Jethro Tull’s Ian Anderson Reveals Battle with Incurable Lung Disease COPD in ‘Big Interview’ with Dan Rather

Rock Cellar Magazine StaffCategories:Latest News

Rock Cellar Magazine

This week, AXS’ The Big Interview will feature a conversation between Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull and veteran news man Dan Rather — and during the chat, Anderson revealed that his ‘days are numbered’ due to a diagnosis of chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD) a few years back.

“I’m going to tell you something I’ve never told anybody in public before. Since it’s you, I will take this moment to say I am suffering from an incurable lung disease with which I was diagnosed a couple of years back.”


“I do struggle. I have what are known as exacerbations: Periods when I get an infection, it turns into severe bronchitis and I have maybe two or three weeks of really a tough job to go out there onstage and play. Fingers crossed, I’ve gone 18 months now without an exacerbation. I’m on medication. If I’m kept in a reasonably pollution-free environment in terms of air quality, I do okay. But I … my days are numbered.”

In an update a few days after the initial video made the rounds, Anderson issued a clarification regarding his ‘my days are numbered’ comment — specifically, that he was referring to his singing days, rather than his life in general.

Ian Anderson (Jethro Tull) Clairifies ‘My Days Are Numbered’ Comment Regarding COPD and Asthma (Taken from Interview with Dan Rather)

Additional information regarding COPD, per the Mayo Clinic:

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a chronic inflammatory lung disease that causes obstructed airflow from the lungs. Symptoms include breathing difficulty, cough, mucus (sputum) production and wheezing. It’s typically caused by long-term exposure to irritating gases or particulate matter, most often from cigarette smoke. People with COPD are at increased risk of developing heart disease, lung cancer and a variety of other conditions.

Emphysema and chronic bronchitis are the two most common conditions that contribute to COPD. These two conditions usually occur together and can vary in severity among individuals with COPD.

Best wishes to Ian Anderson as he deals with COPD.

The full interview between Ian Anderson and Dan Rather will air tomorrow, May 13, at 8 ET/5 PM PT on AXS.TV.

Among the topics discussed by Anderson and Rather is Anderson’s implementation of the flute, which has long been a calling card of his music with Jethro Tull:


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