R & R Hall Of Shame (Spotlight) – Jethro Tull

Author: Dale Nickey

The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame carries a stink. Rolling Stone publisher Jann Wenner is also co-founder of the R&R Hall. And it is common knowledge that his personal musical taste dictates the nomination list. The list fails to include some of the more accomplished British Bands or any artist he ‘don’t cotton to’.  He seems to have a particular distaste for British artists in the progressive wing of rock music. Among the more glaring ommissions is…..


60 million albums sold

The band that turned the long-haired, bearded, ugly guy into a Rock And Roll sex symbol. But they did more than that. They broke out of the British Blues pack in the late sixties and went mega; leading the way for Fleetwood MacSavoy Brown and others. Tull visionary Ian Anderson singlehandedly turned the flute into a Rock And Roll phallic symbol.  Additionally,  his technique and unorthodox approach made him the ‘Hendrix‘ of that instrument. They had hits along the way. “Bungle In The Jungle”, “Aqualung”, “Living In The Past” etc….They were a devastating live act who stood shoulder to shoulder with Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd during the early to mid-seventies.  To this day any group who uses flutes and mandolins suffer comparisons to Jethro Tull (just ask me).  But listen close,  their music possesses nuance and sophistication well beyond the abilities of mere mortal Rock bands.

For a brief nano-second Jethro Tull competed with Zep and Floyd for the heavyweight title, “Biggest Band On Earth”.  Their album “War Child” took them to the mountaintop and they became football stadium headliners.  However, the eccentricities and Englishness of their approach eventually caused them to fall out of favor with the  increasingly powerful mass-media machine.  This video empirically demonstrates their collective power as a band and Ian Anderson’s world class skills as a front-man.

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