Fabulous Forum, Inglewood (Capacity: 17,000)
When I first heard “This Was” I was floored, “this was” really cool; a band mixing medieval renaissance–flavored music with hard rock blues – how unique!
And then “Stand Up” continued this totally unique sound! I remember thinking that the creative and inspired Rock ‘n’ Roll Dam had surely burst as magical new sounds from yet another band filled the air.
It is my goal to try and convey this magic through these chronicles, for once the “British Invasion” of ‘64/’65 arrived and then the L.A. and San Francisco Hippie music took hold, we were treated daily to sounds never before heard by humans – everything was new! And Jethro Tull was the perfect group to exemplify this truth.
The ‘70s saw much diversity and I applaud and support any acts that strive for creative advancement, for some they see their vision successfully, others fail, and somewhere in between we have Tull’s “A Passion Play”.
It was inevitable that Ian would want to evolve, which he did with “Thick as a Brick”, which turned into a world-wide monster. But now he found himself faced with what many creative souls do; the monster they created!
How do you top “Thick as a Brick”? Or better yet; extend your “franchise”?
While I have a ton of respect for Ian Anderson and company and kept an open mind as always; I still couldn’t quite get into this new phase. Tull’s franchise did not “play” out.
“A Passion Play”, the LP and the concert, strayed too far from the Tull I loved – and I’m faithful; I’ll hang with groups that I appreciate even when they go off the rails. And while I certainly appreciate the creative effort and performance, that does not mean that I’m “on board” while they journey “off road”.
Even though these archives focus on the ‘60s and ‘70s Rock and Culture Scene my personal music interests span across all genres and categories.
My soundtrack collection was and is impressive – and of those STs “the Fifth Element” ranks extremely high on my list – a kind of Rock ‘n’ Roll Blade Runner.
I was so enamored by the Diva Dance sequence that when the opera that contained the actual aria, “Il dolce suono” from the 3rd act of “Lucia di Lammermoor” (Gaetano Donizetti/Salvadore Cammarano) was performed at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, I attended just to hear the actual aria sung live. Brava!
I bring this up because that’s how I felt at this concert, it’s wonderful live, while it’s happening, but later after you leave there’s not much imprinted in your memory.
As you can see by the above ad for these concerts there was a total of 72-75,000 (85,000 if you count the San Diego date) fans of Jethro Tull who attended these Overwhelming Demand – Sold Out concerts. That’s a lot of Tull fans!
Jethro Tull was never to experience this extraordinary level of success again; it was a turning point for Tull where only the die-hard fans continued on. For the rest of us “A Passion Play” was a sad death knell.
And that’s too bad, for me and many others, as “This Was” and “Stand Up” were both so good that they were staples at the pad and have since really created a sense memory of those times.
“Benefit” was good, “Teacher” a classic and “Aqualung”, well who doesn’t love that album, but even though I was not a huge fan of “Thick”, I hung in there.
Whatever the magic; be it the historic era we were passing through, my state of mind or Tull’s timely emergence on the Rock Scene, it would be hard to compete with those four excellent and iconic “genre-unto-themselves” LPs that define Jethro Tull for me.
The mad flutist, Ian Anderson, never disappoints and was in fine form as was the whole band, and to see Tull live is always fully enjoyable.
For a perfect storm Tull concert, when everything was spontaneous and new, for all of us – Led Zep, Tull (Stand Up was just released) and their fans, check out: LED ZEP / TULL CONCERT 1969
Lineup: Ian Anderson (flute, acoustic guitars, soprano saxophone, sopranino, saxophone, vocals) Barriemore Barlow (drums, timpani, glockenspiel, marimba), Martin Barre (electric guitar), Jeffrey Hammond-Hammond (bass, vocals), John Evans (piano, organ, synthesizer, spoken word)
Setlist: A Passion Play, Thick As A Brick (‘The Middle Bit’, incl. flute solo), Cross-Eyed Mary, No Rehearsal/Drum Solo/’218 Babies’ Instrumental, Aqualung, Wind-Up, Instrumental, Locomotive Breath/Hard-Headed English General/Wind-Up (reprise).
OK, Tripsters, it’s Trip Time: Seriously, clear your minds or just imagine; you are back in 1968, you’ve heard of a lot of amazing music, but then you touch the needle down on the beginning of side one of Jethro Tull’s “Stand Up”, you crank up the state-of-the-art sound system, as loud as possible and you hear , “A New Day Yesterday”. —— I was immediately sold – again!
Do it – it’s a Trip.