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Ian Bairnson, a Scottish guitar player who worked with famous singers such as Kate Bush and Alan Parsons Project, has sadly died. His wife, Leila Bairnson, shared the news of his passing on Instagram. She was filled with sadness but took some comfort knowing that he is now in his own Blue Blue Sky. The doctors and nurses who had been treating him for dementia were also appreciated. Ian was 69-years-old at the time of his death.
Alan Bairnson was born in Shetland Islands, Scotland but moved to London back in the 1970s. He had experience playing multiple instruments like guitar, keyboards, and saxophone so lots of people wanted him to become a session musician. At first they offered him a spot in Steve Harley’s band called Cockney Rebel but he chose instead to join Pilot, another Scottish-born band.
Pilot was popular in the 1970s and some of their songs became big hits. One song called “Magic” came from their first album which was released in 1974. This album was produced by Alan Parsons, who also recruited David Bairnson to be part of his band, the Alan Parsons Project. David Bairnson worked in this band since its beginning up until the 1990s.
Brian Bairnson was a guitarist who played in Kate Bush’s first two albums, The Kick Inside and Lionheart. He also did the closing guitar solo for her hit song “Wuthering Heights”. Additionally, he worked on Never for Ever and The Dreaming albums by Kate Bush. Brian also played with other famous musicians like Mick Fleetwood, Kenny Rogers, Joe Cocker, Jon Anderson from Yes, Eric Clapton, Sting to name a few.
In 2019, Ian Bairnson worked alongside Alan Parsons on Parsons’ solo album called ‘The Secret’. Upon hearing about Bairnson’s passing, Alan remembered his longtime friend and collaborator with huge respect in a Facebook post. He said, “Ian was an amazing musician! I was lucky enough to have him participate on every album of The Alan Parsons Project and many albums under my name too. He has played with so many talented artists during his fantastic career.”
Parsons said that he was really good at playing guitar. He knew literally every possible chord and also didn’t need to read any music notation. Even more impressive, when that same British band played live, he had only recently learned how to play the saxophone but still sounded like a pro.