- Ian Anderson (musician)
Infobox musical artist
Name = Ian Anderson
Img_size = 250
Landscape = yes
Background = solo_singer
Birth_name = Ian Scott Anderson
Born = birth date and age|1947|8|10|df=y
Dunfermline, Fife, Scotland
Vocals, Flute, Guitar, Bass, Bouzouki, Balalaika, Mandolin, Harmonica, Saxophone, Keyboards, Whistle, Multiple instruments
Progressive rock, Folk rock, Hard rock
Musician, Songwriter, Flautist
Years_active = 1965 - Present
Label = Chrysalis,
Fuel 2000, RandM
Associated_acts = Jethro Tull
URL = [http://www.iananderson.com/ IanAnderson.com]
Ian Scott Anderson, MBE (born
10 August 1947in Dunfermline, Fife, Scotland) is a Scottish singer, songwriterand Multi- instrumentalist, best known for his work as the head of British rock band Jethro Tull.
*1953 - 1958 Roseburn Primary School,
*1958 - 1964 Blackpool Grammar School
*1964 - 1966 Blackpool College of Art.
Ian Anderson's father ran the RSA Boiler Fluid Company [cite web| url=http://www.tullpress.com/dp19oct79.htm|title= Tull Press] in East Port, Dunfermline. He spent the first part of his childhood in
Edinburgh, an influence which has dominated his artistic output ever since. He would return much later in life to live in Scotland for several years.
His family moved to
Blackpoolin the North West of Englandin 1959, where he gained a traditional grammar schooleducation before going on to study fine art. Much of his work referring to this period suggests a somewhat turbulent upbringing.
While a teenager, Anderson took a job as a sales assistant at Lewis' department store in Blackpool, then as a vendor on a newsstand. He later said it was reading copies of
Melody Makerand the New Musical Expressduring his lunch breaks that gave him the inspiration to play in a band.
In 1963, he formed The Blades from among school friends:
Barriemore Barlow(drums), John Evan(keyboards), Jeffrey Hammond (bass) and Michael Stephens (guitar). This was a soul and blues band, with Anderson on vocals and harmonica - he had yet to take up the flute.
By 1965, the group had turned into the John Evan Smash, comprising a larger line-up. It broke up within a couple of years, by which time Anderson had moved to
Luton. There he met drummer Clive Bunkerand guitarist and fellow vocalist Mick Abrahamsfrom fellow blues band McGregor's Engine. Along with Glenn Cornick, a bassist he had met through John Evan, he created the first incarnation of the band with which he was to stay for over 40 years: Jethro Tull.
At this time Anderson abandoned his ambition to play electric guitar, allegedly because he felt he would never be "as good as
Eric Clapton". As he himself tells it in the introduction to the video "Live at the Isle of Wight", he traded his electric guitar in for a flute which, after some weeks of practice, he found he could play fairly well in a rock and blues style. According to the sleeve notes for the first Tull album, "This Was", he had been playing the flute only a few months when the album was recorded. His guitar practice was not wasted either, as he continued to play acoustic guitar, using it as a melodic as well as rhythmic instrument. As his career progressed, he added soprano saxophone, mandolin, keyboards and other instruments to his arsenal.
His famous tendency to stand on one leg while playing the flute came about by accident. As related in the "Isle of Wight" video, he had been inclined to stand on one leg while playing the harmonica, holding the microphone stand for balance. During the long stint at the
Marquee Club, a journalist described him, wrongly, as standing on one leg to play the flute. He decided to live up to the reputation, albeit with some difficulty. His early attempts are visible in the " Rock and Roll Circus" film appearance of Jethro Tull. In later life he was surprised to learn of iconic portrayals of various flute playing divinities, particularly Krishnaand Kokopelli, which show them standing on one leg.
While Anderson has recorded a small number of critically-acclaimed projects under his own name, and frequently makes guest appearances in other artists' work, he has been identified in the public eye as the frontman of Jethro Tull for 40 years.
This is undoubtedly because a signature motif of Anderson's career has been a highly distinctive stage image, which has often been counter to the prevailing rock music culture. While he has habitually drawn inspiration from British folklore - at different times deploying stylistic elements of
Medieval jester, Elizabethan minstrel, English country squireand Scottish laird- at other times he has appeared as astronaut, biker, pirateand vagrant. His personae often involve a large degree of self-parody.
As a flautist, Anderson is self-taught; his style, which often includes a good deal of
flutter tonguingand occasionally singing or humming (or even snorting) while playing, was influenced by Roland Kirk. In 2003 he recorded a composition called "Griminelli's Lament" in honour of his friend, the Italian flautist Andrea Griminelli. In the 1990s he began working with simple bamboo flutes. He uses techniques such as over-blowing and hole-shading to produce note-slurring and other expressive techniques on this otherwise simple instrument.
Anderson plays several other
musical instruments, including acoustic and electric guitar, bass guitar, bouzouki, balalaika, saxophone, harmonica, and a variety of whistles.
He has recorded several songs on which he plays all the instruments as well as carrying out all the engineering and production (such as 1988's "Another Christmas Song"). His earliest foray into one-man recording was apparently on the popular Tull piece "
Locomotive Breath". Unable to get his ideas across to the rest of the band verbally, he laid down percussion and guitar tracks himself before adding vocals and then bringing in the others, at a time when tracks were usually recorded with all band members in the studio. Ironically this is one of the most vital pieces on the 1971 "Aqualung" album and is a mainstay of Tull's stage show.
Anderson's music blends styles such as folk,
jazz, blues, rock and pop. His lyricsare frequently complex, (mostly) tongue-in-cheekcriticism of the absurd rules of societyand/or religion("Sossity, You're a Woman"; "Hymn 43"; " Thick as a Brick"). He often combines lyrics with other leitmotifs such as folk, mythological, fantastic("The Minstrel in the Gallery", "Jack-in-the-Green", "Broadsword and the Beast"). In the 1990s and 2000s, Anderson's songs often capture 'snapshots' of his daily life ("Old Black Cat", "Rocks on the Road").
In recognition of his life-long contribution to popular music, Anderson received two honours in 2006: the
Ivor Novello Awardfor International Achievement and an honorary Doctorateof Literature at Heriot-Watt University, on 11 July 2006.
He remains widely regarded as the man who introduced the flute to rock music, and the only one who uses it as his main instrument. Other flute players include
Walter Parazaiderof Chicago, Burton Cummingsof The Guess Who, Ian McDonald of King Crimson, Ray Thomasof the Moody Blues, Thijs van Leerof Focus, Chris Wood of Traffic, Andrew Latimerof Camel and Peter Gabrielduring his years with Genesis.
Anderson's character and use of the flute has been referenced in several video games. In the PC game
Guild Wars, you can have your character play " air guitar" and similar instruments, including an "air flute". If your character is a male paragon, ranger, assassin, or elementalist, he plays the "flute" on one leg, in the Ian Anderson style. In " GTA San Andreas" it is believed a character named Jethro is a "homage" to Anderson, as he wears a similar beard and bandana.
He was appointed
Member of the Order of the British Empire(MBE) in the 2008 New Year Honours.
Musical collaborations and other work
Ian Anderson plays flute on the
Men Without Hatssong "On Tuesday" from their album "Pop Goes the World" (1987), and on the Blackmore's Nightsong "Play, Minstrel, Play" from their debut album " Shadow of the Moon" (1997).
Ian Anderson appears as a guest on "
The Big Prize", the second album by Canadian rock band Honeymoon Suite. This followed Jethro Tull's 1984 tour on which Honeymoon Suite was one of the opening acts. He was also a DJon Planet Rock, presenting his own two-hour show "Under The Influence".
Ian Anderson plays flute on the track "Portmeirion" on
Fairport Convention's 2001 album 'XXXV'. Anderson has performed with Fairport Conventionat their annual Cropredy Festivalon several occasions since the mid-1980s, when their bass player Dave Peggwas also a member of Jethro Tull.
Steeleye Span's 1974 album " Now We Are Six".
Family and personal life
From 1970 to 1974, Anderson was married to
Jennie Franks, a photographer who is credited with writing many of the lyrics to the song "Aqualung". Anderson married Shona Learoyd in 1976, described by Rolling Stonemagazine as a "beautiful convent-educated daughter of a wealthy wool manufacturer" [cite web|date=1977-03-21| url=http://www.tullpress.com/p21mar77.htm| title=Rock's heavist breather is Ian Anderson| accessdate=2007-04-22] . She had studied ballet for 10 years, though Anderson met her when she was working as a press officer at Jethro Tull's then record-label Chrysalis Records. She later became involved with the band's on-stage special effects.
The couple have lived in a 16th-century redbrick farmhouse on the 74-acre Pophleys estate in
Buckinghamshire, England, and in the Western Islesof Scotland. They currently live in Minety Wiltshire, England. They have two children: James Anderson, also a musician, and Gael, who works in the film industry and is married to the actor Andrew Lincoln.
Ian is a survivor of
deep vein thrombosis, and has done several public service announcements to raise awareness of the disease.
Among his interests Anderson lists protecting wild cats, especially those that have been rescued from harsh captivity;
cameras, chiefly Leicas; Indian cuisine- he has written a beginner's guide, thus far published only on the Internet. [cite web| url=http://www.j-tull.com/musicians/iananderson/indian.html| author=Ian Anderson| title=Indian Food Guide| accessdate=2007-04-22]
Ian describes himself as being "somewhere between
Deistand Pantheist" religiously, according to his foreword to the pamphlet for his 2006 St. Brides charity concerts for the homeless. [cite web| url=http://www.iananderson.com/news/diaries/iaja2007.html| title=Ian Anderson's Diary - January 2007| accessdate=2007-04-22]
Anderson has never taken the
driving test, though he lists off-road motorcycling among his interests.
During the late 1980s a popular urban legend concerned Anderson's alleged "far-right views". The allegations were groundless and appear to stem from confusion with another Ian Anderson who was a spokesman for the far-right National Front party.
Anderson is a successful businessman away from the music industry, and he has owned several
salmonfarms. His Strathaird concern [cite web| url=http://www.macrae.co.uk/mini_sites/strathaird| title=Strathaird Salmon Ltd| accessdate=2007-04-22] , based on his estate on the Isle of Skyewas worth £10.7 million in the late 1990s, when parts of it began to be sold off. He currently owns a group of companies which reported a gross profit of £1.8 million in 2004, when the " Sunday Herald" newspaper reported:
* [http://www.vintagerock.com/ianderson_interview_06.aspx 2006 Ian Anderson Interview]
* [http://www.jethrotull.com/musicians/iananderson/dvt.html Confessions of a DVT Victim and Ten Tips for Survival]
* [http://www.iananderson.com/musicians/iananderson/index.html Bio from Official J-Tull Website]
* [http://www.cupofwonder.com/ Site of Dutch fan, with annotations of Tull music]
* [http://www.planetrock.co.uk/showdj.asp?DJID=33515 Planet Rock show]
* [http://www.bbc.co.uk/wiltshire/content/articles/2008/01/30/jethro_tull_swindon_gig_feature.shtml Audio interview] at [http://www.bbc.co.uk/wiltshire/ BBC Wiltshire]
* [http://www.collegecrier.com/interviews/int-0009.asp College Crier's Ian Anderson Interview]
* [http://www.classicrockcentral.com/classic_rock_gimme5-Display.cfm?week=21 Audio Interview segments with Ian Anderson]
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