Ian Anderson realized that his greatest passion was music at a very young age, and his father captivated him with this form of art. However, he also enjoyed Elvis Presley’s rock ‘n’ roll albums. These musicians influenced the sound of Jethro Tull, which could be described as blues rock and jazz fusion with English folk, hard rock, and classical music influences. Anderson is a multi-instrumentalist who can play the keyboards, electric guitar, bass guitar, saxophone, harmonica, whistles, and guitar, despite his fame for his unique flute playing style with Jethro Tull. However, because of Eric Clapton, Jethro Tull’s Anderson stopped concentrating on one of them.
How did Eric Clapton affect the career of Ian Anderson? Like almost every teenager interested in music, Anderson’s initial goal was to become a famous guitarist by learning to play the guitar. Unquestionably, the ’70s and ’80s were a period of intense competition as the most talented guitarists began to appear on rock stages. Jimmy Page, Eddie Van Halen, Tony Iommi, Jeff Beck, Ritchie Blackmore, and Eric Clapton were both influences and competitors among young people. Their legacies were set in stone, making it difficult for many young musicians to follow in their footsteps and become even more famous and successful. In one of his previous interviews with Fox News, Ian Anderson revealed a life-altering event that occurred at the beginning of his career. The musician claimed that playing the guitar was more sophisticated and seductive, but there was a problem.
Eric Clapton had already demonstrated his unparalleled ability as a member of John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers and Cream. The guitarist convinced Anderson that he would never be as talented as Eric Clapton. The Jethro Tull legend demonstrated his proficiency in solos and improvisation, but it was insufficient. Ian Anderson decided to learn the flute after realizing that he could possess the same fluidity and rhythm as Slowhand. In the words of Anderson, he stated: “Someone was playing drums or bass in the background, no, guitar, lead guitar. That was always the racy and seductive thing to do. When I was a teenager learning to play the guitar, I had one small obstacle to overcome: Eric Clapton.
When I first heard him play, I thought I would never be as talented. It is going to be too much for me. I was able to play solos and improvise, but I lacked Clapton’s fluidity and sense of rhythmic ease. As a result, Ian Anderson chose to play the flute in addition to other instruments and produced distinctive sounds. Anderson’s insecurity regarding the Cream icon irrevocably altered his musical journey. In addition, the decision to play the flute significantly contributed to the success and popularity of Jethro Tull.