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Ian Anderson denies rift with Led Zeppelin and Robert Plant

Ian Anderson
(Image credit: Jethro Tull Archive)

Ian Anderson has reflected on the supposed 'feud' between him and former Led Zeppelin singer Robert Plant. Jethro Tull toured with Led Zeppelin twice in the United States, and in a recent interview with Eamon O'Neill with the eonmusic website, Anderson poured scorn on the rumours that exist of a supposed rift.

"When people ask me about my 'feud' with Robert Plant, then they can expect a sharp retort, because there was never a feud between me and Robert Plant; it’s one of these absurd things that seems to come up," Anderson says.

"We rarely spoke, particularly to Robert, who was on a higher plane, as a vocalist, and as a person," he continues, reminiscing of the times Tull supported Led Zeppelin. "Jimmy Page was a little bit more friendly, but Bonham, you steered a mile away from, because he was a raving nutcase! He was always polite enough to me, but I probably just saw him on a rare good mood. 

"I think to some extent, the stories of Led Zeppelin being hell raisers who barged their way across America, there is an absolute element of truth about it, but probably wildly exaggerated.

"I remember meeting Robert Plant, and he said; “I hope we can put that behind us”, and I said; “what?”, and he said, “whatever it as we are supposed to be feuding about”, and I said; “exactly!” We never had a feud, because we didn’t really communicate. Led Zeppelin were Led Zeppelin; they were rock gods, and we were the humble support act."

Anderson also discussed the progress on his new solo album, which is slated for release later this year.

"It’s another of those albums that is loosely defined as being ‘progressive rock’; it’s a thematic, conceptual album that has, I think, quite carefully considered lyrical references. But giving the game away saying; “well, this is what it’s about”, it rather takes the fun out of it for people who are going to look behind the lyrics and see what is the common thread."

He continued: "This interview might have concluded with me saying; “yeah, I’ve just finished the last mixes of the new album!”, but the reality is that yet again, I had January and February set aside for working to complete the new album, and that has just disappeared. So, I can confidently predict that sometime in the next 10 years, this album will be released!" 

Ian Anderson will be touring throughout 2020.

Jerry Ewing

Writer and broadcaster Jerry Ewing is the Editor of Prog Magazine which he founded for Future Publishing in 2009. He grew up in Sydney and began his writing career in London for Metal Forces magazine in 1989. He has since written for Metal Hammer, Maxim, Vox, Stuff and Bizarre magazines, among others. He created and edited Classic Rock Magazine for Dennis Publishing in 1998 and is the author of a variety of books on both music and sport, including Wonderous Stories; A Journey Through The Landscape Of Progressive Rock, as well as sleevenotes for many major record labels. He lives in North London and happily indulges a passion for AC/DC Chelsea Football Club and Sydney Roosters.