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Ian Anderson's Diary - April 2002
Well, the good news is that the first little Habanero seedling popped his head up through the fertile compost mix and breathed in the gentle fragrant airs of Spring. I trust he will urge his other little pals, from Habanero and Cayenne families alike, to follow suit. It has been a trying two months, when all kinds of administrative irritations had to be dealt with.
New record and DVD contracts were negotiated and put through the legal process. Hotels, flights, promotion schedules and the plethora of other tour-related desk jobs required countless hours of my time when I would have rather been working on more creative tasks.
Not that I don’t enjoy – in some twisted and weird way – the hum and drum routine of office work: the pleasure of working at home, alongside family and animals, is undeniable. But enough, already! There is much still to do on the tour planning and production work with the new dates added in August – see elsewhere on this site for the concert information – and further activities and recording planned in the Fall, Winter and through to Spring of next year.
Apart from the US dates in April, May and June, there are some concerts which I (not the full Tull band) will be playing with symphony orchestras during this year, and late next year – provided that I haven’t had enough of the scary moments which accompany such events.
On the 13th of July, I will be playing with the Bochum Symphoniker in – you guessed it – Bochum, Germany. Bochum is in the vicinity of Dusseldorf, Dortmund and Essen and the venue is a pleasant little outdoor amphitheatre holding about 2000 people. For information on how to purchase tickets, check the concert dates page during this month.
In September/October there are scheduled three Italian orchestral shows which should also feature my good chum Andrea Griminelli the classical flautist with the sexy Italian film star looks. According to the girls that is.
These orchestral dates are being assembled now, with a full programme of Tull tunes and a few snippets from my solo work.
Orchestrators are beavering away on the crotchety, quavery stuff while I assume the more languid creative pose of the Artiste and keep my fingers crossed that they actually understand what I am getting at with the general arrangements.
Playing with me on these few dates are Andrew Giddings on keyboards and bass, Kit Morgan on guitar and bass and James Duncan, drums and percussion. But more news of these shows later: the task at hand must be to share with you all the wonderful new live CD and DVD – both titled "Living With The Past." Released between 30th April and 14th May, these new discs are shiny, round and come in attractive packaging fit for all the family.
No pictures of spooky Egyptian gods with dangly wobblers here: just the Hollywood-fun-filled pictorial reference to the one-legged flute player who we all know and love. More info on the new record and DVD elsewhere on this site.
Some new Tull arrangements are being worked on for the up-coming tour and a few songs different to those present on the DVD. A couple of last minute quicky rehearsals should do the trick but Doane Perry will have to catch up in a hurry since, being a resident of California, he will not be at rehearsal in body – but there nonetheless in the gigantic spirit which is the over-riding definition of the man. Armed with the reference CDs which I sent to him last week, he will, doubtless, be learning the new bits in the wrong tempos, time signatures and with choruses appearing in the veritable midst of guitar solos accompanied by more bongo-mania.
But not to worry – there is still the soundcheck before the first show to get it all straight.
On the health front, many of you will be relieved to hear that Martin Barre, whose operation on the dodgy elbow was of such great concern a few months ago, has recovered from post-surgical depression and is now playing happily at tennis, wind-surfing, bungee-jumping and arm-wrestling and so should just manage to slip in the odd concert with his electrical guitar. He was a bit miserable for a while so cheered himself up with the customary purchase of a new motor vehicle of simple taste. It is, so he told me, a MBW family run-about with a 1.1 litre diesel engine and 0-60 time of about 30 secs. with the wind behind him. It is powder blue with artificial wood trim and a side-opening sun roof. At least, I think that’s what he said. Sounds like a poor trade-in for the Porsche Boxster which preceded it. Maybe he could be pulling my leg.
Doane Perry faced an untimely incapacitation with potential surgery at both ends of his ample torso, but seems to have escaped with a warning. Shame, really, as I was rather looking forward to feeding him King Prawn Dhansak by tube (and not necessarily by mouth).
Some interesting parts to be travelled in the up-coming US tours. Savannah GA, Melbourne and Fort Myers FL, Jacksonville OR, Wichita KS, Tulsa and Oklahoma City OK, South Bend IN, Sheboygan WI, Chautauqua NY, Verona NY, and Trenton NJ are all firsts (as far as I remember) for Tull. Doubtless, some of you will put me right, telling me that Tull played in such and such a town in the Spring of 1970 – but I fear you may have been hallucinating. All too easily done, back in those days.
Another of our ex-colonies is on the agenda once more: Canada no less. Watch out, Canadians – that would-be president Tony Blair has world ambitions and may just claim it back……..
I have been realising my passion for reminding people of the potential perils of Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) by working with the folks at Spotlight Health – an organisation dedicated to bringing public health issues to wider attention via the help of so-called celebrities. See the home page on this website for their official logo and my DVT message.
Tea-towel Ringo (Yasser Arafat) is not the man of the month. We were encouraged to believe (and so was Billy-Willie Clinton) that he was a reformed character in recent years but seems he was still a terrorist at heart.
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