While on tour in 1974 with his band Carmen, bassist John Glascock met charismatic Jethro Tull front man Ian Anderson. Carmen opened a few shows for Tull on their War Child tour and John Glascock was beside himself. He was a big fan of the band and meeting Anderson and his crew was like meeting royalty.
Fan favorite bassist Jeffrey Hammond left Jethro Tull just after the band toured in support of Minstrel in the Gallery. John was recruited to join Tull as Hammond’s replacement. It was a dream come true. He played on their 1976 concept album Too Old to Rock and Roll (Too Young to Die). He also provided harmony vocal, something that was missing on all previous Jethro Tull releases.
John contributed to Songs from the Wood, Heavy Horses and several tracks on Stormwatch. It was during the promotional tour for Heavy Horses that John’s health became an issue. A known defect in a heart valve was aggravated by John’s aggressive “party” lifestyle. He was a heavy drinker and a heavy user of marijuana. A doctor’s diagnosis was ignored, despite a warning that an unrelated infection in an abscessed tooth could be detrimental.
Three years to the day of his debut with Jethro Tull, John Glascock played his last show in May 1979. Later that year, he passed away from complications attributed to the infection. John was 28 years old. After Ian Anderson broke the sad news to his bandmates, John’s long-time friend, drummer Barriemore Barlow, announced his plans to leave the band.
Stormwatch proved to be the final Jethro Tull album to feature the so-called “classic” line-up. Anderson fired the entire roster, save for guitarist Martin Barre. The bass parts that were scheduled to be played by John Glascock were covered by Anderson himself.