Jethro Tull frontman Ian Anderson reveals ‘incurable’ COPD diagnosis

In an interview with Dan Rather, the 72-year-old singer said: “my days are numbered.”

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Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull performs on stage during the Bluesfest Music Festival in Byron Bay, Australia, in 2011.

Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull performs on stage during the Bluesfest Music Festival in Byron Bay, Australia, in 2011.

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Ian Anderson revealed he is suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a disease that causes obstructed airflow from the lungs, making it difficult to breathe.

In an interview with Dan Rather on “The Big Interview” Wednesday, the Jethro Tull frontman discussed his health struggles.

“I’m going to tell you something I’ve never told anybody in public before,” he said. “I’m suffering from an incurable lung disease with which I was diagnosed a couple of years back.”

He continued, “I do struggle. I have what are called exacerbation periods where I get an infection and it turns into severe bronchitis and I have maybe two or three weeks of (it being) really a tough job to go onstage and play.”

He said that he is on medication and has gone 18 months without an exacerbation, adding that he does “OK” if he stays in a “reasonably pollution-free environment in terms of air quality.”

“But... my days are numbered,” he added calmly. “It’s not yet at the point that (it) affects my day-to-day life... so it’s not got that bad yet, but I’m 72.”

Jethro Tull, which formed in 1967 and made a signature twist of hard rock and folk, are known for hits “Locomotave Breath,” “Aqualung” and “Living in the Past.”

Anderson also discussed President Donald Trump in the interview.

“Your president – if I may call him that – obviously doesn’t believe in climate change,” the British singer and songwriter said. “If secretly he does, he’s doing nothing about it.”

Anderson isn’t the only rocker to recently reveal his health struggles.

In January, Black Sabbath frontman Ozzy Osbourne revealed his Parkinson’s diagnosis in a “Good Morning America” interview with his wife Sharon.

“It’s Parkin’s II, which is a form of Parkinson’s,” Sharon said. “There’s so many different type of Parkinson’s. It’s not a death sentence by any stretch of the imagination, but it does affect certain nerves in your body.”

Contributing: Charles Trepany


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