Possibly the finest session guitarist in Europe. Ian Bairnson has been a sidekick to Alan Parsons from the day the Project was born... and when the Project passed away, Bairnson was one of the people Alan turned to, to make a new beginning. Ian first came to Alan's attention as the new guitarist in Pilot, one of the finest pop rock bands in the UK back in 1975. By his own admission, Parsons was a bit dubious, but it soon became obvious that not only was the Scot a damned fine guitarist, he had a determination to succeed. When it came to putting together his band, this appealed to Parsons.
He has played on ever Alan Parsons album since the beginning, but in between, the grass did not grow under his feet. Bairnson has worked with the world's finest contemporary artistes. It would almost be easier to mention those he hasn't worked with, but let's go with the hard way and read the notches on his belt: Kate Bush, Stanley Clarke and Steve Gadd, Chris DeBurgh, Beverley Craven, Michael McDonald, Mick Fleetwood, Sting, Tom Jones, Jon Anderson, Elaine Paige, Bucks Fizz, Kenny Rogers, David Sylvian, David Cassidy... to name a few!
And that's not mentioning the many Germany artistes (Harold Faltermayer, Esther Ofarim, Eberhardt Schoener, Herman Weindorf) and Japanese artistes (Akira Inoue, Sugi Masamichi, Yui Asaka, Saki Nobuhide, Ryuchi Asuka, Yukio Sasaki) he has played with.
Then there's tours with acts as diverse as John Parr, Beverley Craven and Michael McDonald.
In between all that, he manages to compose television programme music, sneak into Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club for a session or three and give lectures on the assets of Mesa Boogie Amplification and PRS Guitars.
Indeed, a very full life!
This biography was written for the "Alan Parsons Live" tour programme in 1994. For more details about the life and work of Ian Bairnson, read the interview in Issues Four and Five of The Avenue newsletter.
Official Site: www.ianbairnson.com
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