Firstly let me wish you all a very Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year. Believe me when I tell you that this year promises to be truly exciting one and very busy one too!
Before I get into all the forthcoming events, let me continue from where I left off last November. I was on my way to Ancona and Loreto in Italy to play the Notte del Chitarre. This time I was working with some new Italian musicians. They are a fine bunch of guys and we had a ball playing. I would like to thank them for making my brief stay - and the music - most enjoyable. They are: Raul on Drums, Gulliano on Tenor sax, Nick on Keyboards, Amin on Bass and - the winner of the event’s earlier band competition - Giancomo on Tenor Sax. Great fun and a great big thank you to my kind hosts, Giancarlo and Anna Montironi, for having me as a guest in their beautiful home.
Italian hospitality is legendary but the Family Montironi have cornered the market on this one! I have never been so well fed and watered as when I stay with Giancarlo and Anna! I have nicknamed Anna “Sempre lavorare Anna”, which translated means “always working Anna” as she never stops cooking and preparing the most delicious meals. Sitting around the dinner table with them and their wonderful (and very beautiful) daughters, Elise and Annacarla, is a major event and usually lasts around four hours. The banter and fun never seems to stop. So thank you so much guys for making me feel at home. Grazie Mille amici mi!
A couple of hiccups happened in December as the proposed trip to Roskilde in Denmark was postponed due to some mix up with political events in the town, and it seems that they got their dates confused. All is well, however, and we will be playing there on the 25th of January (this week to be exact) and very much looking forward to it.
Christmas time was very relaxed and I had a great time at home with my lovely wife Kate and my two sons, Alex and Nick. We discovered the joys of video gaming for the first time as amongst the various gifts was a Wii games console and - of course - it was immediately hooked up to the family TV and most of the day (apart from eating and drinking) was taken up playing virtual ten pin bowling. Considering that my sons are 35 and 27 respectively and I’m nearly 65 (I won’t reveal how old Kate is as I might get a slap!), I would say that we were being quite energetic and youthful!!
My autobiography is very nearly completed and ready for editing and compiling for printing etc. I’ve had great fun doing this and it certainly has brought out a new side to me that I didn’t realize was there. I vowed to spend at least two hours every day working on it, and true to say that I have now become very prolific with writing. So much so that I have now clearly in my mind a couple of plots for a fictional novel: when this book is finished, I’m going to have a bash at it - and why not?
The autobiography is brutally honest about myself, my own mistakes and foul ups as well as the good things about my life and time in the music business. Fortunately, thank God, the greater part of it has been good. I haven’t dished up any dirt or dark secrets on anyone (not my style), but I have been honest and frank about some of the people that I have been involved with who I feel could have treated me and a lot of other people a bit better and more honestly! So watch out for it folks, as it will be coming your way very soon.
As for the rest of this year, it holds great promise. To start with, I am now involved in making a feature length DVD that covers my history right back from the early days of Tull and the original line up of Blodwyn Pig, with some interesting and previously unseen footage from early gigs and TV appearances. This will be intercut with myself and various people doing the intro and links, and we plan to throw in a couple of (we think) very original ideas that hopefully will appeal to all the guitar players as well as just the fans in general.
As this year is also my 65th Birthday (April the 7th to be exact), I plan to do a birthday concert although I don’t expect it will be much before May or even June. We will have to get the various logistics sorted out because I have planned for some very special guests to play on the night and join in the fun - and of course their availability is important to the event. The reason for the concert is not just to celebrate my birthday: it also marks fifty years of being in and involved with the music business, it’s Jethro Tull’s fortieth anniversary and, coincidentally, near enough forty years of Blodwyn Pig!! There will be a few more gigs and festivals coming up soon and you’ll be able to see these when we put them up on the news page.
So I’m just off to Denmark and very much looking forward to playing there as it’s been a while since I last visited. The next blog will be around April time and I look forward to talking some more with you soon.
As always God Bless and thanks for your continued support and friendship.