Ian Anderson has announced he will record and tour exclusively under his own name and that the band Jethro Tull is finished.
The band which he was instrumental in forming almost 50 years ago released over 20 albums, and early successes included Stand Up, Aqualung and notably Thick As A Brick, which created a stir on its release in 1972.
The once-flamboyant flautist and singer characteristically appeared in bizarre costumes, gurning and gyrating throughout the band’s electrifying 1970-era performances.
Jethro Tull was a key influence on Irish band Horslips, who also featured Jim Lockhart’s flute prominently in their folk-rock material.
Anderson wants Jethro Tull to live on as "the vast body of (its) repertoire,” the musician told Billboard magazine. “Nothing is going on at all (with Jethro Tull), and that's the point". He indicates that the band "kind of came more or less to an end during the last 10 years or so."
Anderson never liked the band name. "If you'd asked me 20 years ago did I regret anything about my musical career, my answer then, as it is today, has always been the name of the band," he said.
A booking agent apparently named the band Jethro Tull and Anderson later discovered that Jethro Tull happened to be the name of the great nineteenth English agriculturist and innovator.
"I can't help but feel more and more as I get older that I'm guilty of identity theft and I ought to go to prison for it, really,“ he told Billboard.
“It's almost as if I watched old Jethro Tull at the cash machine and leaned over his shoulder as he put his credit card into the machine to check out his PIN and filched his credit card form from his back pocket as he walked away and then fleeced his bank account."
Anderson has not performed with the original members of Jethro Tull for decades. However, his current touring band consists of members who have been with Jethro Tull for years. A UK tour will kick off in two weeks time.