Perhaps only a joke, it is said that this song began as a poem written by an 8 year old boy genius named Gerald (Little Milton) Bostock. The cover and inside pocket to the cd, which is a newspaper article, tell of the boy's achievment in writing the poem for a contest, but that he was disqualified due to hundreds of protests and threats after it's reading on the B.B.C.
Whether or not this is real, I have no idea. Many people, including my dad, believe it is completely fake; a joke played by Jethro Tull
. I believed so for a while myself, until one night a few months back.
I was at my Aunt Karen's house jamming to some Tull, she plays the flute, I play bass. Of course, I asked if she had any books of sheet music for the songs, which she did, a book called The Best of Jethro Tull Volumes I & II. Thick as a Brick is in that book, and when I opened it, what should I see but, "Words and Music by Ian Anderson and Gerald Bostock". Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but these official books of sheet music, this one published by Almo Publications, an affiliate of A&M records, do not lie. So the only logical explanation would be that the story is true, and Ian Anderson really did turn a little boy's poem into a 40 minute epic song. Or is it...
The way I was raised as a small child has forced me to really consider all the possibilities of things, and so I have come up with another, quite simple, hypothesis for how this may have occured. Perhaps, bear with me now, that this "Gerald Bostock" character is a friend of Ian Anderson's, and he helped him write the lyrics for Thick as a Brick. Then, as a joke, Jethro Tull decided to create a fake newspaper article and use that man's name as a small child who just so happened to write an ingenious poem. But even more likely is that there really was a boy who wrote part of the poem, and Ian Anderson added the rest himself, but still gave credit to the kid. The only reason I doubt that an 8 year old boy wrote it all is because of lines such as, "Your sperm's in the gutter, your love's in the sink." No matter how smart a genius boy is, it takes life experience to understand love and the like. So lines like, "And the love that I feel is so far away," clearly could not be written by a little kid, even if he wasn't refering to the love between men and women.