Ian Anderson on reuniting Jethro Tull: "it's a tricky one"

Ian Anderson
(Image credit: Will Ireland)

Ian Anderson has poured water on the idea of a Jethro Tull reunion. 

In an interview in the new issue of Classic Rock, Anderson says, "It would be an awfully crowded stage. And in many cases those old band members no longer play and haven’t for many years. It’s a tricky one. 

"I’ve always felt awkward about the idea of getting the old band back together, because which edition of the band are we talking about? Picking some people and not others would be favouritism. And I don’t have favourites." 

Anderson, who will embark on the Ian Anderson On Jethro Tull 2020 Touran evening of intimate chat and musicin May, and undertake an 11-date band tour entitled Jethro Tull: The Prog Years later in the year, also says that the make-up the band is less important than the music being performed. 

"If the show is all Jethro Tull repertoire, I feel that’s Jethro Tull," he says. "If you looked at Wikipedia two or three years ago, it said ‘Jethro Tull was…’ Now, that past tense has disappeared, due to some grudging acknowledgment that Jethro Tull goes on." 

He adds: "I’ve always argued that Jethro Tull is not at an end any more than The Beatles are. The Beatles still sell millions of records and downloads. The glorious thing about the world of entertainment is that your work lives on after you."

Elsewhere in the interview, Anderson talks in depth about Jethro Tull's past, including their classic albums, and the night they beat Metallica to a Grammy

Classic Rock 272 is in UK newsagents now and available to buy online.

Ian Anderson On Jethro Tull 2020 Tour

Apr 04: Yeovil Westlands
Apr 21: Bristol St George's
Apr 22: Cheltenham Town Hall
May 03: Lincoln Drill Hall
May 04: Leeds City Varieties
May 05: Buxton Opera House
May 17: London Blackheath Halls
May 18: Southend On Sea Palace Theatre
May 19: May Guildford G Live

Ian Anderson and the Jethro Tull Band: The Prog Years Tour 2020

Sep 30: Aylesbury The Waterside
Oct 01: Leicester De Montfort Hall
Oct 03: Blackburn St George’s Hall
Oct 04: Perth Concert Hall 
Oct 05: Glasgow Pavilion Theatre
Oct 06: Stoke-On-Trent Victoria Hall
Oct 08: London Shepherd's Bush Empire
Oct 09: Brighton Dome
Oct 10: Poole Lighthouse
Oct 12: Reading Hexagon
Oct 13: Bath The Forum

Fraser Lewry

Online Editor at Louder/Classic Rock magazine since 2014. 38 years in music industry, online for 25. Also bylines for: Metal Hammer, Prog Magazine, The Word Magazine, The Guardian, The New Statesman, Saga, Music365. Former Head of Music at Xfm Radio, A&R at Fiction Records, early blogger, ex-roadie, published author. Once appeared in a Cure video dressed as a cowboy, and thinks any situation can be improved by the introduction of cats. Favourite Serbian trumpeter: Dejan Petrović.