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Ian Anderson

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Ian Scott Anderson, MBE (b. 1947) is a Scottish singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist, best known for his work as the leader and flautist of British rock band Jethro Tull.

Anderson was born on 10th August 1947, the youngest of three children. He spent the first part of his childhood in Edinburgh, Scotland. He was influenced by his father’s big band and jazz records and the emergence of rock music, though disenchanted with the “show biz” style of early American rock and roll stars like Elvis Presley. His family moved to Blackpool, Lancashire in 1959, where he gained a traditional education at Blackpool Grammar School. He went on to study fine art at Blackpool College of Art from 1964 to 1966.

In 1963, he formed The Blades with school friends Barriemore Barlow (drums), John Evan (keyboards), Jeffrey Hammond (bass), and Michael Stephens (guitar). This was a soul and blues band, with Anderson on vocals and harmonica. At this time Anderson abandoned his ambition to play electric guitar, allegedly because he felt he would never be “as good as Eric Clapton”. 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. He continued to play acoustic guitar, using it as a melodic as well as rhythmic instrument. As his career progressed, he added soprano saxophone, mandolin, keyboards, and other instruments to his arsenal.

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