Ian Anderson, Fellini, Farsheed and I,


Ian Anderson, Fellini, Farsheed and I,
by Goudarz Eghtedari

The early years of 1970s were the period of cosmopolitan life in Iran. Petrodollars were trickling down and we the kids from the middle class families had a great time, so did our parents. Summer camps by the Caspian and frequent visits to beach towns were routine part of the urban life. The dance parties and disco clubs were our hangout place after school and into the evenings. Fun was the name of the game and we enjoyed it,to the end not knowing what else was happening south of the Elisabeth Blvd.

Several of us from back row in the class of 4-1, which meant to be the smartest students of Kharazmi Highschool used to get together to play poker once or twice a week. Behnam (aka Fellini), Farsheed, Kayhan, Sina, Bahram, Mehran and others were the permanent parts of this gang. The place of course was changing and circulating amongst the group. Anyhow, Farsheed, Fellini, and I had our own subset, because we were living close by in NW of Tehran. Fellini, our philosopher, was reading guru. He once took part in a TV competition sponsored by Homa (Iranian Airliner), we were proud of him, especially I who had the privilege to sit in the audience as a guest.

Life was moving forward as was expected for a teen age crowd, until one day we were told that Farsheed was arrested by SAVAK during a walking trip to Amol. Apparently there was a little detail that we missed, he was writing graffiti in tunnels for the Peoples Fedayee Organization. I did not see Farsheed for many years, fear would prevent us to even stop by his house in Sadat-Abad, but I used to inquire about his fate every time I saw his brother in the bus stop. 6-7 years passed, Fellini went to school in the US, and I stayed in Iran attending college. Finally after opening of prisons during the 1979 revolution, one day all of sudden Farsheed stopped at our door again and we connected for a short period. Now it was the revolutionary times, and I suppose his prison term had given him high ranking in the organization. The last time I saw him was at a sit-in in the Palace of Justice where Fedayees had rallied for freedom of some comrades that were arrested in Khuzestan. Shortly after that IRI stormed all political left organizations and they all disappeared, some to prison and many more to exile. I never heard from Farsheed again until few years ago when I saw an obituary in a Persian online-zin out of Germany. He died of hear attack at age 49, on November 7th, 2007.

One of the found memories of those pre-revolutionary times was that my Dad had a Philips reel tape recorder, and so did Behnam, hence we were exchanging tapes once in a while. Our favorite at the time for the reason I can’t recall was Jethro Tull, we were loyal fans. For hours Farsheed, Fellini and I would sit down in smoky rooms and listen to Ian Anderson playing his flute in the middle of Rock and Role, an unusual sound yet mesmerizing in between the acoustic guitars and drums. Anderson’s flute was a unique component of Jethro Tull and was fascinating to our eastern ears. Undoubtedly my teenage years were somehow connected to this band, any memory from that era was somehow reminder of Farsheed, Fellini and Ian.

I don’t think at any moment back then I could have imagined in my wildest dreams that one day I will shake hand with Ian Anderson. That un-expected moment was realized last Friday. I saw Jethro Tull performing with Oregon Symphony at Arlene Schnitzer Hall in Portland. Mr. Anderson looked pretty old at 62. His breath was still strong and his entertaining skills were amazing. Everything was as I could remember from 30 some years ago, even the famous song “Thick as a Brick”, except those 7 feet high jumps in the air with his flute. The sweet surprise for me was a Meena Bhasin who played Viola with the Band, introduced by Ian as an Iranian American from New York. She then took the stage to present one piece of her own and dedicated it to Iranian women who have pushed the envelope beyond the norms. It was a great moment seeing her performing with legendary Ian Anderson for the cause of empowering women in her country, what a sweet dream?

During the show, I revisited my friends many times which brought tears to my eyes, ironically this was a week and two years to farsheed's death. Connecting past and present it was as if Farsheed’s sole was also performing on the stage honoring Iranian women in their struggle for freedom. I could not stop thinking about so many kids like my childhood sitting in a room somewhere around the globe in Kenya, Indonesia, and even Iran, and dream about their foreign legend, who ever it might be. Back then the world was not this small, the global village was not broadcasting through satellites. For many West seemed to be a whole world away. To me, last Friday night felt like I had come to the peak and now it is time to descend; at least that is what my DoB tells me.

Farsheed's end

Ian Anderson

Meena Bhasin


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by faryarm on

Greetings Goudarz,

This, in memory of your old "Tull" Buddy !






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