Sunday Big Note – Listening Session #8

For as long as I have been a Zappa/Mother‘s freak – going four decades strong and showing no evidence of slowing down – almost every fan of Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention I’ve encountered has also been a fan of Ian Anderson and Jethro Tull. Odd, since in the 1970s Frank Zappa, himself, stated in the press that he didn’t care for the music of Jethro Tull. In a Montreal Mirror interview, Ian Anderson was asked about this:

It upset me more in the early ’70s when Frank Zappa said he didn’t like us. I was quite a fan of Zappa’s music, I admired and revered him as a contemporary, and yeah, having him turn around and suddenly slap us down obviously hurt a little bit.

It made it that much more difficult a few years ago when I got a message from his son saying that Frank, who was terminally ill at the time, would really like me to call him and left me his home phone number. I sat and looked at this number, I even dialed it a few times and hung up, because I just didn’t know what you would say to a dying man, especially one who was on record as not liking my work. But I wanted to speak to him, I just found it really difficult. Then I heard on the news one day that he’d died. I felt a profound sense of loss and deep regret that I had never made that call. I would have liked to have spoken to him, just for a minute.

This dichotomy between Zappa and his fans had always left me scratching my head a bit, especially since early Zappa (as well as early members of the original Mothers) like that of early Jethro Tull were heavy influenced by the blues. You can still hear that influence in the early Jethro Tull I’m showcasing with today’s listening session beginning with the January 9th, 1969 show at Konserthuset in Stockholm, Sweden:

My Sunday Feeling (late show)

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Martin’s Tune (late show)

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To Be Sad Is A Mad Way To Be (early show)

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Back To The Family (early show)

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Dharma For One (late show)

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Nothing Is Easy (late show)

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Bonus tracks:

My God (The Aragon Ballroom, Chicago, IL, 16 August 1970)

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To Cry You A Song (The Aragon Ballroom, Chicago, IL, 16 August 1970)

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With You There To Help Me (The Aragon Ballroom, Chicago, IL, 16 August 1970)

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So Much Trouble (BBC Top Gear Sessions, September 22nd, 1968)

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Beggar’s Farm (BBC Top Gear Sessions, November 5th, 1968)

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Living In The Past (BBC Top Gear Sessions, June 22nd, 1969)

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Line-up:

Ian Anderson – lead vocals, flute, harmonica, acoustic guitar, keyboards, mandolin
Martin Barre – guitar, flute, backing vocals
Glenn Cornick – bass, backing vocals
Clive Bunker – drums, percussion, backing vocals

17 Responses to “Sunday Big Note – Listening Session #8”

  1. C-H says:

    My theory is that although FZ might have had some sneaking respect for Ian Anderson, John McLaughlin etc., even Lou Reed, he also saw them as competition so his ego demanded that he trash-talk them if anyone asked his opinion. So perhaps Mr. Anderson shouldn’t have taken it so personally.

  2. Danny says:

    Count me as one of the few(?) Zappa fans who was not enamored with Ian Anderson or his band. So there.

  3. Martin says:

    Why would a dying Frank ask Dweezil to ask Ian Anderson to give him a call? Perhaps Dweezil misunderstood and Frank asked him to ask Jon Anderson of Yes to give him a call.

  4. Afka says:

    Hm. In 1969 British zine ZigZag interview Zappa said about British groups:
    I like Jethro Tull and the organist in the Nice very much. I think he plays very well. I also like the Rolling Stones.
    http://www.afka.net/Articles/1969-07_ZigZag.htm

  5. jonnybutter2 says: