With credits to the original writer of the article from all of us music fans!

ARTICLE ABOUT Jethro Tull FROM New Musical Express, December 27, 1969

This is a really fun report from the road with at the end of the sixties. Was touring different then than now?
In some ways, yes, but there are similarities too. If you want to know more, then read this excellent articlefrom the music journalist legend that is Nick Logan!
Read on!

IMG_0750

Nick Logan takes you along…

The tough road taking Jethro to top in U.S.

WHEN she heard I was off to America with Jethro Tull my dear old gran was aghast with fears for my safety because she`d seen Ian Anderson on Top Of The Pops and was unshakeably convinced he was mad.
No doubt she saw him maniacally clubbing me about the head with his flute and ejecting me out of a skyscraper hotel with a deft swing from his dancing toecap. If so, I have to disappoint her.
All the same, had she been aware of the fearful battering my senses were to take during my eleven days on the road with Jethro Tull she would have had good cause for concern.
For while the spoils open to a successful group in America are colossal, the route towards can be gruelling in the extreme.
On a typical day we’d get a midday flight, pick up two hire cars at our destination, drive first to the gig to check equipment and PA, check in at the hotel and get a meal, go back for the show, return to the hotel and sleep until the cycle began over again the following day.
And as it went on, one day would blur into another, and one town, airport, hotel room and auditorium would become indistinguishable from the rest.
New York, where I joined the Tull entourage for the final dates on this their third and eminently profitable tour, gave few signs of what was to come. After runaway successes on the West Coast the group had had the week free in the city before their four sell-out shows that weekend at the Fillmore East.
Ian had been meeting journalists and composing tracks for the third Jethro LP in his hotel room; Martin had been spending his time with his girlfriend Liz, a student from Chicago he had met on a previous tour.

Good spirits

So it was in good spirits on the Sunday, after the last Fillmore set had finished at five the same morning, that we drove the 200 miles north east to Boston, arriving after getting lost in a snow blizzard at 2.30 am.
By the following morning the snow had turned to rain which fell with depressing consistency throughout the day. Breakfast was taken mid-afternoon with Martin lamenting having to leave Liz behind in New York.
Ian appeared around four in the afternoon complaining of a sore throat, and soon after we went to the gig for rehearsals. Clive was there already to supervise the setting up of his drum kit.
Roadies Chip and Roy, as usual, had travelled ahead early in the morning with the group’s equipment. Our party was completed by tour manager Eric Brooks, whose numerous tasks included providing the humour on arduous journeys and supervising the sound balance, and Terry Ellis, the group’s young manager whose presence as instructor and counsel throughout the tour was invaluable.
The gig, for the next two nights, was the Boston Tea Party, a converted garage holding up to 2,000.
The two dates, I was informed by Terry, had been booked some time back and would be the last club appearances Jethro would make anywhere. Next time round Boston would see them at the Symphony Hall.
THE EVENING’S SHOW WAS A GOOD ONE; THE CLUB NEAR TO CAPACITY DESPITE THE WEATHER. THE GROUP WENT FOR AN ENCORE AND GOT IT FROM AN ULTRA RESPONSIVE AUDIENCE. BOSTON IS A GOOD PLACE FOR ROCK.
Ian got to bed at 6 in the morning, after getting into discussions with Terry, and woke the next day with a heavy cold.
His is by far the most energy-sapping position in the group; not only working and moving the most on stage but also being Jethro’s front man for interviews which, where the American Underground papers are concerned, can be long and mentally tiring.
Like the others he would come off stage each night his clothes soaked in sweat, then have to change in an often cold dressing room and go straight out into the night air… which is enough to tax even the toughest germ defences. He had been ill on both previous tours, once with tonsolitis.
AS HE POINTED OUT: “ONCE YOU CATCH SOMETHING IT IS HARD TO GET RID OF IT. YOU CAN’T JUST STOP AND TAKE A COUPLE OF DAYS OFF TO RECOVER.”
The four interviews lined up for him that afternoon didn’t help to improve his condition.
Glenn had gone to jam at the Tea Party with West Coast group Sons Of Champlin so Martin and I took advantage of the couple of hours of daylight we’d see that day and drove into Boston to shop. On the way he pointed out that the thrill of arriving in a new place vanishes early in a group’s touring life. “And anyway,” he added, “you don’t get much time to see a place when you’re working the hours we do.”
In the dressing room before that night’s show Ian was shivering; his shoulders hunched together. The club was so crowded we had to go out into the street to reach the stage through a back door. Ian kept on his leather coat to keep warm and changed behind the stage.
The chatting to the audience had to go, but it said much for the group that musically their act suffered very little. Between numbers, to those who knew, it was painfully evident that Ian was sick.
WEDNESDAY SAW THE START OF THE MOST ARDUOUS PART OF THE 11 DAYS. FIVE TOWNS AND EIGHT SHOWS IN FIVE DAYS BEFORE THE FLIGHT HOME, WHICH ALL WERE COUNTING OFF THE DAYS TO.
On the flight out from Logan Airport, Boston, for Kansas City, Glenn was saying that he in fact preferred the one night gigs because they made the time go quicker. To him the travelling was not so much tiring as depressing.
None of the group seemed concerned about the actual flying.
I certainly was when we arrived at Kansas City just after dark in a blanket of snow, sleet and fog and landed only on the second attempt.

IMG_0751

Depressed

Kansas and the mid-west, like Texas which we were to visit later, are somewhat depressed areas for rock, being anything up to a year behind New York and the West Coast. In Boston the reaction had been one of amusement followed by bemusement when told we were going to Kansas City.
So it was that three of Britain’s top groups — Jethro, Fleetwood Mac and Joe Cocker — turned up at the unfriendly Soldiers And Sailors Auditorium in miserable Kansas in an effort to open up new territory for rock.
In the cold dressing room before shows we temporarily raised morale with a game improvised from spinning plastic coffee cup tops. Ian’s cold had given way to stomach sickness; Clive had developed a cough; Martin a sore throat and myself the first signs of a cold. Cold pills and throat pastilles were administered to all.
On stage through both show Jethro, who were topping, played well below themselves, as did the other two groups before a cold unresponsive audience.
IN THE AUDITORIUM BURLY COPS, WITH GUNS IN HIP HOLSTERS, WERE STATIONED AT VARIOUS POINTS IN THE HALL – A SIGHT THAT WAS LATER TO BECOME FAMILIAR IN TEXAS.
In both States there was a noticeable feeling of hostility in the air that, if allowed to, could continually play on one’s nerves.
After the shows we learnt that, since our arrival, all flights out of Kansas had been grounded and the possibility of being stuck in Kansas or having to drive the 800 miles to Houston, Texas, became a nasty probability.
In Fleetwood Mac’s dressing room Mick Fleetwood was reflecting on the large number of British groups flying across America and doomily forecasting that another Otis Redding would have to happen soon.
Fortunately the snow had started melting by next morning and we were all glad to get out of Kansas. At the airport a young American G.I. came over to talk to us. He had been a long-haired “freak” a week or so back, before getting drafted. Would Jethro be going to Miami he wanted to know? And could he have their autographs for his girlfriend?
It was 75 degrees when we arrived in Houston, a totally impersonal mass of glass and concrete rising out of the flat surrounds. In the town, like at airports, fat women with winged glasses and Glen Campbell types in cowboy boots would stare with hostility at us as we walked around.
Ian and I had bought a ball at Kansas Airport and at the gig — a huge and impressive circular music hall — we started a game of football at the back of the stage. Ian is as nimble with a ball as he is on stage but detests all organised sport. “Because of the social implications,” he says mysteriously.
Again Fleetwood Mac and Joe Cocker were the supporting acts and, when we arrived, the Mac had played their first set. It was the worst they’d ever played, said their roadie Dinky, explaining that their vast and expensive PA system had got detained in Kansas by the airline. Mick Fleetwood found solace in a bottle of kosher wine.
Cocker and Jethro, who had been using the house PA on all their gigs, also suffered from the poor sound quality; although both acts were well received.
THE GROUP KNEW, HOWEVER, THAT ONCE AGAIN THEY WERE PLAYING WELL BELOW THEMSELVES AND THE STRAINS BOILED TO THE SURFACE WHEN TERRY ASKED IAN TO TALK TO TWO LOCAL JOURNALISTS.
“I thought we’d decided not to have journalists in when we’re doing a show,” argued Ian. “It’s very difficult to turn on the charm when you’re sweaty and feeling bad.” A heated altercation followed between the two, culminating in Terry slamming the door and storming out. A few minutes later their normally compatible relationship was restored.
After the shows, Fleetwood and Jethro members and roadies conferred backstage and decided they’d both use the Mac PA on the next gig. (Cocker was to go on to a different date).
Next day we flew the 200 miles west to San Antonio, a picturesque tourist town on the Mexico-Texas border that is a mixture of the two cultures. It also houses the Alamo.
At least it looked more human than space age Houston but the optimism had no foundation.
We did, however, have a pleasant walk along the palm-tree lined river that ran past our hotel, the Hilton, and Martin provided a moment of light relief by tipping his meal onto his knee during lunch at the plush restaurant.
Here, we were at the 4,000 seater Municipal Auditorium, the gigs getting bigger and better with each town. But once again Jethro played below their best, though better than the previous two nights.
The others wouldn’t show their disappointment so readily but Ian, who is normally quiet anyway, frequently fell into long periods of silence during which it was difficult to gauge his feelings.

Cowboys

Austin, the capital of Texas, was the next stop; 70 miles drive away to the north through Texas sunshine. Dinky had warned us to watch out for cowboys in Chevrolets with guns in the back — he’d driven through Texas with a coat over his hair — but we saw none.
Again both groups used the Mac PA system and this time both hit top form to go down strongly with the sell-out house.
IAN, THOUGH STILL SICK IN HIS STOMACH, CAME RIGHT BACK NEAR HIS BEST WITH THE ASIDES AND THE WHOLE BAND RAISED THEIR LEVEL DRAMATICALLY FROM THE LOW OF PREVIOUS NIGHTS.
“One more gig and then home,” said Glenn happily when they came off. “It will be nice to finish with another good one.”
Ian too was more cheerful, but later back at the hotel when both groups gathered to chat in Peter Green’s hotel room — it was the last night with the Mac – he went off to his room to sleep.
In Chicago the group had been scheduled to play the Kinetic Playground earlier in the tour and had already sold out all tickets. Since the place had been burnt down by gangsters the gig had been re-scheduled at the Aragon Ballroom.
Aside from the fact that it was the last stop before home, Chicago appeared as unfriendly and impersonal as anywhere else we had been. It was bitter cold and snowy and only Martin, who would be able to see his girlfriend, was pleased to arrive.
He would be staying on with her for a few days after we had flown home.
The Aragon turned out to be an old, gaudy ballroom with its interior constructed and decorated after the style of a Moroccan castle. A flea market (junk stalls) was in progress on the dance floor, when we arrived for rehearsals.
The PA was the worst of the tour — it was enough to convince Jethro to bring over their own system next trip — and the dressing rooms were tiny and dirty, letting in the frozen night air through two broken windows.
THAT “LAST GOOD GIG” GLENN HAD TALKED ABOUT WAS OBVIOUSLY NOT GOING TO COME OFF. BUT AT LEAST IT WAS THE LAST ONE.
Afterwards we made obscene haste away, leaving Martin trying out Les Paul guitars a friend had brought along for him to buy, and got to the airport with a couple of hours to spare before the 2.30 a.m. flight. The cold had by now passed on to Glenn, who managed to convert it into influenza back in England.
We slept on the plane to New York and landed at snowy Kennedy Airport cold and tired with four hours to wait for the connecting flight to London at ten.
Nevertheless, energy was raised for a short game of early morning football in the baggage claim area that left American travellers amazed and a little frightened of the mad, hairy Englishmen.
Heathrow was reached at 11.30 London time, due to delays and the seven hour time difference, and we were soon being gladly dispersed around the city in a hired chauffer-driven Austin Princess.
Despite the ups and downs, it had been a most successful tour — and next time into America Jethro will be up to the 4,000 to 10;000 seater class of auditoriums.
By the time they become the top British attraction in the States, which they undoubtedly will, they’ll have earned every penny.

IMG_0753

If you have a music-related web-page where this fits – please make a link to the article. With credits to the original writer of the article from all of us music fans!

ARTICLE ABOUT Jethro Tull FROM New Musical Express, December 6, 1969

Just a short one with Jethro today – as a very great story with them is coming to this blog tomorrow.
Read on!

IMG_0744

Ian`s suspicious

revealed to Ann Moses in Hollywood

BETWEEN Jethro Tull’s typically exciting and well-received first show and his second late show at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium (a second show was added when the first sold out), I spoke with wild looking, yet articulate Ian Anderson.
Their beautiful performance that night had the audience cheering and some were even dancing in the aisles.
I asked Ian if this was his favourite type of audience. He surprised me with his answer: “I feel pretty suspicious when I see people screaming or dancing in the aisles because I don’t think people can dance to the music we play with any degree of honesty to themselves.
“If they dance to our music they’re more likely to be going through some sort of physical release, which they might as well get from going swimming or horse riding or something!
“The music we play is quite involved musically and it isn’t conducive to dancing. I prefer to see people just sitting in their seats and it’s quite nice when they go through an audience response thing, cheering and clapping when you come on, and it’s nice when you go off and it’s nice to do an encore, but beyond that I think it is a bit unnecessary that they show any undue signs of appreciation!”
It’s a curious thing recently the way a small number of British groups are enjoying such enthusiastic popularity here in the States without the help of hit singles or even any single releases at all! I asked Ian why they hadn’t tapped the huge singles market.
“I don’t know very much about who buys singles, why they buy them and what sort of music they will buy, so it’s rather difficult for me to put together something for the American singles market which is both representative of the band’s style and is a satisfying piece of music for the listener. I don’t know just what to write for the American market.
“In England, obviously from living there, I’m more familiar with the way in which to set about writing a single. But the time will come when we can attempt the same sort of thing here.”
Even without single success, Jethro Tull has continually stayed high on the album charts and sold out concerts wherever they go. Since Ian surely had the answer, I asked him what he felt gave a group lasting power.
“I think they must have some sort of musical integrity which is apparent to the public. They mustn’t be too obviously jumping on a bandwagon or pampering to the tastes of the public.
“They must also play something which is probably of a style which is peculiar to them. In other words, they must be an individual sounding group. These days, I suppose it helps if you can back all this up with being real people.
“You have something to say and you have some valid reason for doing what you’re doing. Not just doing it to make money, which everyone hates and quite rightly.”
Sounds like an accurate picture of Jethro Tull!

IMG_0749

If you have a music-related web-page where this fits – please make a link to the article. With credits to the original writer of the article from all of us music fans!