Well, for all intensive purposes, Ian Anderson is Jethro Tull. Originally formed in 1967, Jethro Tull’s music has combined elements of blues, folk, jazz and progressive rock. Their best known albums include Aqualung and Thick as a Brick. (Guitarist Martin Barre was with the group from 1969 onwards, but as of 2011 Tull no longer seems to be a going concern.)
Now lead singer/songwriter/flutist Ian Anderson is including a stop in Hong Kong on June 24th on his current world tour. It’s his first concert in Hong Kong in 20 years. Top “regular” ticket price is $980, but the promoters have put together some special VIP packages that include the chance to meet and be photographed with Ian Anderson backstage before the concert starts. I’m informed that these packages, which top out at just under $2,500, are almost sold out.
I’ve been a Jethro Tull fan since their first album (which made a huge splash on FM radio in New York when it was released) but I’ve never seen them live so going to this show crosses another item off my bucket list.
Here’s a quick video that Anderson made inviting Hong Kong fans to the concert. (Link in case you can’t see the embedded video.)
And here’s some concert footage from 1978, Tull performing Thick as a Brick at Madison Square Garden. (Link in case you can’t see the embedded video.)
All of that aside, here’s a little tale of how things work in Hong Kong. One day about two weeks ago, I’m standing outside the building where I work (on Lockhart Road) having a smoke. This woman comes walking by, looks at me, comes up to me and asks, “Excuse me, do you live in Hong Kong?” I thought she was a tourist and was going to ask me for directions. Instead, she reached into her bag and handed me a flyer for the concert.
Before she could walk away I asked her, “Excuse me, are you associated with the promoters of the show?” She told me she was, so I asked for her card. As soon as I got back to my desk, I sent her an email with links to my portfolio and asking if I could get a media pass to photograph the concert. I didn’t hear anything for a week and I figured, okay, that’s that, but then this week I received an email from her husband. No, it didn’t say “leave my wife alone you xxx,” it said that he liked my portfolio and that he wanted to meet to discuss my request.
So I’ve now been hired to shoot the backstage stuff as well as photograph the concert, and I’m thrilled. The promoters are a new company called Euro Asia Entertainment and this is the first show they’re producing in Hong Kong. They seem to be quite well connected on the international music scene and mentioned to me some of the other acts they plan to bring to Hong Kong in the future. I’m not free to share any names but let’s just say that if things work out, this Ian Anderson show will be the tip of the iceberg.
Either way, I’m looking forward to the concert.