A2Z 2021 Jethro Tull Songs Day 17 Quizz Kid (from Too Old to Rock ‘n’ Roll: Too Young to Die!) (1976)

Q letter_scaled

Too Old to Rock ‘n’ Roll: Too Young to Die! is their ninth studio album, recorded in December 1975 and released in 1976. It is the first album to include bassist John Glascock who also contributes with backing vocals.

Ian Anderson explains that the concept came from the turmoil of the rise of the punk movement and was not meant to be autobiographical of him as an aging songwriter: “some members of the press took the album as our attempt to ‘get with’ the punks“. Anderson also stated that the basis of the concept is “to point out that this business [music, fashion] is cyclic, and that if you stick around long enough, you do come into fashion again.

It is their last concept album, which follows the story of Ray Lomas, an aging rocker who finds fame with the changes of musical trends. Originally intended to be a rock musical, the story would follow Ray – winning money in a ‘Quizz’ show, trying to commit suicide, and waking up years later to find out that the grease fashion has returned. Although much of the album concept is only explained in the cartoons printed in the sleeves, there are changes in the plot or in details between the cartoons and the music.

Source: wikipedia

The old rocker wore his hair too long, wore his trouser cuffs too tight
Unfashionable to the end, drank his ale too light
Death’s head belt buckle, yesterday’s dreams, the transport caf’ prophet of doom
Ringing no change in his double-sewn seams in his post-war-babe gloom

Cut along the dotted line, slip in, seal the flap
Postal competition crazy, though you wear the dunce’s cap
Win a fortnight in Ibiza, line up for the big hand out
You’ll never know unless you try, what winning’s all about
Be a quizz kid, be a whizz kid
Yeah, be a quizz kid, ah be ah

Six days later there’s a rush telegram
Drop everything and telephone this number if you can
It’s a free trip down to London for a weekend of high life
They’ll wine you, dine you, undermine you – better not bring a wife
Be a quizz kid, be a whizz kid
Be a quizz kid, ah be ah

It’s a try out for a quiz show that millions watch each week
Following the fate and fortunes of contestants as they speak
Answerable to everyone, responsible to all
Publicly dissected – brain cells spattered on the wall
Of encyclopedic knowledge – may be barbaric but it’s fun
As the clock ticks away a lifetime, hold your head up to the gun
Of a million cathode ray tubes aimed at your tiny skull
May you find sweet inspiration, may your memory not be dull
May you rise to dizzy success, may your wit be quick and strong
May you constantly amaze us, may your answers not be wrong
May your head be on your shoulders, may your tongue be in your cheek
And most of all we pray that you may come back next week
Be a quizz kid, yeah, be a whizz kid, ah be ah
Quizz kid, yeah, whizz kid
Quizz kid, whizz kid
Quizz kid, whizz kid
Songwriter: Ian Anderson

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10 Comments Add yours

  1. badfinger20 (Max) says:

    I never heard this one before…but that is the Ian I remember…the half cool…half crazy looking lead singer lol. There is absolutely no mistaking what band this is.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Hell yes! He’s a social pot stirrer and one hell of a musician. I used to be put off by those crazy looks, now I’m thrilled by them. The band makes such good music!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I didn’t know this one either, but there’s certainly no chance of mistaking Ian.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Catchy upbeat melody. Couldn’t help but think of how prizes on quiz shows back then included items like vacuum cleaners rather than new cars.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Frédérique says:

    Great concept! I never heard this song before, thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I think I like some of Jethro Tull songs better than this but it’s a nice introduction, though.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Tull has a wide range of styles to choose from, you’re right. It’s one of the reasons I chose them to highlight.


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