After half a century and almost two dozen albums, Ian Anderson has called an end to Jethro Tull, announcing that from now on he will record and tour exclusively under his own name.
Anderson told Billboard: “Nothing is going on at all [with Jethro Tull], and that’s the point”.
The band had only previously been described as “on hiatus” but their 66-year-old founder says that “it kind of came more or less to an end during the last 10 years or so”, after a series of live records and a 2003 Christmas album.
“It’s a body of work I rather think is now kind of historical, since the weight of it lies back in the 70s and 80s in terms of volume,” Anderson said. “And I rather think it’s nice to kind of leave that as legacy.”
Writing in the liner notes for his new solo album, Homo Erraticus, Anderson explained that “in my twilight years … I think I prefer … to use my own name”. Ironically, the album is co-credited to songwriter Gerald Bostock, a pseudonymous character whom Anderson introduced on Jethro Tull’s 1972 LP Thick as a Brick. Anderson also maintains a blog, Twitter and Facebook account for Bostock.
Ans surprisingly, Anderson says he has long resented the Jethro Tull moniker: “If you’d asked me 20 years ago did I regret anything about my musical career, my answer then, as it is today, has always been the name of the band,” he said.
The group was apparently named by their booking agent and Anderson didn’t learn until later that Jethro Tull was also the name of a noted English agriculturist.
“I can’t help but feel more and more as I get older that I’m guilty of identity theft and I ought to go to prison for it, really. It’s almost as if I watched old Jethro Tull at the cash machine and leaned over his shoulder as he put his credit card into the machine to check out his PIN and filched his credit card from from his back pocket as he walked away and then fleeced his bank account.”
Though Anderson hasn’t played with the original members of Jethro Tull in many years, his current touring band consists of long-time members of the group. They are due to begin a UK tour at the end of this month and a second consecutive Ian Anderson solo album, ‘Homo Erraticus’, is out today, April 15th 2014.