Page last updated at 17:18 GMT, Thursday, 25 February 2010

Plaque marks Jethro Tull's Blackpool church gig

Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull outside Holy Family church in Blackpool
Jethro Tull first performed as The Blades at Holy Family church

Legendary British rock group Jethro Tull have been honoured by a music society with a plaque marking their first show at a Lancashire church.

The group, then known as The Blades, first performed at Holy Family Church, Blackpool, in 1964.

Ian Anderson, Jeffrey Hammond and John Evans were band members at the time.

PRS for Music's heritage award recognises the unusual 'performance birthplaces' of famous bands and artists.

Jethro Tull is the third band to be given the honour of receiving the permanent plaque.

Three thousand gigs

Founding member Ian Anderson was at the unveiling on Thursday afternoon.

Ellis Rich, PRS for Music chairman, said: "Jethro Tull are rock legends so it's a real pleasure to be honouring them today with the PRS for Music Heritage Award.

"In a career that has stretched across four decades the band has shaped and inspired countless other musicians so it's a fantastic achievement to celebrate."

Ian Anderson said he was "honoured and delighted that the birthplace of my musical career has been chosen to be marked in this way".

Adding: "Some 46 years, 60 million album sales and 3,000 gigs later, I look back to that night here at the church hall with fondness and thanks - it's fantastic to return and meet up again with old friends."

Jethro Tull has sold in excess of 60 million albums worldwide including: This Was (1968), Stand Up (1969), Benefit (1970), Aqualung (1971).

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