Of pandas and Jethro Tull

I spent a surprising amount of time last night on MSN discussing whether or not a Giant Panda’s supposed inability to maintain its own equilibrium while standing on one leg and playing the flute should necessarily disqualify it from becoming the front man of British classic rock band Jethro Tull.

Hmm.. Wait, that probably sounds a little weird, and it probably was.. At any rate, it made me think that I probably needed to get more sleep.. And/or a new job as to keep my mind occupied and not wandering so much.. It all started with this pic:


Which for whatever reason instantaneously reminded me of this rather famous shot of Ian Anderson from Jethro Tull:


The similarity, as you can tell, is striking.. Which of course sparked the, at that time, humorous discussion of a giant panda fronting Jethro Tull.. My only problem being, that a panda couldn’t possibly stand on one leg..

No worries, my worthy opponent countered, Ian Anderson was probably doing so many drugs in his heyday that he was lucky to get up on one leg as well. Which then spawned a heated discussion about whether or not Ian Anderson was ever on drugs.. Which lasted for all of five seconds until this gem of a video was discovered on Youtube

showing Ian Anderson more drugged up on stage than you’d thought humanly possible.. But, for some reason, still able to perform.. And they claim LSD is bad for you? Tsk!

There never was any conclusion as to whether or not a panda could do the job.. Who knows, maybe Ian even thought he was a panda during the performance, or thought himself chased by pandas.. The only real conclusions that were drawn were that people did a fuckload of drugs in the 70’s, that I don’t think I’d want to see to see a panda on copious amounts of LSD attempting Ian’s dancing and chasing about in this video.. And of course that Jethro Tull are strangely cool in some way. And that I need more sleep.. And something to keep my mind off things.. So I don’t end up having discussions like this and wasting my time telling the world about them..


5 responses to “Of pandas and Jethro Tull

  1. Ian Anderson is well-known for claiming to have never used any drugs like marijuana or LSD. He didn’t play at Woodstock because he was told it would be a big festival of people taking drugs and other such things. Personally I find it impossible to believe that he never at least tried marijuana but I do believe that he didn’t use drugs in general. That performance you linked to doesn’t suggest drugs as much as him enjoying performing. I don’t know why that is taken to be a sign of intoxication automatically. It would be better if we did not think in such ways.

  2. You are absolutely right. I made this post months and months ago without any real knowledge about Jethro Tull or Ian Anderson in particular. Like so many other, I interpreted his wild antics and ecstatic performances as a sure sign of drug use and was admittedly surprised to hear his claims that he had never experimented with or used any type of drugs.

    Then again, I do blog posts on comparing well-known rock legends and pandas and expect people to believe me when I say, I’ve never done drugs of any kind.

    I’ll agree it would be better if people did not automatically think like this. But hey, you’ve gotta admit, it is a pretty easy assumption to make. It was the 70’s after all.

  3. Hello, I’m the chairman of the Dutch Jethro Tull Fanclub. Last week I got a Jethro Tull bootleg with on the front a photo of a panda playing flute. Interesting photo. So I googled “panda flute” and to my surprice I found your site with the photo and article about…. yes… TULL. I would like to ask you permission to publish this article incl photo’s in my email fanclubmagazine. Of course I will mention your site and tell that it’s good to visit it!! I will send you the issue then also. Hope to hear from you, regards, Bert

  4. Bert,

    I’m glad you found the article interesting and entertaining. You’re more than welcome to use it in your e-mail fan magazine. In fact, I’d be honored. A mention of the site would be much appreciated, too.


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