He’s been performing on one leg for more than three decades now, and this Thursday, Ian Anderson leads Jethro Tull into the Jones Beach stage. He recently came out of the wood to take a phone call from Ian D’Giff:
What’s the story with the one-legged thing?
It actually came about when I was playing in the first few weeks of Jethro Tull in the Marquee Club in London. I used to play harmonica and I would stand on one leg and wave the other around or put it on my knee. I don’t know why I did it, it just felt good. I was in India a few years back and the all of journalists asked me: “Why are you copying and being disrespectful to our god Krishna?” I didn’t know what they meant until someone showed me a likeness of Krishna playing the flute on one leg. I was astonished. As far as deities go, I’m a very minor one, however popular I may be to some people. I’m not really in the god class. I mean, Krishna is clearly one of the most popular Hindu gods.
You don’t drink and have never touched drugs. Kind of goes against type, huh?
I haven’t done the things that are probably called drugs, from marijuana through to heroin. I’m the kind of guy who has what’s called an addictive personality. Chances are, for me, that it would become a major problem. I don’t want to mess around with that stuff until I think I’m probably going to die anyway. Then, push the crack cocaine my way, I’ll give it a try.