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10 May 1969


Underground groups as a rule aren't concerned about the singles charts.

The Top 30 holds no interest to those groups who pack them in at colleges and clubs throughout the country without ever having a hit.

Jethro Tull are such a group on the underground scene who've just returned home after a highly successful American tour.

They have a new single out this month to be followed by an album in June ... and they're hoping for a chart hit.

"The chart scene is really important," said Jethro's Ian Anderson, "you mustn't just bow out of it.

"I used to think it didn't matter about the rubbish in the charts but it's not the fault of the kids who buy the records. If someone brings out a good single, it will get the plays and the kids will buy it.

"Okay, so you have to compromise, but it's going to do some good in the long run. Eventually it will get the underground on TV.

"It will need a difference in attitude but if groups of sufficient name and standing put out good singles it will work.

"I'd like to see people like the Family, the Nice and John Peel ... Peel could do a lot.

"Our new album comes out round about the beginning of June. We were supposed to finish it off last night, but we only did two songs.

"I wrote quite a lot when we were in the States. It was that and lack of sleep which made me ill, I think. I collapsed a couple of times and we missed the last gig in the States because I was bad.

"It happened again in the TV studios in Paris. I thought I'd got lung cancer and TB, but it was just exhaustion."

Was it due to the hectic pace of the American tour?

"No, it wasn't all that hectic really. We had a couple of days off and most of the time I stayed in the hotel, I didn't get involved in the groupie thing.

"I like playing in the States but I'd hate to play there all the time. They seem more grateful and they show it more.

"Everyone goes down a bomb in America. If you're an English group and you don't get a standing ovation there, you won't get one anywhere.

"The American groups seem very much into saying a lot about nothing and conversely saying nothing about a lot of things."

The group has been invited to play at the Newport Festival. Are they looking forward to it?

"I'm a bit worried about it, I'm not really sure what they're trying to do. It will be very good, but I don't think you can mix it that far.

"Seeing us might upset the people who've come for Roland and Woody Herman and they might upset the people who've come for us and the other groups.

"It's good to bring old music and new music together, but I am a bit worried about it all."