Ian Reflects on the 2002 "Rubbing Elbows" Concerts
Jethro Tull's flautist and singer recently presented
intimate evenings of acoustic songs, music, and bawdy tales.
Each was co-hosted by local on-air personalities and featured local guests
and chosen audience members.
Having completed a trial run of eleven shows in Eastern USA during October 2002, I am ready to refine and polish up the concept for more major market dates in the USA this Fall 2003.
It was one of the most fun things I have done in music since I started thirty-five years ago. Someone described the show as having the hallmarks of traditional music hall entertainment. Ian Anderson as standup comic? Well, no - not exactly, although the humorous moments visit with regularity. The unpredictability of working with different co-hosts from local radio each night plus the visits to the comfy sofa from invited members of the audience make for an interesting and focus-ensuring mindset on the part of truly-yours.
Local musical guests are duly flattered to have their song learned (more or less) by me and the band and have a sympathetic audience remember their names the next day.
A local celebrity makes an appearance to talk briefly on any topic and we gently question each other on matters of intimate personal revelation.
Anecdotes and diatribes punctuate the musical performances of around twenty songs and instrumentals played in amplified acoustic style by my new pals from the local West of England music scene. Tull acoustic gems from albums like "Aqualung," "Stand Up", "Songs from the Wood," and "Thick as a Brick" provide the basis of the evening with a healthy helping of material from my solo records, "Divinities" and "The Secret Language Of Birds."
Toss in a couple of brand new things and some reworked Tull rockers and we have a musical mix to gratify the fan who has regularly seen Tull over the years but not necessarily heard these tunes - whether in this context or even at all.
I have been greatly pleased with the huge number of e-mails received from people who have seen the show and expressed their congratulations and enjoyment of the concert format. Thank you all for letting me know how it came across to you.
Thanks also to the folks who helped organize the details
- my agent Brad Goodman at William Morris, Len and Marty at Fuel
2000 Records, our hardworking Production Manager Kenny Wylie, local
promoters, the venues, radio stations, press, media, and those kind people
who loaned us their precious standup bass.
Quite a list, huh? And only 11 shows, too. Plus six audience members each night and you get an idea of the details we have to sort out before each performance. Makes Letterman look easy. Or, at least not so difficult. But he has better dress sense than me. And an ambitious tailor. But I do my own laundry.
Now, if I could persuade Sting, Bruce and Elton to do a Rubbing Elbows format to my model - well, hell - I might even co-present and arrange the whole damn thing for them. What a buzz.
But in the meantime, see you soon, rubbing elbows in a theatre near you.
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