Jethro Tull’s Ian Anderson Says He’s The Clint Eastwood Of Rock

In his latest interview with Ultimate Classic Rock, Jethro Tull frontman Ian Anderson opened up about the band’s late bassist John Glascock whom he lost because of a tragic reason. Anderson resembled himself to famous actor Clint Eastwood while highlighting the differences between him and Glascock.

John Glascock became Jethro Tull’s bassist to replace Jeffrey Hammond, who left the band after deciding to pursue a career as a painter in 1975. The new bassist took place in the band’s ‘Too Old to Rock’ n’ Roll: Too Young to Die!,’ ‘Songs from the Wood,’ ‘Heavy Horses,’ and ‘Stormwatch’ albums. However, Glascock couldn’t continue creating and performing with the band after he passed away because of a congenital heart valve defect on November 17, 1979.

Anderson recently expressed his thoughts about his late bandmate, saying that he was a very passionate and friendly person who never wanted to be alone and kept having parties all the time. However, this lifestyle was very harmful considering his heart condition. The frontman highlighted that he’s very different from Glascock by describing himself as the rock music’s Clint Eastwood, known for his lonely cowboy roles in Spaghetti Westerns.

Consequently, the musician said he was another version of Eastwood’s characters playing his flute. He always preferred to be alone in the corner of a room, even during the craziest parties. According to Anderson, a 24-hour social event was like a nightmare for him; therefore, he never enjoyed them. It can be said that he’s happy to act like Clint Eastwood characters in social events and almost every part of his life.

Anderson said in his interview that:

“Gossip and tittle-tattle should be considered as such, but this is what he told me. I think of John in many different ways, with a mixture of awe and as an incredibly warm, passionate, loving, life-living human being. He wasn’t my kind of guy because he was a party guy, and I’m an insular, cold loner. I’m Clint Eastwood, who plays the flute in a Spaghetti Western. I’m a guy who doesn’t like to engage with other people particularly, but that’s my deficiency. John was a very gregarious and fun-loving person.

He just loved to be around other people and have a great time, which was, unfortunately, part of his demise, his inability to shake the social elements of his life, which were leading him rather astray. For one, I tried to shake him up and frighten him into giving up some of those forms of behavior following his major heart surgery and part recuperation because it wasn’t going very well. John didn’t have that self-will. He just loved people too much.

He just hated being alone, whereas some of us love our own company. Many folks in the music industry go there because it is a 24-hour social event. They take the stage home with them via a few hours of clubbing back to the hotel room and get dragged down to the tour bus in the morning, sleep and wake up in time for soundcheck. I can think of nothing more horrific than living that kind of lifestyle. For me, it’s such a waste.

He went on:

I wasn’t part of John’s clique or his social life, but he was a warm human being and a very good bass player and a good singer. He never really told me he could sing until, sadly, it was a little too late to incorporate him into the albums he was on. John was an unschooled musician, like me, if you said ‘play E-flat there,’ he’d have to sit and count the frets to work out where E-flat was. He might not have been quite as bad as that, but both of us were untutored, natural musicians. He had a great ear for harmony and understanding how music worked.

He could learn to play stuff and buckle down to learning things, and some of them were quite difficult bass lines. He was a great man and a great loss to his friends, family, and the music industry. I’m not sure he would have remained a part of Jethro Tull because probably the culture of Jethro Tull is too removed from that party world and that idiosyncratic rock ‘n’ roll pastiche that we think we know from others.

We are cold fish in Jethro Tull. We are northern European, an impassive cold fish. We possess not an ounce of Mediterranean, Latin blood. We’re just not cut from that cloth at all, and I find it quite good fun being a cold fish. It always amuses me to be standing off at the side, and people think I’m a party pooper, and they are dead right.

In addition, Anderson stated that John Glascock was a self-taught and extraordinarily talented musician. The singer didn’t forget to pay tribute to the late bassist and defined him as a great man that his family, friends, and fans got devastated about losing him at such an early age.