As it turns out, there really is someone that has their fingers in everything. And he’s been right in front of us for years. As a teenager in the late ‘60s, music icon Alan Parsons dabbled with live performance as lead guitarist for a hometown London blues band. But it wasn’t until he landed a job at the renowned Abbey Road Studios at the age of 19 that it became clear that the world of sound recording was to dominate his career.
And at that point there was no looking back for the talented musician, working as assistant engineer on The Beatles last two albums, Abbey Road and Let It Be. Parsons’ notable work helped him to qualify as a full-fledged recording engineer, after which he worked with such industry notables as Paul McCartney and The Hollies. But it was his contributions as engineer to Pink Floyd’s classic, Dark Side Of The Moon that made the world sit up and notice.
The gig quickly led to striking successes as a producer – notably with Pilot’s Magic, John Miles’ Highfly and Music and Steve Harley’s (Come Up And See Me) Make Me Smile. He also produced Al Stewart’s hugely successful Year Of The Cat album and two albums for American progressive rock band Ambrosia. Most recently, Parsons produced Jake Shimabukuro’s album Grand Ukulele. The virtuoso ukulele player’s YouTube video of “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” has received over ten million hits. The album contains a number of orchestral arrangements by Winger frontman, Kip Winger.
Of course, Parsons did manage to find the time to release an incredible string of his own hit albums over the years, namely, I Robot (‘77), Pyramid (‘78), The Turn of a Friendly Card (‘80), Eye in the Sky (‘82), Ammonia Avenue (‘84), Vulture Culture (‘85), Stereotomy (‘86) and Gaudi (‘87). Music followers will remember Parsons from such gems as “I Wouldn’t Want to Be Like You,” “Damned if I Do,” “Games People Play,” “Time,” “Eye in the Sky” and “Don’t Answer Me.”
Arizona music fans get a chance to witness Parsons’ brilliance when Alan Parsons Live Project plays the historic Celebrity Theatre at 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 5. When Parsons was asked what fans can expect from the new live show he said, “We’ve established the Live Project to perform The Alan Parsons Project hits and we don’t disappoint.”
“We don’t go ‘eclectic’ with the set lists – I walked out of a Steely Dan concert [recently] for that reason, because it was so self-indulgent! (laughs) The show is fun, liberating, and it’s great to hear the audience’s reaction. The fans will hear all the songs they know we have to play in the spectacular fashion they deserve!”
Doors open at 5:30 p.m. Tickets ($35, $48 and $68) are currently on sale at the Celebrity Theatre or online at www.celebritytheatre.com. To charge by phone, call 602-267-1600 ext.1. All tickets are subject to a surcharge. All ages welcome. Celebrity Theatre is located just 4 blocks south of the 202 freeway, at 440 N. 32nd St., in Phoenix.