Tag Archives: Aqualung

Jethro Tull’s Ian Anderson Next Album – Homo Erraticus

I have been a fan of Jethro Tull since the début album, This Was in 1968. Jethro Tull and Traffic were my favorite bands from 1968-1970. They both hailed from England. I played the This Was vinyl LP daily on my hi-fi phonograph. I hung out with a group of Tull fans in 1969 my senior year in high school. We all went together to see Jethro Tull perform Stand Up at The Fillmore East July 3, 1969.

I have seen Jethro Tull and Ian Anderson perform live eight times these past 46 years. Our last Jethro Tull concert was at Mohegan Sun Casino Arena in 2012. They performed the Thick As A Brick 1 & 2 show that evening. Here is my review from their October 4, 20102 concert.

Ian Anderson has given us several concept albums over the decades. His first and most famous “alter-ego” was the character he developed, Aqualung. The rock press perceived Aqualung as a concept album. Ian Anderson insists it is merely a collection of rock songs.

Aqualung was followed by a more curious concept album, Thick As A Brick in 1972. This record featured a rock first: one continuous song on both sides. The second major alter-ego that Ian Anderson forged was that of an 8-year-old boy Gerald Bostock.

Ian Anderson has returned twice since to the fictional Gerald Bostock personna, first with Thick As A Brick 2 (2012). (Whatever happened to Gerald Bostock?)

TAAB2 focuses on Gerald Bostock, the fictional boy genius author of the original album, forty years later. “I wonder what the eight-year-old Gerald Bostock would be doing today. Would the fabled newspaper still exist?”[1] The follow-up album presents five divergent, hypothetical life stories for Gerald Bostock, including a greedy investment banker, a homosexual homeless man (shades of Aqualung..), a soldier in the Afghan War, a sanctimonious evangelist preacher, and a most ordinary man who (married and childless) runs a corner store; by the end of the album, however, all five possibilities seem to converge in a similar concluding moment of gloomy or pitiful solitude.[2] In March 2012, to follow the style of the mock-newspaper cover (The St Cleve Chronicle and Linwell Advertiser) of the original Thick as a Brick album, an online newspaper was set up, simply titled StClevewww.stcleve.com. – Courtesy of wikipedia

Ian Anderson will be re acquainting us with Gerald Bostock when he releases his next album Homo Erraticus on April 14th. “As Gerald Bostock says, ‘We’re all from somewhere else – get over it.’”

Homo Erraticus marks his return to songwriting, and it’s based on an unpublished manuscript by amateur historian Ernest T. Parritt (1865-1928).

In Homo Erraticus Parritt examines key events of British history with a string of prophecies stretching to the current day and the future; visions of past lives caused by the delirium of malaria generate the characters through whose eyes the stories are told, including a nomadic Neolithic settler, an iron Age blacksmith, a Christian monk, a turnpike innkeeper and even Prince Albert.

Written earlier this year, commencing 09.00 hours on January first, it chronicles the weird imaginings of one Ernest T Parritt, as recaptured by the now middle-aged Gerald Bostock after a trip to Mathew Bunter’s Old Library Bookshop in Linwell village. Bostock and Bunter (sounds like a firm of dodgy solicitors) came across this dusty, unpublished manuscript, written by local amateur historian Ernest T. Parritt, (1873 -1928), and entitled “Homo Britanicus Erraticus”.

The illustrated document summarizes key historical elements of early civilisation in Britain and seems to prophesy future scenarios too. Two years before his death, Parritt had a traumatic fall from his horse while out hunting with the Vale Of Clutterbury Hounds and awoke with the overwhelming conviction of having enjoyed past lives as historical characters: a pre-history nomadic neolithic settler, an Iron Age blacksmith, a Saxon invader, a Christian monk, a Seventeenth Century grammar school boy, turnpike innkeeper, one of Brunel’s railroad engineers, and even Prince Albert, husband of Queen Victoria. This befuddled, delusional obsession extends to his prophecy of future events and his fantasy imaginings of lives yet to come….

Bostock has returned once again to lyric writing, basing his new effort on the Parritt papers and I have had the fun and frolics of setting all to music of Folk-Rock-Metal stylings.

But you can call it Prog.(Copyright © 2014 – Ian Anderson Group of Companies)

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Capitol Theater in Portchester, NY Plans Triumphant 2012 Return, Part I

The concert venue that started me on my journey to attend live music events for 42 years is the Capitol Theater in Portchester, NY. It was a haven of great music in the early 1970s. I attended 12 concerts there from 1970 through 1974. I am elated to learn The Capitol Theater will resume its preeminent role as a concert venue in our market in 2012.

The New York Times music section featured an informative article yesterday about The Capitol Theater titled, “Live Music to Return to a Storied Theater” by C.J. Hughes. (See Related articles link below).

The gist of the article is that Peter Shapiro who owns the Brooklyn Bowl plans to produce 100 performances a year there. The Capitol will undergo a two million dollar, four-month renovation project. This could translate into a late spring/early summer grand re-opening. Peter Shapiro is also the publisher of Relix magazine, which provides excellent coverage of the jam band scene.

I’ve never been to the Brooklyn Bowl but my son has and he really likes the venue. I am a long time reader of Relix. The magazine does a fine job of covering the alternative and rock music scene. Peter Shapiro is very well-connected in the music industry and this bodes well for us concert goers. The addition of The Capitol to the New York/Connecticut market sharpens the competition for the concert dollar. I think this may cause a couple of existing promoters to be more price competitive now.

The proximity of The Capitol Theater in Portchester, NY was beneficial for Fairfield County Connecticut residents. The lower drinking age of 18 just across the state line made it additionally attractive to go to shows there. Portchester was more adjacent than The Fillmore East in the East Village of New York City. I find it amazing that Howard Stein was able to book so many premium top rock acts at The Capitol in lieu of New York City and Bill Graham’s organization. Its going to get interesting with Connecticut having so many venues in 2011, such as the casinos, The Ridgefield Playhouse, The Klein and The Fairfield Theatre and Infinity Hall. My concert dance card will be full later on in the 2012 season. 🙂

The NY Times Capitol Theater article motivated me to finally write my reflective Capitol Theater music blog post. In order to do the topic justice I will write The Capitol Theater blog post in two parts. As as faithful progressive music listener I had heard The Capitol Theater radio advertisements on WNEW-FM 102.7. My second concert at The Capitol was Traffic, Silver Metre and Swallow on June 27, 1970. We attended the 8 p.m. early show. I was fortunate to be able to buy tickets in those days at a local head shop in Norwalk, Ct. The shop owner always offered us seventh row center seating.

The English Rock Groups at The Capitol Theater

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Traffic and Jethro Tull were my favorite two bands in 1970. I recall that Steve Winwood wore a long sleeve white shirt that was covered in silver stars. It was a shirt I would later buy at that same head shop and wear the next time we saw Traffic, much to Steve Winwood’s chagrin. Traffic consisted of Steve Winwood on Hammond B3 organ, guitar and vocals, Chris Wood on saxophone and flute and Jim Capaldi drums and vocals.

Notice on the bootleg cover that Steve Winwood is wearing the shirt I mentioned in the picture from that night. The two songs I remember the most from Traffic’s set were “40,000 Headmen” with Chris Wood playing the flute and “Pearly Queen”, which featured Steve Winwood performing a riveting guitar solo.

Our third concert was Jethro Tull, McKendree Spring and Livingston Taylor which again was an early show. Jethro Tull featured their third album Benefit that night. It was my second time seeing Jethro Tull (the first time was at The Fillmore East in July of 1969). It was our first Livingston Taylor concert. Little did we realize we would see Liv nine more times in later years. We bought his first record on Capricorn Records the following day as we fell in love with his music and charming wit.

I am going to go out of chronological order here to collect the acts we saw at The Capitol Theater under the proper headings. We saw Traffic again on Halloween night, 10/31/70.  By then Traffic was increasing strongly in popularity due to FM airplay and the chart success of John Barleycorn Must Die. We noticed that the audience was more enthusiastic the second time we saw Traffic. It felt like a band I had treasured for my listening pleasure was beginning to move out of my reach. But isn’t that the way its supposed to work in music industry circles.

We experienced this again six months later with Jethro Tull on 4/27/71 at the late show. Aqualung was receiving lots of accolades from the music critics and was getting heavy airplay on FM stations like WNEW-FM and WPLJ-FM out of New York City. My request to interview Ian Anderson and the band for our local college radio station was turned down the day of the concert by their publicist. She felt we were too small a radio station and market for the fast rising Jethro Tull. The audience was ravenous for Tull that night and I could feel the band being swept along by the success of Aqualung. Having been a loyal fan of Jethro Tull for three years I should have been psyched for their greater acceptance instead of feeling like others were tearing them away from our midst.

It proved monumental that The Capitol Theater served as the launchpad for the fueling rocket success of Traffic and Jethro Tull in America.

Part II of my music blog about The Capitol Theater early concert years will be posted tomorrow. It will cover the San Francisco era with such bands as Santana, The Grateful Dead, New Riders of the Purple Sage, Jefferson Airplane, Hot Tuna and Big Brother and the Holding Company.