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Having previously made an album (Living In The Past) containing a few live tracks, a bona fide live Tull record was not really a priority in my mind during the immediate post-Thick As A Brick era. But, in 1978, with a decent bunch of interesting and varied albums under our collective belts, we decided to record a number of shows in Europe with a view to selecting performances from the best nights to mark the breadth of our output to date.
The classic Tull 70’s line-up of Anderson, Barre, Evans, Barlow and Glascock was recorded every night for the entire European tour on a meagre 8 track tape machine and the end results listened to, and selected from, on my return to the UK.
To this day, a huge pile of tapes lurks in my tape store at home reflecting the many hours of unused material (which, of course, only replicates the same set list as that on the record).
The seductive voice of, perhaps, an excitable French waiter introducing the concert from Bern in Switzerland, is actually that of the venerable Claude Nobs – promoter, entrepreneur and long-standing mastermind of the Montreux Jazz Festival. Claude had helped us back in 1972 with accommodation and hospitality when we lived briefly, on and off, in Montreux, for the writing and rehearsal of an album or three.
The proceeds from the Bern show went to build a section of the public library in Montreux as a thank you for the kindness of the local folks in making us feel at home during those several occasions in the 70’s.
We finally played the Montreux Jazz Festival in July 2003 and renewed our professional relationship with that beautiful lakeside town, rich in history and culture, and well worth a visit if you have never been there. A popular destination for the Victorian English, the Swiss “Riviera” changes little. A few modern apartments line the hillsides and the varied cuisine of local restaurants and convenient shopping options vie for your free leisure moments along with the funicular railway trip to nearby mountain peak Rocher de Naye. The Chateau de Chillon beckons from the lakeside and the palm-lined lake walk bustles with rollerblades, bicycles and happy pedestrians about their perambulations along the water’s edge.
I believe there are plans afoot to put a statue of truly yours by the lake to join those of Freddie Mercury, Miles Davis, B. B. King and, I think, Aretha Franklin, if memory serves.
If this all sounds like a travelogue, then so be it. Along with the music on the Bursting Out album, Montreux perfectly symbolises the eclectic European mix of our three-and-a-half decades of music and urges our return in due course.
So what better than to dedicate this re-mastered album to Claude Nobs, The Jazz Festival and the little town of Montreux in return for so many happy moments.
Ian Anderson, 2003.
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