I am transcribing a new Interview with Ian Anderson. In the mean time, here's a look back:
Meth: The last time we spoke was backstage at The Meadowlands in New Jersey as we watched the Berlin Wall coming down on a monitor.
Anderson: I remember it well. Our German Tour manager broke down and cried when he heard the news and saw it on Television. Over here [in Germany] Mikhail Gorbachev appeared on a TV show that I also did a few months back and he got a standing ovation for five minutes on prime-time Saturday night TV. They don't let the audience applaud that long unless it's someone somewhere a little upscale from the Pope in people's love and admiration. He set in motion all these things and it was a momentous day. And now here I am in Germany on tour with a somewhat beleaguered economy as a result of paying for the old Eastern German integration into the German economy, but even now people still have a very big... Anyone over the age of 15 will remember those breaking news captions.
Meth: While we're on geo-politics, most pop musicians have come out strongly against the U.S. and U.K.'s War in Iraq. What's your position on the subject?
Anderson: I don't know. It's difficult to have an opinion that is clear cut about an issue as complex as this. I was having a discussion with a German friend in Germany two nights before the U.K. and U.S. attacked Iraq, and I was saying that if they go through with this, this will be years and years to come of a commitment from the U.K., U.S., and whoever else is foolish to go along with it. This is taking the lid off of a very dangerous country. And whether you like it or not, the evil Sadam Husein is the guy who kept that lid on and kept Iraq essentially free from being what it is now, which is a state that is fostering the most violent terrorism currently on the planet--at least most frequently violent in the sense that the number of deaths of American soldiers is over 1,000; the number of on-going casualties this week was 50 people. And that's just another day in Bhagdad. This is not something that will get a quick fix on January 30 any more than when Afghanistan voted in, this morning, the man in the green cloak, who seems a perfectly reasonable chap, but there is no way he is in control of Afghanistan, let alone the enormous increase in opium and therefore heroin production that has occurred since Afghanistan was so-called "liberated."
It's all good and well playing with the ideas of democracy, but life ain't that simple. Whereas I don't think I can be one of those people who is saying I think the U.S. should pull out of Iraq--or the U.K. or any of the so-called coalition, which amounts to a few hundred other people (laughs). Far and away the U.S. is bearing the brunt of this and will do for years to come. I'm talking about the poor, old people who will have to fund the tens of billions that this will continue to cost the U.S.