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Ian Anderson quotes
'Aqualung' marks the point at which I had the confidence as a songwriter and as a guitar player to actually pick up and play the guitar and be at the forefront of the band. It's also the album on which I began to address religious issues in my music, and I think that happened simply because the time was right for it.
I don't think successful musicians were really put on this planet in order to have a great time, pat themselves on the back and say, 'Oh, what a clever boy I am!' I think that, like most artists, we were put on the planet to suffer just a little. And we do.
All the time I was playing the flute, the lines, the solos, the riffs, the construction, were based on my guitar skills. I did not play the flute to exploit its natural faculties, but I used it as a surrogate guitar.
I don't think people really do listen. We plug into music, and we have short attention spans. We tend to download individual tracks from iTunes rather than a whole album. We buy music DVDs and watch them once, and then they disappear into a drawer, or we loan them to a friend, and we never watch it again.
I suppose when I started playing guitar, it was the means to an end. I never thought of myself as a fully fledged guitar instrumentalist. And my early excursions on the electric guitar were curtailed when Eric Clapton came on the scene, and I decided I was never going to be in the same arena as a Clapton or a Peter Green.
I think the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, first of all, has got to be put into the context of being an American cultural showcase. It's there to be a museum showcase of all that's great about American music.
I'm very motivated by the occasional creative payoff that comes when something goes really well, be it a song, a recording or performance. The payoff is enormous - when you get it. Most of the time, though, I'm filled with self-loathing and general frustration at the limitations I have as a musician.