JETHRO TULL: “My God…or How I developed a dislike for a great band…”

“This Was” JETHRO TULL: released (US)February 1969 Even with it’s unusual cover photo and liner notes so hard to visually decipher, I loved Jethro Tull’s first lp “This Was”. The music was incredible. Blues,folk, jazz, and rock all thrown together in a mix which made my 17 year old ears perk right up. The calendar had just turned to 1969(February) and this album was a fine addition to my ever expanding collection. I remember going to TSS which had a great record department to purchase “This Was” and “Fleetwood Mac” (Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac). From that afternoon, both pieces of vinyl found heavy rotation on the turntable in my upstairs bedroom.

So, here we are going into Spring of 69 and a new “favorite” guitarist joins my ever expanding list, MICK ABRAHAMS. Excitement filled the air in my tiny room every time that LP was played. CLIVE BUNKER on the kit, GLENN CORNICK on the bass, the flute and vocals of Ian (and Mick vocals) that album was a joy to listen to. Alas, my neighbor saw JETHRO TULL at STONY BROOK UNIVERSITY and again at FILLMORE EAST with JEFF BECK (July 69) and broke the news to me that MICK ABRAHAMS was out and a new guitarist was in, MARTIN BARRE. Geez, I was disappointed but my neighbor (3 years older than I) whom I considered to have had impeccable taste in the music told me the new guy was good.

“Stand Up” JETHRO TULL: released September 1969STAND UP is released in September 69, the second JETHRO TULL album, the first with MARTIN BARRE. It’s a bit different and I found listening to it quite enjoyable, but it wasn’t “This Was”.

NOVEMBER 1969: At one of the notorious weekend parties at a friend’s house, with TIME WAS being played in the background someone suggests we, the group, get tickets to see JETHRO TULL. I threw in my 11 bucks for two seats.

December, 1970 FILLMORE EAST:FAT MATTRESS up first, a band which was basically Noel Redding the ex-bassist for Hendrix’s Experience now playing lead guitar and fronting the group.They were terrible. (The band disbanded a few weeks later, with Noel walking out during the American tour) .GRAND FUNK RAILROAD was loud, very loud, fast and did I mention loud. There was a hair flowing lead guitarist running about on the stage. Geez, these schmoes got an encore and then another encore…WHAT? The Fillmore East crowd begging for multiple encores? Grand What? It was unusual even with my limited concert experience to see a support band called back more than once. Then, JETHRO TULL hits the stage with NOTHING IS EASY, a great opening tune. “Bouree”, “A New Day Yesterday, “My Sunday Feeling”, “Fat Man”, “Dharma For One” , “For A Thousand Mothers” along with a tune or two to which I was unfamiliar. Overall, a nice set by a band I was willing to see again.

April 70  Jethro Tull’s third album “Benefit” is released and I add it to my collection but overall was not too impressed with it.

May 1970: On a train with a large group of 12 friends we are off to the FILLMORE EAST late show featuring JETHRO TULL, supported by JOHN SEBASTIAN and CLOUDS, a strange mix of artists for his May 22 bill. CLOUDS a power trio from Scotland who shared management with Jethro Tull landed the opening slot and proceeded to assault our ears with their loud music, if that’s what it could be called. They were followed by JOHN SEBASTIAN, complete in his stoned out Woodstock tie dye outfit playing acoustic guitar, and harmonica. From a power trio to a stoned acoustic singer, we were mesmerized. Now, throw in JETHRO TULL as the closer. JETHRO TULL was now a five piece outfit, adding John Evans on piano, and the band was playing tunes from the recently released BENEFIT album along with the traditional STAND UP songs and a new one with a long diatribe introduction by IAN ANDERSON, “My God”. I pined for the THIS WAS era tunes and the only one they played this night was DHARMA FOR ONE(15 plus minutes) which is the drum solo.”Nothing Is Easy”,”My God”,”To Cry You A Song”, “With You There To Help Me”, “Sossity…”,”Reason For Waiting”, “Dharma For One”, “We Used To Know”, and “For A Thousand Mothers”.

JULY 17, 1970: RANDALL’S ISLAND FESTIVAL: Tull played the identical set as of the FILLMORE EAST show a few weeks ago.

August 3, 1970: WOLLMAN SKATING RINK in Central Park, JETHRO TULL is supported by HAYSTACKS BALBOA  a band playing their very first major venue gig, and it showed.  JETHRO TULL open up with “To Cry You A Song” followed by the almost identical introduction to “My God” as Anderson did in May. Ian Anderson tried to entertain the crowd with dialogs between some songs but I found this nonsense to show him as a weird dude and getting weirder by the moment. That night I lost all momentum to follow this band any further. ”With You There To Help Me”, “A Song For Jeffrey”,”Sossity, You’re A Woman” (loved it), the obligatory “Dharma For One” (about 15 minutes) and the traditional closer, “For A Thousand Mothers”.

April 29, 1971; JETHRO TULL @ New Paltz It was Spring Break and TULL was one of the major acts performing in the gym. The sound was muffled, the nonsense between tunes unbearable, and it was hotter than hell in the hall.

May 5,1971: JETHRO TULL at FILLMORE EAST, from a cancelled show last month.Yuck.

May 71 AQUALUNG released and Tull goes to MSG, I did purchase the lp, gave it a few spins and traded it away. Didn’t even consider buying a ticket for The Garden show.

May 72 THICK AS A BRICK: Nope/done

2020: Ian Anderson is still going and I only have the first two Tull records in my collection but did add an incredible THIS WAS (live) recorded by MICK ABRAHAMS THIS WAS BAND. Also, filed away are the two BLODWIN PIG records.