Ian Anderson Says Tony Iommi Wasn’t The Right Fit For Jethro Tull

During a recent appearance on Artists on Record with Stefan Adika, Jethro Tull frontman Ian Anderson revealed that they discussed the possibility of including Tony Iommi in the band. Still, he wasn’t the right fit for them.

The Rolling Stones organized a concert show named ‘The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus‘ on December 11 and 12, 1968. Mick Jagger settled on combining rock music and a circus setting. The Rolling Stones and their guest performed in front of an audience. The show ended up lasting more than 15 hours. It was a spectacular event with flamboyant stage outfits.

Some of the performers on the show included Jethro Tull, The Who, Taj Mahal, Marianne Faithfull, John Lennon, and Yoko Ono with the supergroup, The Dirty Mac, also featuring Eric Clapton and Mitch Mitchell. Jethro Tull had a surprise guest while performing ‘A Song for Jeffrey’ on the show. Tony Iommi, who was a member of the band Earth at the time, joined Jethro Tull as the guitarist.

Ian Anderson reflected on their performance with Tony Iommi during his latest conversation. The singer revealed they didn’t have anyone to invite but Iommi at the time. He kindly accepted their offer and played with them for 20 minutes. They knew each other as they would play and hang out together. They also discussed the possibility of Iommi joining Jethro Tull, but then they all agreed he wasn’t the right fit for their sound. Anderson is grateful to Iommi for coming down and playing with them since they didn’t have another option.

On Tony Iommi’s appearance with Jethro Tull, Ian Anderson said:

“For about 20 minutes because he was just miming. I was live, and the other guys were on tape because we didn’t have a guitar at that point. Tony kindly came down from Birmingham, leaving his band behind, a band called Earth who changed their name to Black Sabbath a few months later. Tony came down to do that to help us out, and we’d met Tony a few weeks before a gig. They played with us.

Tony and the rest, we got together, a little bit of playing and fooling around. The possibility of Tony joining the band was discussed, but I think we all came to the conclusion that it wasn’t the right fit, but Tony is a nice guy. He was the one to call because we didn’t have anybody else who we could say, ‘Hey, come down to this TV show, we’ve got to do this thing.’ It was only very short notice. We were invited to do the show just a couple of days before it was rehearsed and recorded.”

You can watch the full interview and Jethro Tull’s performance on the show below.