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Martin Barre: “Ian and I don't communicate – we've gone our separate ways"

Martin Barre tells Prog about how he reacted to Ian Anderson retiring Jethro Tull, and how it rekindled his passion for new adventures

In a flash, Martin Barre replies: “July.” The question was when did he realise he was being sidelined in the band to which he had devoted himself for over four decades. His follow-up is telling. “It would be two thousand and… you probably know the year more than I do,” he continues, grasping for detail.

“I tried to eradicate it from my mind,” he concedes, laughing.

It was July 31, 2011, at Munich’s Circus Krone that Jethro Tull played their last show, sending Barre into an uncertain future. “Me and Doane [Perry, Tull’s drummer of 27 years] were told weeks before ‘the event’,” he explains with mock portentousness. “It was a shock and an unpleasant position to be in because I had no plans.

“When you play with Jethro Tull, you’re committing everything to doing that job. You’re committing the year you’re doing it, and the next year, and the year after that, and hopefully you’ve projected as much into the future as you can foresee. And then when the carpet’s pulled from under your feet, you have absolutely nothing.”

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