August 10: Ian Scott Anderson, leader of the British rock band Jethro Tull is 64-years-old today.

Ian Scott Anderson, (MBE) spent his early childhood in Edinburgh, Scotland. When he was a teenager, Anderson took a job as a sales assistant at Lewis' department store in Blackpool. He's said it was reading copies of Melody Maker and the New Musical Express during his lunch breaks that gave him the inspiration to play in a band.

In 1963, he formed The Blades from among school friends. A soul and blues band, with Anderson on vocals and harmonica – he had yet to take up the flute. (Anderson plays several other musical instruments, including acoustic and electric guitar, bass, bouzouki, balalaika, saxophone, harmonica, and a variety of whistles.)

Photo by Jean Luc
Anderson abandoned his ambition to play electric guitar, allegedly because he felt he would never be "as good as Eric Clapton." As he himself tells it in the introduction to the video "Live at the Isle of Wight," he traded his electric guitar in for a flute which, after some weeks of practice, he found he could play fairly well in a rock and blues style.

According to the sleeve notes for the first Tull album, "This Was," he had been playing the flute only a few months when the album was recorded.

While Anderson has recorded a small number of critically acclaimed projects under his own name, and frequently makes guest appearances in other artists' work, he is best known as the frontman of Jethro Tull for 44 years.
His famous tendency to stand on one leg while playing the flute came about by accident.

As related in the "Isle of Wight" video, he had been inclined to stand on one leg while playing the harmonica, holding the microphone stand for balance. During the long stint at the Marquee Club, a journalist described him, wrongly, as standing on one leg to play the flute. He decided to live up to the reputation, albeit with some difficulty.

(Continued below video and Amazon portals ...)

(Press album cover for direct link to the entire Amazon Website):

The Best of Jethro Tull; The Anniversary Collection

Anderson was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2008 New Year Honours.