From the Stacks

From The Stacks: Jethro Tull, ‘My God!’

This is a great bootleg of a band that deserves more modern praise than they receive. Make no mistake: Jethro Tull still has plenty of fans, but I don’t know whether any of them are too young to remember the band’s disastrous 1989 Grammy win. It wasn’t Tull’s fault that the inaugural Grammy for best hard rock/heavy metal album went to them rather than Metallica, but the result was that Jethro Tull became something of an evergreen punchline.

But man, what a band. Smart, talented, creative, occasionally self indulgent–what’s not to love? And My God!  captures the band in their pre-“Aqualung” guise, with one side comprised of studio cuts and the other an April 1970 show in Long Beach, California.

This one has been bootlegged on vinyl at least three times, once by Trade Mark Of Quality, the Atlantic of bootleg labels, and again by Athapaskan Records (sometimes spelled “Athapascan”), which is what you see here. Rumor has it that Athapaskan was Trade Mark Of Quality. Why they used the name for this release–and only this release–is beyond me, but you can bet it was an inside joke of some sort. The third vinyl version bears a “Rutgers Student Center” label.

TMOQ bootlegs often shipped in plain white sleeves, which was the case here, but when its new owner got this one home he (yes, we’re probably talking about a he) got out the paste and some magazines and made his own album cover. While his collage skills were lacking, his choices of material were great: death, crooning hobos, Quixotic figures, and an Abraham Lincoln quote worthy of any hippie era college freshman. The album is great, but that homemade sleeve is what makes this one a treasured addition to my stacks.

You can pick up your own copy of My God! for around ten bucks, but if you pay more than $25 you’ve made a bungle in the jungle. Happy hunting.

Categories: From the Stacks

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