Jethro Tull’s Ian Anderson Admits He Cannot Compete With Robert Plant And Explains Why

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Jethro Tull frontman Ian Anderson opened up about Led Zeppelin during an interview with Rock History Music, and apparently, the lead vocalist knew he couldn’t compete with the lead singer Robert Plant the moment he met him for the first time back in 1968.

As many of you know, Jethro Tull has a history with Led Zeppelin since they were the supporting act of Led Zeppelin back in the day and there were rumors about an alleged feud between two lead vocalists, Ian Anderson and Robert Plant to this day, however, allegations were denied by both sides as it was revealed that the two weren’t even in close communication.

During a recent interview, Jethro Tull frontman opened up about the time when he first met Robert Plant, way before he was the lead singer of Led Zeppelin, and apparently, when the two met for the first time, Anderson realized there was something special about Plant which was out of his league.

Therefore, Ian Anderson revealed that his intentions have never been competing with Led Zeppelin’s lead vocalist as a singer due to the fact that he has a special kind of quality which was quite clear even before becoming one of the greatest frontmen in rock history.

Here is what Anderson said:

“But at the end of it all, you realize that there are some things you can learn from but you can’t actually imitate, let alone replicate, so there was never any point in me trying to compete with Robert Plant as a singer. I actually knew that frankly from early 1968, before Zeppelin began – before Robert got the call from Jimmy Page.

He turned up at the courtesy of the grandfather of British blues, Alexis Korner, who brought his protege along to a club we were playing at – empty club, by the way. And we were introduced to this willowy sort of confident, but very quietly confident guy, ‘This is Robert.'”

He continued:

“He says, ‘He’s a friend of mine, he’s going to be a big star. Can he sit in with you guys and join you for a song or two?’ I said, ‘What does he do?’ He said, ‘Well, he sings and he plays harmonica.’ And I said, ‘Oh, well, that’s what I do. So sure. I’ll let him have his moment, then I’ll just go sit to the side and watch.’

And so Robert Plant got up and did a couple of songs with the other three guys, and as soon as he opened his mouth I thought, ‘Uh-oh.’ This guy has obviously some real, special kind of quality, which I knew was out of my league to work in that way. And so it was never in my mind that I could directly compete with Robert Plant in any way, either in terms of a stage performer or as a vocalist.”

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