Since its early days, Tull has been more of a musical collective than a band. In a recent interview with Classic Rock magazine, Anderson referred to the two-dozen or so musicians who contributed to Tull over the past 50 years as the first stumbling block in such an affair.
"It would be an awfully crowded stage," Anderson said. "And in many cases those old band members no longer play and haven't for many years. It's a tricky one. I've always felt awkward about the idea of getting the old band back together, because which edition of the band are we talking about? Picking some people and not others would be favoritism. And I don't have favorites."
Anderson has led Jethro Tull since 1967 as the band's primary songwriter and lead vocalist for all of its classic albums.
When Tull fans ask for a reunion, they're most likely referring to an lineup including Anderson and longtime Jethro Tull guitarist and multi-instrumentalist Martin Barre. Barre played on all the Jethro Tull albums between 1969 and 2003. He parted ways with the group in 2012, when Anderson decided to retire the band.
Barre was not asked to rejoin when Anderson brought the band back in 2017 for a 50th anniversary tour.
Anderson insists that his feeling has always been that Jethro Tull lives in the material, not the musicians performing it.
"The glorious thing about the world of entertainment is that your work lives on after you," he added.
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