Quotes by Ian Anderson

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I'm very motivated by the occasional creative payoff that comes when something goes really well, be it a song, a recording or performance. The payoff is enormous - when you get it. Most of the time, though, I'm filled with self-loathing and general frustration at the limitations I have as a musician. more...

There seems to be an inclination among rock musicians to be very carefree with money, but I negotiate the best flight and hotel deals on our tours to maximise the band's income - I don't want too see too much taken off the top line. more...

When I was in my teenage years, I went to sign up as a cadet entrant to the police force but was at the very last moment rejected, just as I was about to sign my name on the dotted line. I won't get into why that happened, but it was a moment where it could've been predetermined then that I was off to become a policeman. more...

If Jesus Christ came back today, He and I would get into our brown corduroys and go to the nearest jean store and overturn the racks of blue denim. more...

It's only the giving that makes you what you are. more...

A lot of pop music is about stealing pocket money from children. more...

I think we always view people who make us feel uncomfortable and appear to intrude on our middle-class cozy space, we view them with, if not hostility, at least suspicion, discomfort, embarrassment. more...

As a musician, life is not over just because you are getting older, and so I find retirement a very frightening and dark thought. more...

I was not a great guitarist, so I sold my 1960 Fender Stratocaster in exchange for a Shure Microphone, made in Chicago, and a flute. more...

The flute was an alternative to being a small fish in an increasingly bigger pool filled with a number of great guitar players. more...

When I was a teenager, I really didn't like loud rock music. I listened to jazz and blues and folk music. I've always preferred acoustic music. And it was only, I suppose, by the time Jethro Tull was getting underway that we did let the music begin to have a harder edge, in particular with the electric guitar being alongside the flute. more...

All the time I was playing the flute, the lines, the solos, the riffs, the construction, were based on my guitar skills. I did not play the flute to exploit its natural faculties, but I used it as a surrogate guitar. more...

I suppose when I started playing guitar, it was the means to an end. I never thought of myself as a fully fledged guitar instrumentalist. And my early excursions on the electric guitar were curtailed when Eric Clapton came on the scene, and I decided I was never going to be in the same arena as a Clapton or a Peter Green. more...

I think the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, first of all, has got to be put into the context of being an American cultural showcase. It's there to be a museum showcase of all that's great about American music. more...

If you're gonna use simile, analogy, metaphor, be descriptive and have some flowery adjectives and a few odd nouns and some engaging bits of dialogue or sentiment, then you're sort of writing a novel, really. But rock lyrics are not really known for their sophistication. more...

There's always going to be a little bit of autobiographical content to everything. It's how you lend some authority to what you write - you give it that weight by drawing on your direct experiences and indirect experiences from people that you know well, or a little. more...

'Aqualung' marks the point at which I had the confidence as a songwriter and as a guitar player to actually pick up and play the guitar and be at the forefront of the band. It's also the album on which I began to address religious issues in my music, and I think that happened simply because the time was right for it. more...

Prog didn't really go away. Just took a catnap in the late Seventies. A new generation of fans discovered it, and a whole new array of bands and solo artists took it on into the new millennium. more...

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame traditionally has had a management style that is very supportive of American talent, first and foremost, over everything else. And I think that's right and proper. more...

Touring is what you make it. I like to organise as much as possible myself. more...

I think I've owned all the models of iPods so far. And these days between my iPod, iPhone and my personal laptop computer, I'm someone who is very, very grateful for all the ways to listen to music and completely switch off from people around me and listen to the music in detail, which is very hard to do if you're in a room with other people. more...

I can never make up my mind if I'm happy being a flute player, or if I wish I were Eric Clapton. more...

Classical music only really came into my life in 1969. I wish I had heard classical music and church music when I was a teenager or even as a child. more...

I'm not one for Sudoku or crosswords - the thing that fires my little brain is doing tour budgets. more...

I'm really terrible with small children; they're small, noisy, irritating, damp and soggy. more...

In most cases, my favorite Jethro Tull songs will be determined by how I feel about them as live performance songs, not by the recorded identity. more...

I don't think people really do listen. We plug into music, and we have short attention spans. We tend to download individual tracks from iTunes rather than a whole album. We buy music DVDs and watch them once, and then they disappear into a drawer, or we loan them to a friend, and we never watch it again. more...

We do hear perhaps too many accolades generally aimed at people like Steve Jobs. We have to remember that there are other classic things in life that we undervalue and take them for granted. If you think of the classic lines of the modern jet aircraft, it's really been there since early World War II. more...

I was always more interested in the ultimate live performance rather than the recording for its own sake. And, for the audience too, that thrill of - just being there. more...

I'm all in favor of banks that play their part in community endeavors, private individuals looking for loans, people who want to start up a little business, and that's what banks are for. more...

In writing lyrics - well, for me, anyway - it's about getting into character, you know? 'Who is writing this?' In the case of the original 'Thick As A Brick,' supposedly a precocious, very young child who's fantasizing about his future and the context of all the confusing elements to which school boys are subjected at that time. more...

Just once I would like to persuade the audience not to wear any article of blue denim. If only they could see themselves in a pair of brown corduroys like mine instead of this awful, boring blue denim. more...

Most of what I've written songs about are things that come out of the confusing emotional, spiritual and psychological period of time when you're going through puberty. more...

Most people, from their second album on, find it much harder to be as spontaneously creative as they were with their first couple of records, and some people only have one thing that they do. more...

When I was a young boy, I preferred cats to dogs. From the age of seven or eight onwards I just felt more comfortable with cats. And I felt more comfortable with girls, I didn't really like hanging out with guys. When I was about ten or eleven, I was friendlier with the girls in my school than with the guys. more...

Writing lyrics is part spontaneous, intuitive and part really thought through and carefully analyzed as you write it. It's a mixture of two approaches, and I imagine writing anything is like that, really. Some of it just flows, and you just go with it. more...

I make up my own mind in light of available facts, with my own experience and a sense of personal ethics. more...

Seek that which within lies waiting to begin the fight of your life that is everyday. more...

I think it's really the job of the composer, the artist, the painter, the writer to present people with options. I'm just really reflecting the thoughts and actions around me. more...

Our politicians may fail us, but Status Quo always delivers on the promise. more...

I'm very much an observer and a conduit of thoughts and ideas. more...

I've always been fond of acoustic music. more...

It was instilled in me that the money I was given was not to be lost or spent on any other purpose. more...

Not to be mean about it, but some great rock and rollers, like Bo Diddley and Chuck Berry, are pretty one-dimensional. more...

I feel the audience has a right to know if some of the money they're spending is going to a certain cause, and reassuring them the money is going to where it's supposed to be going. more...

It's nice to be recognized, but it's not great to have it too conspicuously recognized, if you see what I mean. Gold records on the wall, or titles after your name, it's just not something... I don't feel that great about it. more...

As a songwriter, you tend to develop your own style, your own technique, based around what it is you're trying to write and perform, in terms of your own music. So a way of evolving a guitar style as a songwriter is much easier, I think, than developing a true style of your own just from listening to music or playing other people's music. more...

I don't really set out to please anybody, and I don't think I ever have. I have occasionally been encouraged to try to write something specifically for the purpose of releasing it as a single to get radio play. Those are not my best songs, as a rule. more...

I don't think successful musicians were really put on this planet in order to have a great time, pat themselves on the back and say, 'Oh, what a clever boy I am!' I think that, like most artists, we were put on the planet to suffer just a little. And we do. more...

I kind of like the idea of living a rather ordinary life as a shopkeeper, and I examine that possibility as one of the outcomes of the young Gerald Bostock growing older. more...

I was quite keen on silviculture, the growing of trees, and that was something I gave a lot of thought to. Maybe I could've gone in that direction. But it just so happened that while I was trying to make up my mind, I enrolled in art school, and there I began to develop my interest in music, parallel with my interest in the visual arts. more...

I've always felt that some of my best lyrics are less than three minutes long, and it's great when you can do that - be succinct and get the message across in a simple, clear idea. more...

Unnur Birna is a Reykjavik-based violinist and singer. She has performed as a session musician with countless Icelandic and international artists while recording and appearing as a solo artist as well. Unnur has joined me as an unpaid guest on a few Icelandic shows in recent years, so it is a great pleasure to return the favour and appear on one of her songs at last. This new track, Sunshine, came about in Italy, written as an ode to sunlight and happiness after fleeing the dark winter in Iceland more...

The original Jethro Tull was a 19th century English agriculturist who invented a seed drill you see... the first automatic process where by small holes were made in Mother Earth and even smaller seeds were deposited one at a time and neetly covered over as a cat does after having being naughty. more...

Oh father high in heaven - smile down upon your sonWho's busy with his money games - his women and his gun. more...

But the tune ends too soon for us all more...

Martin, Dave, and I get together and rough out a few songs and put them on cassettes for some reference...With the actual music, I'm not interested in objectivity, quite the opposite. I want a solely and totally subjective experience...A lot of pop music is about stealing pocket money from children. more...

Bring me a wheel of oaken wood A rein of polished leather A Heavy Horse and a tumbling sky Brewing heavy weather. more...

Cafe society is as old as the hills. Starbucks and its imitators are the coffee face of the new man in a hurry. more...

Question all as to their ways and learn the secrets that they hold more...

Come with me to the Winged Isle- Northern father's Western child Where the Dance of Ages is playing still through far marches of Acres Wild. more...

Another tea-time, another day older. more...

Walk the lines of nature's palm crossed with silver and with gold. more...

I don't think it's very easy to make friends with musicians. We're all a bit paranoid. It soon becomes very heavy. more...

Oh father high in heaven - smile down upon your son Who's busy with his money games - his women and his gun. more...

I can make you feel but I can't make you think Your sperm's in the gutter, your love's in the sink. more...

I am not afraid to appear in Israel, although when I come to a place like Israel, I know it's not a picnic by the Thames. I am aware of the tension and it saddens me. more...

Why do the faithful have such a will, to believe in something? And call in the name they choose, having chosen nothing... more...

It might work with one orchestra, and the next orchestra - the oboe player might not get it. It's different every time, but some of the orchestras do end up enjoying it and having a great time. more...


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