Jethro Tull frontman Ian Anderson has poked fun at guitarists who rely on their roadies to tune their guitars, stating that he’d much rather musicians took the time to care for their own instruments.
Anderson made the comments during a recent appearance on the Paltrocast With Darren Paltrowitz. He was discussing the precautions he has to take due to a lung condition – Anderson has chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, making him more susceptible to severe symptoms from chest or lung infections.
“It really is, for me, not just a question of three or four days of feeling a little under the weather,” he explained. “I usually end up [with] four or six weeks of serious bronchitis and feeling really rough. And of course, chances are I’m on tour during that period.”
He further detailed the precautions he takes, stating that: “Playing the flute or the guitar, the last thing you want is greasy hands, either from shaking hands or opening doors or doing whatever. You really wanna have dry, clean hands when you’re playing instruments.
“So nobody is allowed to touch my instruments and nobody is allowed to shake hands with me or otherwise contaminate me in those precious moments between leaving my dressing room and getting back to it. No one touches my microphone. I handle things that are potential sources of contamination. I take care of that myself.
Anderson then noted that, health issues aside, he’d rather be the one taking care of his own instruments, and that he’s baffled by guitarists who leave all of the maintenance to their roadies.
“I’d just almost prefer to do that. The idea of having a guitar roadie who unpacks your instrument, changes the strings and tunes it up for you – for God’s sake, you want your bottom wiped as well?” he added. “Somebody that hands you the soap in the shower? What’s that all about? What wimps. You should take pride in your instrument and take pride in keeping it clean and keeping it in tune… I just cannot conceive of somebody changing my guitar strings for me.”
See Anderson’s full appearance on the Paltrocast With Darren Paltrowitz below.