Jethro Tull’s Ian Anderson On The Rolling Stones: “They Owe Everything To American Music”

Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson On The Rolling Stones: "They Owe Everything To American Music"

Jethro Tull singer Ian Anderson has shared his honest opinion on The Rolling Stones‘ music while speaking about the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and said that The Stones owes American music what they have.

The Rolling Stones is an English rock band formed in London in 1962. During its ongoing active career since the early ’60s, The Rolling Stones released 30 studio albums, 33 live albums, 48 video albums, 20 compilation albums, 77 music videos, 3 EPs, 121 singles, 15 box sets, and many more things.

For some of those rock fans, The Rolling Stones is one of the most important rock bands for rock and roll music. Fans believe that they are the pioneer of the rock genre, and over 200 million albums sales are proof of that. Also, due to their commercial success, The Rolling Stones was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1989.

During his recent interview with Misplaced Straws, Ian Anderson commented on his band Jethro Tull‘s current Rock and Roll Hall of Fame situation, also mentioning The Rolling Stones and their music. At first, the singer said he was okay with not being inducted into the Rock Hall with Jethro Tull.


“So far, it’s a sense of relief that I haven’t had to face the embarrassing prospect of being invited into the Hall of Fame, to be inducted into the Hall of Fame,” Anderson said.

Ian Anderson Claims ‘The Rolling Stones Owe Everything To American Music’

Later then, Ian Anderson detailed The Rolling Stones‘ musical style. According to him, the Rock Hall is an American institution about American-inspired music, which is not necessarily exactly rock and roll. When he mentioned The Rolling Stones, Anderson claimed that, as an English band, they owes everything to American music.

“I’ve maintained the position that the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame is an American institution about American-inspired music,” Anderson says. “It doesn’t necessarily preclude musicians of other nationalities, but I think it’s gotta be essentially about American music.

“Not necessarily exactly rock and roll, so we’re not talking about Chuck Berry, Little Richard, or Elvis Presley or whatever, but we’re talking broadly speaking pop and rock music. There is a certain sort of American styling, certainly.

“The Rolling Stones for example would fit that perfectly. Because they owe everything to American music, whereas I guess Jethro Tull, apart from the first album, I would say, not a lot of Americana in the musical styles that I tend to work with.

“So I don’t think we are appropriate as inductees into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.”

In the continuation of his words, Ian addressed Jann Wenner as the person who decides who will be inducted into the Rock Hall. Saying that Jann had a huge dislike of Jethro Tull, Anderson added that he thinks that Jethro Tull does not belong there.


“But the other side of the coin is when the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame opened its doors, it did so with a few Jethro Tull exhibits, which I provided to them, and they were in Cleveland when the place was shiny and new, and I went to take a look,” he reveals.

“It’s not as if we’re divorced from that whole thing entirely but, I think there’s a slight difference when it comes to being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and luckily, I’m not gonna be faced with the embarrassment of having to claim that I’m washing my hair that night and I can’t actually come to wherever it is they do such things.

“Historically, Jann Wenner, who is, as I know, still one of the kingpins who sit on that board and decide who will be admitted through its grand portals, he’s always had a huge dislike of Jethro Tull, from Rolling Stone days onwards. So we’re not on his list of favorites for sure, and that’s fine.

“That’s fine by me, but genuinely, I respect the institution of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame enormously, but I don’t think we really belong in there, and I can think of a few artists who probably do who are not part of that. They owe so much to American music.

“And American music owes something to them too, because they have continued to keep that flame of musical Americana alive throughout the world, even if they are not citizens of the US.”

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  1. I have been a huge Jethro Tull fan for as long as they’ve been on the music scene. (1968). Or since the release of their first album, anyway. I have seen them live four times. Technically they may not be a rock and roll band, but rappers and hip hop artists have been inducted into the hall, so there is no reason Tull should not be inducted into the hall. After all they are the greatest band in the history of music.

  2. I AGREE with the narrator. Jan Wenner is to choices made in American Music and the Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame as Lorne Michael’s is instrumental in terms of what goes forth on Amercan TV

  3. Tull is probably one of the greatest prog band off all time.america loved them.musically my opinion they are more American then english.different isn’t allways excepted.

  4. Jethro Tull is much bigger than the Hall of Fame! They have fans all over the World but pityfull jenner doesnt have any

  5. Saw Tull 3 times in Glasgow .
    Best nights of my musical life .
    Anderson is a god .
    Eccentric but a god .😁

  6. Why is ian Anderson denying the rock and roll when his bass player played s harmonica which is one of the important instruments of blues music american music goes far beyond rock and roll i must where did his music come from whe one considers beat music on the whole comes ftom the american south which came from the african slaves and black shear croppers its like country elite keep saying that country started by the carter family which tottly tottly false and racist

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