IRON MAIDEN's Bruce Dickinson joined JETHRO TULL frontman Ian Anderson and Justin Hayward of the MOODY BLUES on Saturday, December 10 for what was being billed as "Canterbury Rocks At Christmas" in the nave at the famed Canterbury Cathedral in Kent, England in support of The Canterbury Gift, which raises money for renovation work on the cathedral. Dickinson guested on two songs — "Revelations" and "Jerusalem" — and all three musicians performed the encore, "Locomotive Breath" from TULL's "Aqualung" album.
Fan-filmed video footage of Dickinson's appearance can be seen below.
Last year Ian Anderson and friends performed a Christmas show with special guest Greg Lake, and it was a resounding success, and this year, Dickinson was invited to perform along with Hayward.
The 900-year-old Canterbury Cathedral, which is said to be one of the most important sites in Britain's Christian heritage, remains in need of urgent repairs, particularly to its 235-foot-high central tower, known as Bell Harry tower, its medieval stained glass windows, and its 19th-century lead roof tiles. More than £10 million has been raised in recent years but another £3 million a year must be found over the next decade.
Having spent over forty successful years in the rock industry, Ian Anderson is the frontman, flautist and voice of the legendary band JETHRO TULL, who have some 30-odd albums to their credit and sales worldwide totaling more than 60 million.
Considered widely as the man who introduced the flute to rock music, Anderson has also received recognition as an accomplished solo artist with four diverse albums under his belt along with acoustic and orchestral concerts throughout the world.
Speaking about why he had chosen to play last year's Christmas gig, Ian Anderson spoke of the importance of supporting Canterbury Cathedral. "If our generation and the future generations don't do it, then it will be lost," he said. "There is a real parallel regarding the preservation of our great buildings, and the greater sense of conserving our world. We need a huge change of thinking about the stewardship of our planet and all it contains, both natural and man-made.
"Canterbury Cathedral is a place for life today. But it is also a place for the future and, whether you are a Christian or not, it is a place which should remain forever close to our hearts."
Photo credit: Martin Webb