Jethro Tull’s Ian Anderson is battling an incurable lung disease
(Credit: Snafje at Dutch Q52)

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

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.”

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