Rockers still rolling

One of rock's seminal acts makes yet another tour here.

jethro tull 298.88 (photo credit: Courtesy)
jethro tull 298.88
(photo credit: Courtesy)
It seems that everyone likes Jethro Tull - and for good reason. This is the progressive rock band that offered us such gems as "Aqualung," "Bungle In The Jungle," "Thick As A Brick" and "Locomotive Breath." My friends all had smiles on their faces upon hearing that Tull was coming back to Israel for three shows starting Thursday. My friends and I, all in our early thirties, can hardly recall Tull's heyday firsthand (the band started in 1963). Tull's wide-ranging catalogue, which has its roots in blues, has been described as just about everything from art rock to folk rock. Their songs have been featured in numerous movies, from Boogie Nights to Almost Famous and even Anchorman - where Ron Burgundy shouts "Hey Aqualung!" during his jazz flute solo. And, of course, what's good for the big screen is good for the small one. In an episode of Friends, Jethro Tull appears on Phoebe's list of men she has slept with, and in an episode of The Simpsons, Lisa ends Martin's rendition of "Thick as a Brick" with a swift blow to his head. With a discography that includes nearly 30 studio albums, live recordings and compilation discs, Tull's show will feature a selection of music representing the styles and influences they have recorded over the decades. In a phone interview, Ian Anderson, founding member, lead vocalist and flautist, noted that he expects an emphasis on folk, with "clapping in all the right places," while the more hard rock style that the band played in the 80's will be less prominent. During that time, the band won a Grammy Award in 1989, beating out favored candidate Metallica. Not expecting they had more than a chance in hell, none of the Tull members showed up at the ceremony. They did, however, follow the controversy surrounding their victory, and took out an ad in a British musical journal with a picture of a flute lying on a pile of iron bars. The caption read: "The flute is a heavy metal instrument." Anderson is not concerned about visiting Israel. This series of concerts will be his sixth here, his most recent having been during the Second Lebanon War - making Anderson one of the very few acts from abroad who kept his scheduled performance. Opening for two of Tull's three scheduled shows is the Israeli alternative/psychedelic rock group, Eggroll. Hailing from Hod Hasharon, the sextet began as a '70s progressive rock cover band that featured Jethro Tull. The band was chosen to open for Tull after their producer passed along their demo. The first of the three shows is scheduled for Thursday night at Jerusalem's Old Train Station. Tickets are NIS 289, (02) 623-7000 for details. The following night's show takes place at Binyamina's Shoni Amphitheater, with tickets at NIS 229,(04) 820-1520 for details. The final show is scheduled for Saturday, August 25, at the Caesarea Amphitheater, with tickets between NIS 100 and 289. All shows are set to begin at 9 p.m.