Friday, 27 August 2010

the next Israeli attack on Gaza is in the name of Jethro Tull

says the neo-Nazi US Campaign for Cultural Boycott of Israel.  And they didn't mean the 17th-century English agricultural reformer.  Jethro Tull himself (Ian Anderson, legendary flute-playing one-leg-standing lead of legendary 1970s prog-rock band) is in fact playing in Israel, and has this to say about it:

Having performed concerts in the Middle East region many times over the last few years, I am well aware of the ethnic and religious tensions existing, not only in the countries concerned, but in the broader international diasporas representing the various groups and their interests.

Having long maintained the position that culture and the arts should be free of political and religious censorship and a distance kept between them, I took a decision in February of 2009 that any future concerts in Israel by me or Jethro Tull would result in charitable donations to bodies representing the development of peaceful co-existence between Muslims, Jews and Christians, and the fostering of better Palestinian/Israeli relations. A number of potential charitable beneficiaries have now been identified and are under consideration.
I speak only for my own share of concert profits here – I am not about to tell the rest of the musicians or crew what views they should hold or what to do with their remuneration. Nor do I feel pressured by human rights groups, national interests or any individuals to perform or not to perform in Israel or anywhere else. I make up my own mind in light of available facts, with my own experience and a sense of personal ethics.
To those who tell me I should “boycott” Israel (or, for that matter, Turkey or Lebanon), I can only point out that on my travels around the world I am continually reminded of atrocities carried out historically by many nations who are now our friends, and it serves to strengthen my resolve that some degree of peace and better understanding may result from my and other artists’ professional and humble efforts in such places. If I had the opportunity to perform today in Iran or North Korea, hell – I’d be there if I thought it would make a tiny positive net contribution to better relations.
It’s a long time since Pearl Harbor, Auschwitz, Hiroshima and the firestorm of Dresden and I hope that, one bright day sometime in the future, it will seem a long time since the blockading of the supply flotilla to Gaza and the bombing of Israeli citizens by Hamas and Hizbolla.
So, I decided many months ago not to profit from my work in this troubled region and hope that interested parties on all sides will understand and respect my decision and resolve. The details of recipients of my charitable donation will be posted for the benefit of the doubters, as usual, on this website later in the year.

Good man.  And come and play somewhere near where I live.  He is playing Yerevan, Armenia, on 24th September, and a modest lottery win would get me on a plane to one of my favourite places in the world, Zvartnots Airport.  Living in the Past?  I don't think so.  (Now the reason for the previous post becomes clear.)  I remember a legendary evening at the Dunstable Civic Hall in 1969, when I had on a long Indian skirt and  That's enough.  Ed.





  

10 comments:

Sauti Ndogo said...

Great to hear he's still going! Aqualung was one of the "cool" albums for some of us more nerdy public schoolboys in the early seventies.

And I'm pleased he's performing in Israel.

Mimi said...

fair dues, honourable guy.
Just called in to say thanks for the Serbian railways tip over at MLS.

jane said...

You can't book on line, some travel agents outside Former Yug will book for you, in Belgrade they take cards at the station and also take euros and dollars, everywhere else you need cash, and there isn't always a cash machine n ear the station, so be prepared -but you can walk into a station and buy a ticket for that night's sleeper no problem

Anonymous said...

and what?

Jonny said...

Sauti: It still was for us in the early 80's.

Anonymous said...

Jethro Tull is the name of the band, not Ian Anderson. By the way, which ones Pink?

jane said...

"hanging on in quiet desperation is the English way"

Sauti Ndogo said...

Yep, Dark Side of the Moon was another, and Brain Salad Surgery...

Augustus Carp said...

"Hanging on in quiet desperation is the English way", is, of course, a deliberate misquotation by Roger Waters of David Henry Thoreau, for which he should have been flogged.

jane said...

well I don't know about flogged, I thought it was rather clever, also am well impressed that someone on here knew that, my commenters are deffinitely getting cleverer, maybe I can learn from some of them