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A Message from Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull – Thick As A Brick 2 (Blog)

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    Posted 2/7/2012

    Thick As A Brick 2Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull has produced a follow up from his 1972 hit album “Thick As A Brick”.   To commemorate the 40th anniversary of ‘Thick As A Brick,’ on April 2nd (April 3rd in North America) Ian Anderson will release a sequel to the original album, “Thick As A Brick 2″.

    To coincide with this groundbreaking release, for the first time since 1972, Anderson and fellow musicians John O’Hara (keyboards), David Goodier (bass), Florian Opahle (guitar) and Scott Hammond (drums) – as well as some guest performers – will take to the road to perform the album in its entirety and, it can now exclusively be revealed that, in addition, there will be a second part to the show where Anderson and the band will also perform the sequel.

    Below is a Message From Ian Anderson himself…

    Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull

    Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull

    Thick As A Brick 2
    Whatever Happened To Gerald Bostock?
    by Ian Anderson

    In 1972, I wrote and recorded the Jethro Tull Progressive Rock classic album Thick As A Brick. The lyrics were credited at the time to the fictitious child character, Gerald Bostock, whose parents supposedly lied about his age.  The record instantly became a number one Billboard Chart album and enjoyed considerable success in many countries of the world.

    We then, somewhat dutifully, took the quaintly theatrical show on the road in the UK, USA and a few other countries. Since 1972, the album has never been performed in its entirety although a few minutes of the material have been a regular repertoire staple in both Tull and Ian Anderson solo shows over the years.

    Gerald Bostick - Age 8Now, scheduled for performance again in 2012, I will take the original album and this follow-up recording, TAAB2, to a theatre near you.

    So, forty years on, what would Gerald Bostock – aged fifty in 2012 – be doing today? What might have befallen him?

    The theme of this anniversary “part two” album is to examine the possible different paths that the precocious young schoolboy, Gerald Bostock, might have taken later in life and to create alter-ego characters whose song-section identities illustrate the hugely varied potential twists and turns of fate and opportunity. Not just for Gerald but to echo how our own lives develop, change direction and ultimately conclude through chance encounters and interventions, however tiny and insignificant they might seem at the time.

    Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull In Concert

    Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull In Concert

    In the development of the piece, the divergences of life’s infinitely forked roads finally give way to an almost gravitational pull which results in convergence to, perhaps, a pre-ordained, karma-like conclusion.

    As we baby-boomers look back on our own lives, we must often feel an occasional “what-if” moment. Might we, like Gerald, have become instead preacher, soldier, down-and-out, shopkeeper or finance tycoon? 

    And those of more tender years – the social media and internet generation – may choose to ponder well the myriad of chance possibilities ahead of them at every turn…..

    Ian Anderson In Concert

    Ian Anderson In Concert

    Odd chap, life…..

    If someone had suggested that I might release a Prog concept album in the year 2012, I would have thought him seriously, dangerously even, off his trolley. But that is precisely what happened. A few years ago, Mike Andrews and Royston Eldridge, two ex-Chrysalis Records gents pressed me to consider a follow-up to Thick As A Brick. I gave it some dutiful deliberation – for a couple of minutes  – and politely declined. Nice idea, nice chaps but, after reflection, no-oooooo.

    Then, in 2010, a re-aquaintance with seventies Prog Rock vocalist-turned-record exec Derek Shulman – yes, he of Gentle Giant fame – restarted the old refrain. Yes, but…. no, but, and finally – OK, I’ll give it some more dutiful deliberation (four and a half minutes, this time) eventually produced, in February of 2011, the synopsis of the idea. Derek’s enthusiasm and gauntlet-challenge plus two weeks of dedicated, fast and furious music and lyric writing combined to produce a flurry of material. And – blow me down with a Dodo’s tail-feather – the whole thing was completed ready for scoring and arranging by the beginning of March. There were a couple of pieces prepared earlier which were bent into new shape and fitted into the scheme of things, so they too were popped into the bubbling saucepan.

    It was a little daunting to consider the impact – or perhaps lack of – which this release might have on old and new fans alike but I eventually decided that I would embark on this for my own benefit and enjoyment rather than trying to please anyone else at all. To find the balance of interesting musicality and more accessible content too was not the main issue. The conceptual and heavily lyrical nature of the beast, however, might be out of place in the attention span-deficit world which we seem to occupy these days. But, having toured in 2010 and 2011 in Italy, Latin America, Australia and other countries where passions run high, I decided that maybe the world – or our little corners of it – was, in fact, ready for a bit of more substantial and weightier fare.

    The era of professional media Prog-bashing seems to have given way to a more appreciative appraisal of the genre and newer bands such as Dream Theater, Porcupine Tree and Spock’s Beard have possibly prompted a new and younger audience to re-examine the seventies originators’ seminal albums too.

    Ian Anderson Plays Guitar in Concert

    Ian Anderson Plays Guitar in Concert

    So, it’s not such a cold and lonely place after all. The elements of Folk, Classical and Jazz Music are still to be found in today’s more Rock-oriented Progressive Rock. You will certainly find them subtly present in TAAB2 but along with a rather more acoustic feel than many of our peers, past and present. Not the only flute in town but……

    Actually, I played much more acoustic guitar than usual on this record having written most of the music on that instrument. But there are still sections conceived on the flute and sometimes – quite often, in fact – the lyric writing preceded all the melodies and harmonic structures. Starting with lyrics and then thinking of the music is not normally the way I work but it was here. A title, a few words or a verse or two and then the acoustic guitar was immediately to hand to conjure up a full song section out of the growing lyrics. Having a plan was important. Stories to tell made it all easier. The imagination-filled process of thinking how things might have turned out for the young and older Gerald kept me fascinated. Maybe you will be too. And maybe not.

    Ah, well – you can always go and watch The X Factor and the Eurovision Song Contest.

    Ian Anderson 
    January 2012

    —-
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      18 comments

      18 Replies

      1. bluesfantom Feb 7th 2012

        Great news indeed. Hooray!

        [Reply]

        admin Reply:

        @bluesfantom,

        We Agree!

        Mike Arnold – Concert Blast

        [Reply]

      2. JoeGTO Feb 7th 2012

        “What ever happened to”…Martin Barre? Please tell me he’s still in Tull! No? well, I’d still love to see Ian & JT come to NY this year and I’ll be buying the record…How about a Tull Reunion Tour in…2013? (like Yes had in 1991) and have all the major dudes who played in the band? That would be awesome! (Clive Bunker, Barriemore Barlow, Jeffrey Hammond Hammond, John Evans, etc) Thanks Ian, hope to see you this year…

        [Reply]

        admin Reply:

        @JoeGTO,

        Martin Barre still performs with Ian as he tours as Jethro Tull. This tour will be an Ian Anderson tour. It seems Ian switches back and forth each year on how he decides to tour. Whatever the case, it is always a great performance. I like the Reunion idea!

        Mike Arnold – Concert Blast

        [Reply]

      3. MaxIkar Feb 7th 2012

        Ian, I am waiting for concert in Belarus. But I think it’s not real. So please, make some concerts in Russia!
        Listen to the whole TAAB album was my dream, and even more, I was always waiting and dreaming about TAAB pt.2!

        [Reply]

      4. Riffboy56 Feb 8th 2012

        As much as I love Ian Anderson and his works, whatever happened to Jethro Tull?!
        I mean, when will they make another record… I’ve been waiting for sooooooooooooo long! :-)

        [Reply]

        admin Reply:

        @Riffboy56,

        It seems Ian switches back and forth each year on how he decides to tour. Whatever the case, it is always a great performance.

        Mike Arnold – Concert Blast

        [Reply]

      5. RobertM Feb 8th 2012

        Very exciting to know that you’re updating one of my favorite albums of all time! Please set a tour date in or near Cleveland, Ohio (it is the home of rock and roll, after all) so I can see you perform again!

        [Reply]

        admin Reply:

        @RobertM,

        We are all looking forward to a US tour… hopefully Ian will get this message!

        Mike Arnold – Concert Blast

        [Reply]

      6. I have seen Tull / Ian Anderson over 30 times in concert. He and his music have been the soundtrack to my life. Can’t wait to hear the sequel and I am really excited to hear that he plays a lot of acoustic guitar on it. I think his guitar playing is one of the most under rated talents in music. It’s one of the reasons I love the Minstrel album so much. Looking forward to hearing both pieces in concert soon!

        [Reply]

        admin Reply:

        @kentam99,

        I also agree about Ian’s guitar skills. We are also looking forward to his sequel and performances.

        Thanks,
        Mike Arnold – Concert Blast

        [Reply]

      7. Bob Taylor Feb 8th 2012

        Looking forward to the first date of the taab tour 14th Apr in Perth Bonnie Scotland.
        Have seen Tull on numerous occasions esp when I lived in London and have yet to be disappointed,pity MB won,t be playing but also looking forward to hearing new guitarist and hearing Ian play more acoustic than he would normally on other tours.
        Will return on the 15th with a hopefully unbiased concert review…ps have got seats 4 rows back so all wrinkles etc will be prevalent.

        [Reply]

        admin Reply:

        @Bob Taylor,

        Being in the US, we are very jealous of the Euopean tours!

        Have fun at the show!

        Mike Arnold – Concert Blast

        [Reply]

      8. rhudson2 Feb 8th 2012

        Fantastic news. All of us here in Richmond, VA are hoping that they’ll be a show nearby! Thanks!

        [Reply]

        admin Reply:

        @rhudson2,

        We are also hoping for a show in Nashville, TN!

        Mike Arnold – Concert Blast

        [Reply]

      9. Glassbones Feb 9th 2012

        Perhaps Gerald was wildly famous as he had dreamed himself to be, at one time having all the people and drugs at his feet and fingertips. Perhaps the corollaries of indulgence and celebrity drove him to the country side where he learned to like the little things in life and appreciate the idea of family and friends.
        Perhaps he was just an ordinary man with an extraordinary life story.

        [Reply]

        JoeGTO Reply:

        @Glassbones, well put

        [Reply]

      10. Glassbones Feb 9th 2012

        ….And perhaps “Gerald’s” musical poetry will live on long after Gerald is gone.

        [Reply]


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