For those of you who have been Alan Parsons fans as long as I have (since his time with the Alan Parsons Project in the 70's and 80's), you may recall that the Alan Parsons Project did not tour. They felt that it was not possible to replicate their sound out on the road, so they opted to be a studio band. And the reality was that they weren't even really a band.... they were, in fact, a project. The core of the project was Alan Parsons, legendary producer and studio engineer who had worked with the likes of The Beatles, in addition to garnering a Grammy for his work on Pink Floyd's DARK SIDE OF THE MOON. Also, the other main figure in the Alan Parsons Project was Eric Woolfson, who was the main songwriter and regular vocalist. The Alan Parsons Project included vocals from several vocalists over the years, some famous...some not. They also utilized the talents of a couple members of Kate Bush's regular line-up (Ian Bairnson on guitar and Stuart Elliott on drums) on a regular basis, including into the "solo" era of Alan Parsons. Parsons also produced other hit records, including Al Stewart's "The Year of the Cat" and "Time Passages", two of my favorites from the 70's.
Although "On Air", the 1996 concept piece based around the concept of flying, was the second album in the Alan Parsons solo era (the only pivotal difference being that Eric Woolfson had left to pursue his own interests), it was my first opportunity to see the band. I don't know if technology had come along far enough to where Alan Parsons could take his music on the road, or that Eric Woolfson was the "no-tour" instigator, or even a combination of both, but by 1996 Alan Parsons not only had his band on tour, but they were proudly sponsored by DTS, as you will note on the bottom of the t-shirt.
This shirt was acquired at the concert, which was held in October of 1996, at Abravanel Hall, in Salt Lake City. My only complaint about the entire concert was that it was, in fact, too loud for a venue with as pristine acoustics as Abravanel Hall. For those of you not familiar with this great concert hall, it is said that if one were to drop a pin on the stage of Abravanel Hall, you would be able to hear it in any seat in the house. However, all that was made up when I actually had the opportunity to go backstage (I went to the concert with a friend who is friends with a fan club member, and we were all able to go backstage) and meet Alan Parsons and his band. Not only were they ALL incredibly nice blokes, but Alan Parsons is one tall individual. 6'6", if I'm not mistaken. The humor for me was that the gentleman I went to the show with (a friend, Craig Rackley) spent his time backstage asking Ian and Stuart what it was like to work with Kate Bush..... but hey, I can't knock him for that.
This shirt has noticeably many holes, although they may not be visible in the pictures. It is the perfect shirt to wear with a pair of pajama pants when it comes time to retire... and today is kind of a "pajama pants" day.
I hope you enjoyed the pictures... and I hope you enjoyed the stories. Now, sit back and enjoy some classic Alan Parsons video footage....
The following is a track from the Alan Parsons album, ON AIR. It's a track called, "Brother Up in Heaven", which was written by Ian Bairnson about his cousin that was the only pilot in the Allied forces to lose his life in Operation Desert Storm. A heartfelt song, to say the least. This performance is taken from a concert in Belgium in 1997.
And lastly, this touching video put to the music of "Silence and I", from the Alan Parsons Project album, EYE IN THE SKY.