Why My Interview with Ian Anderson is Like the Story of My Life

As I’ve been trumpeting for a week now, I had an interview scheduled for today with legendary Jethro Tull leader Ian Anderson. Before I say how it went, let me tell you a few stories about myself:

When I was 20 years old, staying with my older brother and his wife in Chicago in 1994, I drove Matt’s 1989 VW Golf to a surf shop a few miles down the road in the city to buy a wetsuit. I was very into triathlons that year, and was competing in an open-swim race in Lake Michigan which was chilly even in late summer. And regardless a wet suit buoys you in the water, giving a speed advantage.

Well – I pulled a classic “Ben” – unlocking the car I left the wallet on the roof, got in and drove off without it. $100 and all my IDs and credit cards were gone.

Since then I’ve pulled this “absent minded Ben” move dozens of times. I’ve missed appointments, left purchased groceries at the store, lost the wallet in the house for weeks at a time, left the keys in a bathroom – you name it. I’m a legend in my family for this failing. I’ve kind of become resigned to it, and have just started writing off the loses as the cost of being Ben.

Fast forward to today.

I spent last night compiling my list of questions for Ian Anderson, some volunteered by my followers on twitter. And I tested my equipment to ensure I could record his incoming call in high fidelity. The only wrinkle was that the interview was at lunch time, and even though I work from home 2-3 days a week, my meeting schedule today had become boxed in so that I had to be in Providence, RI during lunch. But I have a mobile setup, so I packed my laptop, audio recording interface, microhpone etc. and brought it into the office with me. I scheduled myself a private, secluded conference room at the client site (I’m a consultant), and was setting up with 10 minutes till Ian’s call when horror struck:

I had left the power adapter at home.

All this fucking prep. All this fucking hassle. And I left the fucking power adapter for this recorder at home.

I wanted to cut my fucking dick off. Ian was going to call and I had to say: “sorry Mr Anderson sir – I can’t record this so I’m gonna let you go, and let this great opportunity to speak to a musical idol of mine slip away”.

I sent an urgent email to his publicist who – thank god – received it and informed Ian not to call me. She’s an absolute doll, was very understanding, and promised that I’d get a reschedule in June during the next press tour.

So – that’s how the interview went. It went no where, and I’m never going to crow in advance about an opportunity like this, lest I publicly “pull a Ben” again.