Something historic and elusive this weekend. As a longtime fan of Jethro Tull, I have always been particularly fond of the early period – the pre-Aqualung period of 1967-1969, but good sounding concerts which represented the band during that period have always been hard to come across. Jethro Tull, for me, were one of those milestone bands who signified a change in direction for Rock music. Though they became closely identified with the Progressive Rock movement of the early 70s, the earlier period of the late 60s was still one of discovering and uncovering the possibilities. They were still very much a hybrid of Jazz, Blues and Rock. But as time went on and as their fame grew, they settled in to their sound and it became very much their own.
A few words from Beat Instrumental Magazine from January 1969:
A YEAR OF JETHRO TULL — AND NOW … ?
“It’s exactly a year now since Jethro Tull started in business, and a pretty good year it’s been for them; and, incidentally, for Chrysalis, the management agency that looks after them, Ten Years After, and many other highly groovable bands.
Look at what’s happened to Jethro. They started off playing at local clubs, and soon came to the notice of John C. Gee, manager of the Marquee, who promptly gave them a residency. The Tull were off, and in a very short space of time, we at Beat were getting letters from the fans hailing the group as the best ever.
They are an extremely hard-working band, and before long the message had spread right across the club circuit. Promotion had little to do with their snowballing success; they were one of the first of the new wave of groups who came up through the underground, rather than via a good PR man. They didn’t have any hit singles; people liked them as an honest, straightforward group who also happened to be amazingly good and original musicians. Ian Anderson was a true character who immediately endeared himself with his uninhibited approach to audiences — a favourite trick being to throw cigarettes at them. The whole band had nothing to do with the famous popstar big-time syndrome and even looked as if they were actually having fun on stage.
Then came the really big jump: the Kempton festival, which confirmed everyone’s opinion that the group were something special, followed quickly by the group’s album, This Was. Produced by the group and their manager, Terry Ellis, the good old public forked out their pennies and the LP came thumping into the charts. And now Jethro Tull are established as one of the most popular bands we have.”
This concert, via Sveriges Radio, is from an appearance in Stockholm in 1969. Stand Up hadn’t been released yet, and since Ian Anderson makes mention of the album to be released in March, the concert can only be from January or February of 1969. They play several numbers from it, making the concert all that much more interesting and historic.
So here it is – crank it up. The sound is wonderful and it should go very well with the rest of your weekend.
- JETHRO TULL – Benefit To Be Reissued As 2CD/DVD Set In October (bravewords.com)
- Jethro Tull (altrockchick.com)
- Jethro Tull | Benefit Collector’s Edition now available to pre-order (atamotek.wordpress.com)