Headline: In Memoriam: Ian Bairnson

Headline: In Memoriam: Ian Bairnson

Guitarist Ian Bairnson, a member of the Alan Parsons Project who played on the band’s 10 studio albums from 1976 through ’87, then on several Parsons solo albums, died April 7. He was 69 and battled dementia.

A Scotland native, Bairnson was working as session musician when he met Parsons, who was producing Pilot’s 1974 debut album. Bairnson played on the hit “Magic,” then joined the group. He also played on several Kate Bush albums and her signature U.K. chart-topping single, “Wuthering Heights.”

Other sessions included with Jon Anderson, Bucks Fizz, Mick Fleetwood, Kenny Rogers, Tom Jones, and more. Live, he played with Eric Clapton, Sting, and others. His higlight APP efforts include “I Wouldn’t Want to Be Like You,” “Games People Play,” the hypnotic instrumental “Sirius,” and the intro to “Eye in the Sky.” Parsons credited Bairnson for having recognized the song’s hit potential.

This article originally appeared in VG’s June 2023 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.

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