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bear by san

March 2017



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hustle ash hell yes

i rode back to babylon

 Tonight, The Jeff and I went to see Ian Anderson and his extremely talented backing band in Wallingford. It was a mostly acoustic show, divided into two sets as Tull and/or Anderson shows are, these days, and it was a delight. First set was mostly older bluesier stuff. We started off with Dun Ringill, and that set the tone--there was Skating Away and Serenade to a Cuckoo and a plethora of B-sides and more obsure tracks, definitely not tuned to the casual Tull fan. (Everything I said about Ian's sense of humor and play, in my last Tull concert review, still applies.)

There were two new songs, "Tea With A Princess" and "Changing Horses." Both very nice, though the second caught me more--for the Babylon reference and for the title, because it's the same title I once gave to a fictional album by a fictional musician, which pleaseth me greatly.

After dropping The Jeff off deep in the wilds of New Britain, however, my real adventure of the evening commenced. Because 84 was closed through East Hartford, for reasons that were not immediately obvious but which involved an awful lot of party lights up in the distance there. Because I'm from around here, I bailed onto 44 and bushwhacked home up Burnside Avenue, amused while I did it by the number of places I passed that have had some significance in my life--two elementary schools I attended (Center and Burnside); a library I spent many hours at as a kid (Raymond library); Martin Park and the Kentucky Fried Chicken across the street, where I used to eat when I was six or so; a place I gave blood once; the place the comic book store used to be; the place where I got my ink done (Guideline Tattoo: he does amazing work); two places I have lived and one I nearly rented; and two grocery stores I have or do frequent.

...it's sometimes quite handy being where you grew up, especially if you need to find your way home by the back roads in the middle of a rainy night.


That last sentence is resonating with me, especially after my jaunt down to my hometown last weekend for the gathering of the clan. Nine hours there on Saturday, and then nine hours back on Monday. I needed to get away when I did (almost 22 years ago), but I think it's nearly time for my return.
Started reading and hit the "bailed onto 44" and remembered some of my drive around East Hartford the last time I visited.

Memories. I lived on Ensign St. and went to Willowbrook when it was an elementary school.

Back to lurking.
Alas, my hometown has changed from where "Orange County, CA" actually meaning lots of orange groves to a suburban sprawl that shares little relation to where I grew up.
There is also a non-fictional album called Changing Horses (by the Incredible String Band, who are not fictional, though if they were I'd believe that you were their author). Not that it matters, though I wonder if Ian Anderson knows that? ISB and Jethro Tull played the same sort of circuit, and appealed to the same people...
I rather image Ian's acquainted with Robin Williamson and crew, somehow.
The concert sounds beautiful and full of old friends. (I should haul out my dusty Tull; the songs of his I grew up with are not the ones my partner prefers, especially since my partner has this unexplainable dislike for the blues.)

I am impressed that your childhood geography has stayed enough the same for you to find those ways. When I was "back East" recently I was barely able to fumble my way around the best well-known roads of my youth, and for anything more than that I had to resort to Google Maps. I think I can sum up most of the encroaching suburbanization of the former countryside around my old 'burb by telling you that they've paved and widened ole Temporary Road. The old haunts aren't even the way they were when I last visited, much less when I was a kid; half-a-dozen retailers have gone through the grocery store location.

Mind you, some of that is growth, and some of that is probably forgetfulness and senility on my part. And it did allow me to prove that I can still map-navigate my way out of an on-the-fly detour, thanks to Google Maps on the cellphone.

But I've always really envied people who could go home, even in that limited sense. Comes from having to move too often while growing up.
Well, plenty of things are not where they used to be (the Sage-Allen, the grocery store on the corner) but the basic layout of main drags doesn't change. A street map of London in 1583 is still superimposable over a modern map of the old part of town today, although there are a lot more trucks and buses and skyscrapers now.
Ian Anderson rulz!


I saw Tull back in the 80s---I think it was for one of the electronica albums (both of which i actually enjoyed, though not as much as the earlier stuff).

Then again maybe seven years ago. It was fun, but something of a disappointment because IA's voice was shot, and he was limping around w/ a cane (I think this is after the original injury you've spoken of). But even subdued, a Jethro Tull show runs circles around most other bands.

Best IA story from someone I know: a high school classmate of mine lives in England, and a number of years ago he and his girlfriend at the time were invited to Easter dinner at an estate out in the country. Apparently the GF was related to someone, perhaps the lady of the house. Anyway, the man of the house ends up giving my friend, Michael, a tour around this estate and farm, which is very impressive. Fish breeding, and all that. At some point the man of the house mentions a recording studio, which Michael is eager to see, never having been in one. As they walked through the studio's hallway, Michael couldn't help but notice numerous gold records hung on the wall. Once in the studio, they chatted some more, and the man said, "You really don't know who I am, do you?" And Michael said, "No, Ian, I don't." Ian replied, "I have a band called Jethro Tull." Now, Michael, whose taste runs to classical, knew of JT because myself and some friends had a band in high school and played some Tull tunes. After more chatting, Ian asked, "So, do you like our music?" "No, Ian, I can't stand your music," Michael said, "but obviously you've done very well by it."

There were one or two subsequent visits, during one of which Ian told Michael, "I love telling the story of someone visiting me who didn't know who I am AND hates my music!"

Jeff P.
That's loffly. And sounds just like him, from what I know.
I have enjoyed Tull for a very long time. My son and I used to go to every concert here.

As I recall Anderson's web site is somewhere in my 'favorites'. Can't find it right now tho.
hey, send me an email please, i had another crash
That was an incredible concert! Yes, the man's voice is going (40+ years of doing this will do it to you) - but he can still give an wonderful concert! I liked the fact that he gave the backup band the chance to show off their own stuff- and that the crowd, by and large, warmly received them.
Indeed. Class act all around, and it was nice to see him get up off the stool and cut loose a little at the end there.

Also, Locomotive Breath continues to evolve.