AP Band split up

by Francesco Ferrua


On September 4, 2001 the fans of Alan Parsons have been struck by a sad news about the future of the Alan Parsons Band. The news, brought on Roadkill by Kirk Kiester (web master of the official Ian Bairnson site), told us about the decision of Alan, Ian and Stuart to calls it a day the activity of The Alan Parsons Live Project, with implications also on making albums.

As Kirk said: "I have spoken to Ian and Stuart since their returning from the Japan tour. While in Japan, it seems that Alan, Ian, and Stuart had the opportunity to discuss the future of the band, recording and their partnership. They asked me to pass on the following information to the mailing list. They appreciate the enthusiasm of all the roadkillers especially the ones who treked all over the place to see The Live Project. This tour was the first outing of the Live Project in a year and a half, and given the shrinking touring market etc. Alan had expressed a desire to "call it a day". With Alan now resident in America, the physical distance between the band members is also a factor in this decision. This parting is amicable and will give each a chance to do other projects. Having spent the last six years building up a touring band, it leaves them with a strong sense of sadness to have to leave it behind".

It's easy to understand that this message, arrived out of the blue and not very clear, produces a lot of other messages of fans all over the world. And also Steve Martin has understood that it was really the time to bring some light on this fact and so, some days after, has been just Steve to send on Roadkill the following official message signed by Alan Parsons himself:

"Hi Steve, I met with Ian and Stuart in my hotel room in Japan towards the end of the tour on Wednesday of last week. We discussed the best way forward given the inactivity of the Alan Parsons Live Project band over the previous eighteen months.

We have known for some time that realistically we would not be recording together again in the future. In real terms that became fact two years ago when I closed down my London studio and started my new family life with Lisa and the girls in the States. It just isn't practical for Ian, Stuart and myself to work 6000 miles apart, given that historically we take at least six months to make an album.

I am rather surprised to see the early reaction to Kirk's announcement by many Roadkillers seeing this "event" as some kind of huge tragedy. It had an inevitability; and the fans should - like us - look positively towards the future and realize this is not the end - just the start of a new
chapter. Furthermore, if the right offer came up for the original band for a big event or a worthwhile tour and it fit in with everybody's plans then we would probably do it. It's not as if we have undergone some ghastly breakup drama and won't speak to each other!

Stuart, Ian and I have all had a great time playing live and recording music together. I'm actually glad that we are moving on and that we all now have the chance to re-invent ourselves. I cannot think of anyone that I would regard as closer friends and I will follow their new ventures with great interest and offer every support that I can.

As far as the future goes for me, I am looking forward to the challenge of finding new people to work with and having a totally blank page as a starting point. I am likely to be seeking production and writing collaborations with contemporary artists known and unknown - probably in a more electronic vein than in the past, but I don't want to lose my sonic identity. Also, my interest in 5.1 Surround is certainly capable of keeping me busy even if it's only for the remixing of back catalogue!

On a personal note I have never been happier. I love California and am enjoying my new family life to the fullest. Lisa is always there with love and constant support to me in everything I do. I am always grateful for the feedback that I have had from The Avenue, Roadkill and the fans at shows, many of whom have become good friends. Let's all stay in touch - and keep the dialog going. I would be saddened if The Avenue or the websites were to close. I urge everybody to look to the future and celebrate the past, not lament it.

All best wishes,

If on one side Alan tell us an unexpected sad decision about the band, on the other side his message open the way to a totally new future for Ian, Stuart and Alan himself. "The Time Machine" will not remains the very last album with the name "Alan Parsons" on the cover, because Alan has intention to carry on making music, also if in a new direction, in style with bands like Chemical Brothers, Moby or Air, but without loosing his own musical identity. In this direction, Alan has already created his new recording studio and has signed a contract with the Immergent Records label. Besides, he has intention to work as producer and engineer for other artists.

Ian Bairnson, beside having taken new contacts with the old friends Jack Harris and Lenny Zakatek, he has also began to collaborate with his old pal David Paton ...and now they are busy making a new Pilot album. This album will see the light of day very soon, and it will contain new recordings (with new arrangements) of tracks from old Pilot albums, taken especially from the album "Two's A Crowd". Beside this, the album will contain also a previously unreleased track from a live concert recorded in 1975 and two new studio tracks. Once ended this album, Ian has intention to begin his own new musical career, making blues/jazz albums, and he has already began to write new songs.

A lot of news also about Stuart Elliott. He's now involved in various projects. He work for "library music", but he's also working on the new Kate Bush album and together with the guitarist Hugh Burns he's recording two separate album of his own, one featuring flamenco guitar set to various contemporary backings (Drum & bass, dance etc.), the other a sixties/seventies retro film style album. Both projects are targeting the film/TV industry. He is also writing acid jazz music, he's considering an offer to do some music editing for film, and Steve Harley has also expressed a desire to reform the original lineup of Cockney Rebel for a comeback tour in the future.

Surely this is the end of an era, but as Alan said now the boys are writing new chapters of they musical careers, and certainly they'll come back soon with great exciting projects. And now we have to follow three artists ...and this website will bring to you all the news about Alan, as well as about Ian and Stuart! So ...stay tuned!