Musician will pay tribute to historical figure behind band name

Ian Anderson will visit the grave of the real Jethro Tull later this week, he’s confirmed.

Although the band named after the historical figure has been retired, Anderson’s latest live show is based around his life and times.

He’ll take the tribute one step further when he visits Tull’s memorial at St Bartholemew’s Church in Lower Basildon, Berkshire.

The pioneering agriculturalist was buried there after his death in 1741. He’s remembered for inventing the horse-drawn seed drill among other innovations, before one of Anderson’s early managers chose his name for what was to be a one-off performance in 1967.

Anderson created Jethro Tull: A Rock Opera after having ignored the real Tull’s biography for years, finding it “awkward and embarrassing.” When he finally read up he discovered many of the band’s songs were “an easy fit” with what’s known about his life.

Churches Conservation Trust chairman Crispin Truman says: “I’m delighted to welcome Ian to 700-year-old St Bartholomew’s. I’m also a bit of a fan of the Tull, so can’t wait to share this and other stories with Ian.”

Anderson tours the UK with his rock opera later this month:

Sep 08: Basingstoke Anvil
Sep 10: London O2 Shepherds Bush Empire
Sep 11: Birmingham Symphony Hall
Sep 12: York Barbican
Sep 13: Gateshead Sage
Sep 14: Salford Lowry Theatre

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