Monday, September 08, 2008

Jethro Tull - Thick as a Brick

Tonight is the parent meeting for sixth grade band students, and my son is contemplating study of the flute. To help him out, I pulled up a YOU TUBE video of my favorite flute player, Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull.

Ahhh, the memories I have of that band….

Years ago, I worked security for a large outdoor amphitheater. The night Tull came to town, I was assigned the coveted backstage dressing room position. Normally, this involved checking passes and placating groupies, but that night was different.

Andrew Giddings, the Keyboard player pulled me aside moments before the show and said “Come with me.” He walked me out to the right wing of the stage, just behind the curtain and handed me a pack of Marlboro’s and a gold plated Zippo lighter. “Stand here. Keep a cigarette lit at all times. Got it?”

“Got it.”

“Good girl. On with the show!” He cried in his classic high Brit accent.

The band paraded past me as I dutifully lit up. Ian Anderson was in a horrible state that night. He just had knee surgery, was wearing a brace, and complaining his prescription pain meds “weren’t at all working.” The man belonged in bed, and the entire crew knew it. But this was show business. With a sold out crowd of twenty thousand, a star just can’t call in sick. The show had to go on, and the grimacing Anderson hit the stage dancing about like an elf on fire.

All through the night, Giddings would lean back and puff on my stock of cigarettes. At times, Andy would have one hand on the keyboard, while reaching out to me with the other. My older brother was out in the audience with his friends. They were in the sixth row. I could see him, but he had no idea I was watching behind the wings.

The show was incredible. When it was over, I rolled out a cart with beer and beverages for the band. Andy looked at me while cracking open a Heineken and asked me to join the band for dinner.

Dinner? Oh baby! Dinner with Jethro Tull?!!!!!!

Dress me up in The Union Jack, and GOD Save The Queen!

It about killed me…but I turned him down. I knew the invitation was an offer for more than a meal.

I had a husband and kids waiting at home. I was not about to wake my honey up on a work night to tell him I was going out to party with the band. Andy understood. He touched my chin with his fingers, looked over at Ian Anderson and said with deep English flair, “Pity Ian, she’s a loyally married security lady.”
I flashed my wedding ring to Anderson, and he managed a smile through the throbbing pain in his leg.

My knees turned to rubber. But I kept my cool, bid the band good night, and headed home.

Everyone I know says I should have gone out with the band that night, but I’ve been around theater long enough to know, the magic is on the stage. Hanging out with a bunch of drunks at Denny’s would never compare to the spectacle of that show. It would just tarnish the memory. (Hey, even rock stars are just people when the spotlight goes out.)

The next day, I teased my husband, telling him I turned down a date with Jethro Tull to come home to him. I told him a one night stand with even the coolest rock star in the world could never compete with MY One True Love… Not ever.

Anyone who says otherwise is Thick---Thick as a Brick.


Mariamariacuchita said...

Yes, better to stick with the brock you know and love...congrats on the HP article!! (Glenda)

Mariamariacuchita said...

hmmm. that should be brick, unless his name is Brock, then never mind.

Dominick said...

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