Sunday, 6 June 2010

Sunday Morning Coffee with Ian Anderson



Welcome again to “Sunday Morning Coffee” and another show I could never have expected only a few weeks ago.  Ian Anderson and Jethro Tull were names I knew, of course, but there music was as distant as slimness is to my more than ample frame.  Further, in fact, because I can remember being slim whereas I had NEVER listened to any Tull music.  I will have heard snippets but not through choice and never listened to anyway.

As with the show of two weeks ago – Rod Stewart -  I ask the question on your behalf.

Why on earth, how on earth can you feature Ian Anderson when for 40 odd years you have studiously ignored him and his music?

Simple, really.  I listened.  I was looking to put some of Anderson’s music in a different feature which hasn’t yet seen the light of day and I rather liked it.  I loved it and his mad theatricality.

That was all it took; time to really listen.  It’s strange how often we don’t listen to people or music or don’t look properly at art.  It seems that in my dotage I’m starting to take some time.  Others might say that I am starting to waste even more time …. but it is MY time.

Time for coffee.  Go and get it.  We have a long show today (54 min and 9 videos) and so you may want to have a break and come back.  That’s OK the show will wait for you. 

The 5th video is a short bio of Anderson and Tull and so if you only want the music you can skip direct from 4 to 6.

I will apologise now because although the music was chosen with great care I had little time to write the linking words.



We start with some Bachian delight.

Even his snorts near the end can’t detract from the performance rather they make the performance.


Ian Anderson was born in Dunfermline – that’s a good start being a Fifer! – living in Headwell Road and Aberdour Road before moving to Edinburgh when he was three.  I mention the two streets only because I was raised in Dunfermline and fellow blogger Colin too is from the same pairts.  When he was11 his family moved to Blackpool.

A Fifer! Although he live in Fife for his first 3 years, he goes up a couple of notches for that.

There’s too much music to spend much time on history.


Songs from the Wood

“Poppies red and roses filled with Summer rain”

What a line!

What a madman!


Anderson’s manic style with his Marty-Feldman type eyes, bushy hair is absolutely OTT but brilliant for all that.


Heavy Horses

I love this song!

“And one day when the oil barons have all dripped dry
and the nights are seen to draw colder
they'll beg for your strength, your gentle power
your noble grace and your bearing.”

Prescient or not?


Living in the Past

Some have said that Anderson is Living in the Past, that his voice has gone.  Whatever, you’ll still love this.

Apologies.  The first version I put in here had embedding disabled – thanks JD for letting me know.

As one commenter said, “Awesome”.


Short Bio of Ian Anderson and Jethro Tull

Now sit back and enjoy your history lesson.


Because you’ve had the bio I can press on with the music.

We start the second half of music with the title track from what many described as a concept album, an idea Anderson rubbishes.


Look out for the Marty Feldman eyes but don’t lose sight or ear of the music which is, as usual, of the highest order.

I hope he said, “Sitting on the park bench”!

I should have mentioned the performance.  Out of this world!

How did I miss all this for so long?  Can I make up for lost time?


The Whistler

This must be the third or fourth time I’ve heard each track today and I can’t enough!

For a few of you this may be new as it was to me a couple of weeks ago.  To others this may take you back to days of your youth.  Happy memories I hope.


Just two tracks to go and I give you a minstrel playing a minstrel’s song.

Minstrel in the Gallery

Truly the minstrel above all!



Sadly this long show is almost done.  I have to listen to it again.  I will listen to it again.  You can too if you want.

We finish with Ian and his flute playing a solo in which you may recognise some notes from elsewhere in the show.

Take it away Ian!

Flute Solo

How will he survive 7 minutes?

More!!!  More!!!


Don’t go away!  ………. but he walks off-stage at the end of a mesmerising show. 

The show is over  ….. for now ….. but not forever .…. ever!


I can only hope you enjoyed Ian’s efforts.  I was and am enthralled by the music, the performance, the show.

Well, that’s it for another week.  I hope you enjoyed your coffee and the music.   Tune in again next week and thanks for listening.


  1. Good morning, Calum.
    I'm having veisalgia for breakfast but I will definitely listen to Jethro later, dear friend.

  2. Yes(had to google your breakie)! Better that you wait until later.

    Enjoy then.

  3. Tull were dismissed as ProgRock dinosaurs like Yes and the terminally tedious ELP but that was unfair because they were better and more inventive.

    The ending of Bouree made me laugh because it is pure Roland Kirk who was Anderson's inspiration for his playing style as he hints at here-

    (can't find Kirk's version on YouTube)

    'Living In The Past' was disabled for some reason... but is an example of the aforementioned inventiveness. A pop song in 5/4 time is unheard of and needs the 'why not?' attitude which is absent from today's pop business.

    a very entertaining morning
    well done Calum

    is your record collection as large as mine yet?

    I used to get a lot of that when I was abroad

  4. found it....
    I knew it was bound to be in there somewhere-

    Roland Kirk - Flute
    Horace Parlan - Piano
    Michael Fleming - Double Bass
    Walter Perkins - Drums

  5. Good show, Calum. Also the additions. Thanks!

  6. Thanks, Claudia. JD's suggestions are as always great.

  7. Wonder what Metallica think of Ian Anderson.