Ian Reflects on the Choice of Songs, Current Recordings for the DVD
The various historical live recordings of Jethro Tull have been, as a rule, made for TV - as promotional freebies in return for advertising or to gain spin-off audio record sales.
To tell the truth, I never much liked the intrusion of TV cameras and their operators in my line of vision and, along with the rest of the band, resented the extra stress and hassle of performing to camera. But I guess it made the TV folks happy!
While it would have been interesting to include some of that footage here, we took the decision to leave all that old gritty, grainy stuff for another DVD release at a time in the future.
Instead, we opted for the better quality of the digital age and specially recorded a new concert at London's Hammersmith Apollo Theatre on the 25th November, 2001.
We also included lots of documentary backstage snippets, interviews and insights to the weird and wonderful world of the itinerant musos and their hard-working crew. Also included is a photo gallery of current band members.
And to bring back the original 1968 Tull line-up was an opportunity too good to miss. Mick, Glenn and Clive kindly agreed to get back together at a little venue in the midlands of England - much like the clubs where Tull began - and we invited a small group of intrepid fans to join us for the day, and to witness the disgraceful spectacle of four old guys trying to remember the chords and to tie their shoelaces.
Two of the best-known Tull acoustic numbers are featured in an intimate recording session: Wond'ring Aloud and Life Is A Long Song, both of which are bolstered by the presence of a string quartet.
The choice of songs to play in concert was not, and never will be, easy: the ever-changing rotation of older material means that, on any one tour, we stick to mostly the same songs with just a few changes here and there to keep ourselves on our toes. This tour was not the one for, by way of example, "My God", "Serenade To A Cuckoo", "Hunting Girl", "Songs From The Wood", "Heavy Horses" and a few others often to be found in our concert set. But to fit in all sixty, or so, songs frequently featured, would be impossible - not to mention the other hundred potential pieces which occasionally find their way into the live shows.
And to all those lovely enthusiastic people who say, "But why not give us a double, or even triple, DVD?" - well, I just don't have the time or inclination for such a huge project. And, I suspect you would not want to have to pay for it! No, better to do these things once in a while, when it's fun and fulfilling. Anyway you have a couple of hours' worth here for now.
To record the London concert and the other sessions, we used a Mackie Digital Hard Drive Recorder. For the techies amongst you, the recording was made at 24 bits with a sample rate of 44.1 Khz and a SMPTE frame rate of 25. The in-line extrammetors were pegged at 4000 nimrods and the video camera doppel-jaegers were ganged up to Dobbly Frequent Pulse Moderators . I wore Marks and Spencer stretchy u/pants (for the younger torso) and Martin sports an elbow brace by his long-standing French Couture surgical supplier, Trussem.
Now to the serious equipment credits:
Ian Anderson's Sankyo and Powell flutes were supplied by All Flutes Plus, London. The bamboo flutes were made by Patrick Olwell of VA, USA. Ian's cute little acoustic guitar was built by luthier Andrew Manson of Devon, England. It is strung with D'Addario strings. Vocal and other microphones, in-ear monitors and radio gear were by - you guessed it - Shure Bros. (the Harley Davidson of Microphony!).
Martin Barre plays expensive guitars by Fender through even more expensive Soldano Amplification and very reasonably priced, very old, Marshall Speakers. He uses GHS strings, possibly because it's easier to say than D'Addario.
Doane Perry plays Premier Drums, Paiste cymbals, with Promark sticks, beating the shit out of Remo drum heads, wreaking havoc with his DW pedals, pounding the daylights out of Latin Percussion and RythmTech accessories and packs them all away in HardCase drum cases.
Andrew Giddings gently massages Roland Keyboards, Hammond Organ Module, and a Hohner (squeezy thing) Accordion, delivered to the outside world through a Mackie mixer.
Jonathan Noyce plays Fender basses through SWR amps. His strings are D'Addario, but not because GHS wouldn't give him any.
The audio tracks were recorded and mixed with the Mackie HDR digital 24 track and the Mackie digital mixer, the D8B.
I could also mention that I swear by AGA oil-fired cookers, second-hand Rolex watches and Rimowa luggage, but you probably wouldn't be interested. See - I thought not. And no - Marks & Spencer don't supply me with free underpants either.
Enjoy this audio-visual treat as you watch me (and one or two others) huff, puff, sweat and strain our way through this typical Tull concert and give thanks that you are not sharing the hotel laundry facilities on our day off.
See you somewhere down the line, in the flesh and in the pink. Or, in the case of Martin if you bump in to him while out running - flush and in the park.