Dave Pegg, by Ian Anderson

From the 1987 Jethro Tull "Crest Of A Knave" tour programme.

They call him Peggy. I mean, they all do. Now I flatly refuse to do this, and so does Martin (Barre) on the grounds that to us, he is our Peggy. I mean David - not the cheerful, smiling, shambolic, salt-of-the-earth figure which he is to the Folkies, but the mean, moody and macho hell-raising character epitomised in many a hot dinner drunken cabaret after the show in Darkest Europe with the record company wives aghast and running for the door.

The man grows horns when he has the 'taste'. Picture David and me on the overnight coach to Paris. The last two bodies awake and the Vodka bottle empty. A tape of Plaxsty on the coach stereo. David has gone through the four stages of subservience to the evil liquor.

  • Stage 1: Cheerful Davy Pegg, the folkie friend. Everybody's pal.
  • Stage 2: The devil incarnate, out for blood, particularly the A & R department's.
  • Stage 3: Plain speaking bosom buddy, who tells me I should have been a guitar player.
  • Stage 4: Comatose Pegg. Lifted bodily for the tour bus, checked in at the hotel and put to bed with waste bin strategically placed to catch the 'tiger (still visible on shoes 4 weeks later on return to Heathrow baggage area).

David is all things to everybody. Easy to work with, play with, and a real pro in the music dept. Should he have been the farmer? Should he have fiddled with fish? Well, he is a cottage industry, in the most real sense of he words, along with his good friend and marriage partner whom he refers to in a mixture of reverence and fear as 'the Sheriff'. Alter ego to the fore with the Fairports, with his own compositions and influences dominant in a band who survived the Musical Armageddon of the late 70s. The turner of many a phrase, such as:

  • "To cozzy up" - to don sensible attire for the performance of a musical soirée.
  • "Hot dinner" - Free meal at the expense of record company involving lobster, champagne, squid, schnapps, sashimi, Pilsner Urquell and anything more expensive than these - "I'll have whatever Ian's having" says Dave, with ultimate and un-nerving trust.
  • "Tiger" - results of involuntary expulsion of stomach contents following the 'taste' - points awarded for distance and accuracy of projection.
  • "Wonga" - Money in any shape, form or currency. Gross, not net.
  • "Charabanc" - Martin's Porsche.
  • "Tour Bus" - Martin's Range Rover.
  • "Martin's Sheriff" - Martin's wife.
  • "Onwards" - While suggesting satisfactory completion of a section of music and purposeful moving on to rehearse the next bit, it actually means that the Half Moon is opening in half an hour and Ralph McTell is buying, so can we please get finished.

Davy colours easily - both in the for and in the sun. His house has been searched top to bottom but no trace of the sun lamp has been found. Emerging briefly from his studio to cross the four yards of sunshine to the kitchen door, he can be in immediate possession of a two week, Bahamian tan.

Oh Davy Pegg! Blagger of basses, fretless and five string; seeker of spiritual truth through barley and the grape; now come to terms with hairline, the Inland Revenue, the A & R department, the phone bill, Swarbrick and the fact that Martin will never sell the 911. Oh David Pegg! Always replies by letter, remembers birthdays, gives away T-shirts, ever approachable - even for the final tenner. Leaves the last beer on ice for me or a roadie, chug-a-lug and raise a glass to Good Ol' Boys. Just for once, I think I'll call you Peggy.

Love, IA.