Ian Bairnson, guitarist for the Alan Parsons Project, dies at age 69

Ian Bairnson, guitarist for the Alan Parsons Project, dies at age 69
Jim Steinfeldt/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Ian Bairnson, a guitarist best known for his work with Alan Parsons Project, passed away Friday at the age of 69. His death was confirmed on social media by his wife, Leila, who wrote, “Ian was the sweetest, kindest, loving husband I could ever have wished for and I take comfort that he is resting now up there in his very own piece of ‘Blue Blue Sky’.”

Alan Parsons paid tribute to the musician on Facebook, sharing, “It was a great pleasure to have him participate on every album by The Alan Parsons Project and several other albums under my name since.” He also shared a few memories of Bairnson, including the fact that he talked Parsons into not scraping what turned out to be one of his biggest hits, “Eye in the Sky.”

Parsons adds, “He was a true master of the guitar – he knew every possible playable guitar chord and how to describe it,” noting, “Ian will be greatly missed, but never forgotten.”

In addition to the Alan Parsons Project, Bairnson was a member of the Scottish band Pilot and played guitar on several of Kate Bush’s albums, having a notable guitar solo on her 1978 debut single, “Wuthering Heights.” As a session musician he worked with such artists as Mick FleetwoodJon Anderson and Neil Diamond. He played live with Sting, Eric Clapton and many more.

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