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(Credit: Snafje at Dutch Q52)

Music

Jethro Tull’s Ian Anderson is battling an incurable lung disease

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Ian Anderson, the lead vocalist of the rock band Jethro Tull, has revealed the news that he is currently battling against an incurable lung disease.

The 72-year-old, who was appearing on a brand new episode of Dan Rather’s The Big Interview, said: “I’m going to tell you something I’ve never told anybody in public before – I am suffering from an incurable lung disease which I was diagnosed with a couple of years back.”

In the new Rather episode, which will be broadcast May 13 on AXS TV, Anderson continued: “I do struggle. I have what are called exacerbations – periods when I get an infection that turns into severe bronchitis and I have maybe two or three weeks when it’s really a tough job to go out there on stage and play.

“Fingers crossed, I’ve gone 18 months now without an exacerbation and I’m on medication. If I’m kept in a reasonably pollution-free environment in terms of air quality, I do OK. But my days are numbered. 

He added: “It’s not yet at the point that it affects my day to day life – I can still run for the bus.”

When discussing the name of the disease, Anderson said: “Popularly termed COPD, where you lose some of the ability of your lungs to give you enough oxygen. I spend 50 years of my life on stage among those wretched things that I call smoke machines.”

While the disease continues to significantly hinder his daily life, the musician added: “Fight it all the way – keep using as much of your lung power as you’re lucky enough to have and push it to the limit all the time,” when discussing the prognosis.

He concluded: “The minute you settle back and say, ‘I can’t do this any more,’ it’s a slippery slope. The answer is keep pushing.”