Ian Anderson’s big regret about Frank Zappa

Jethro Tull leader Ian Anderson said that one of his biggest regrets was not being able to connect with Frank Zappa in 1993. The American icon was dying and the British prog veteran was one of a group of people asked to get in touch. But in a recent interview with Classic rockAnderson revealed how he missed the opportunity for a conversation between the two.

“When Frank Zappa was terminally ill, I received a message that he wanted me to call him,” Anderson said. “I never met him. I was a fan, but my instinct was that he really didn’t like Jethro Tull, so it was a little weird. I called the number three times, but each time I hung up in a panic; I was embarrassed What do you say to a dying man?

“A few weeks later died. From what I heard, he wanted to talk to a few people, just to say hello, and I was one of them. It would not have changed anything, except that I would have had my first and last words with one of the great original composers and performers in rock music history.”

In the same interview, Anderson described Lou Gramm as “head and shoulders above all rock singers”, while paying tribute to the guitarist Peter Green for his “real soulful quality”. He also noted his appreciation of “the brutal, simplistic music of Engine head and Ramones.”

Asked about the best record he’s ever made, Anderson said it was always “the one I just finished recording,” adding that if people had enjoyed the 2022 Jethro Tull album The Zealot genewill they “like the new even more.” “But if you were trying to find me for a record you might know, I might go for it Songs from the forest“, he added.

Anderson was more direct when asked about the worst record he ever made, picking a track from 1972. “The song ‘Singing All Day’ is a stinker,” he said. “A one-off that we immediately shelved until we were desperate for some material for a compilation album we were going to make under contract to Warner Bros. It came from the bottom of the barrel. A real turkey.”

Listen to Jethro Tull’s ‘Singing All Day’

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