They are named after an 18th century English agriculturalist. He invented a seed drill which planted seeds in rows. Before they adopted the name, they were known as "The Blades."
Along with David Bowie and Alice Cooper, Tull popularized "Theatrical Rock" during the 1970s. (thanks, Chester - St. Catharines, Canada)
They won the first ever Grammy for Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance in 1989 for Crest Of A Knave. Many Tull fans felt they did not belong in this category. When Metallica won the Grammy in that category in 1990, they were so upset for losing to Tull the year before that during their acceptance speech, one of them sarcastically said: "We would like to thank Jethro Tull for not being nominated this year."
Tony Iommi, one of the founders of Black Sabbath, was a member of Jethro Tull for two weeks in 1968. He played with them on The Rolling Stones' Rock 'n' Roll Circus special, which did not air because of poor performances, but was released on video in 1995.
They opened for Led Zeppelin on Zeppelin's first American tour. They also once opened for Pink Floyd.
For their 25th anniversary tour, they would select a member of the audience and seat them on a sofa onstage to watch the show.
From the late '70s until 2010, Anderson owned a salmon farm in Scotland, which helped defray some of the massive taxes levied in the UK on high earners. At its peak, it employed 400 people and was the largest independent producer of smoked salmon in the UK; one of its clients was London's department store, Harrod's.
Their first single, "Sunshine Day," mistakenly credited the band as "Jethro Toe."
When they released their first album in 1968, critics called them "the new Cream."
Abrahams left the band to form Blodwyn Pig.
In 2004, David Palmer announced he had undergone a sex change operation and is now a woman known as Dee Palmer.
The London Symphony Orchestra covered many classic Tull tunes in the 1985 album A Classic Case: Music Of Jethro Tull. (thanks, Charlie - Thomaston, CT)
In 1969, readers of the British magazine Melody Maker voted Jethro Tull the third best band - behind The Beatles and The Rolling Stones.
Because of the overwhelming critical lambasting that the album A Passion Play took, Ian Anderson announced in 1973 that he was going to retire as a musical performer.
Tull's second bassist,Jeffrey Hammond, took only a month to learn how to play the bass guitar before he joined the band.
Even though Tull did not play at 1969's Woodstock Festival, in the movie version of this event, one of their songs from This Was can be heard blasting from the speakers.
In 1968, Tull's manager thought that they should take a different musical direction - he believed that Mick Abrahams should be the focus of the band and become it's frontman instead of Ian Anderson.
For several years in the 1970s, Led Zeppelin, ELP and Jethro Tull were voted the best instrumental bands in Playboy magazine's annual reader's music poll.
In the mid-'80s, Ian Anderson praised Thomas Dolby as an up-and-coming new musician and criticized the band Genesis for changing their style and, thus, "selling-out."
Bassist John Glascock died during open heart surgery. Ian Anderson would joke onstage that John's nickname was "Old brittle dick." (thanks, Chester - St. Catharines, Canada, for above 8)
In 1973, they sold out three dates at the Los Angeles Forum in 1 1/2 hours, the fastest any show had sold out there. Another show was added.
Anderson learned to play the flute by listening to and imitating the music performed by jazz artist Roland Kirk. Asked by Uncut magazine why he took up the flute, Ian Anderson replied: "I decided to quit the guitar when I heard Eric Clapton in '66, early '67. I had a white Fender Stratocaster that I'd bought for £30 from Lemmy, when he was guitarist with Reverend Black And The Rocking Vicars. I part exchanged it for a flute and a Shure Unidyne 3 Mic."
Anderson added: "The flute was a whimsical moment of self-indulgence. I wanted to find something to play that wasn't a part of the rock scene at the time. It sat gathering dust for about six months until I finally coaxed a note out of it in December '67 and by February 1968, Jethro Tull was born."
Ian Anderson is a morning person. He said in our 2013 interview
: "I wake up early in the morning. It's always good. Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night; in the middle of a period of sleep I'll suddenly wake up with an idea for a song or a line of music and run to the bathroom, scribble it down on a piece of paper, and leave it next to the toothpaste so I find it in the morning. But other times I just get up earlyish - 7 o'clock, whatever it might be - and try to be creative before the household awakes."
Anderson doesn't drive, saying he's "not temperamentally suited" for it.