He has donned many hats like that of an acclaimed recording engineer, keyboardist, guitarist, bassist, vocalist, for decades and continues to do so. Alan Parsons — the brain behind the British classic pop-rock band The Alan Parsons Project formed in 1975, and later rechristened as The Alan Parsons Live Project in the early 90s, will be performing live at Johnnie Walker The Journey, in the city. This one-day festival will also showcase performances and works from a variety of notable people and acts like The Handspring Puppet Company, veteran film and theatre producer John N Hart Jr, film writer-director Shane Carruth, and film director Q aka Qaushiq Mukherjee. We spoke to Parsons on his involvement in the upcoming festival in the city.
The Alan Parsons Project is best known for their numbers like Games People Play, I Wouldn’t Want To Be Like You, Don’t Answer Me and Eye In the Sky to name some, and fans across the globe just can’t seem to get enough of them. When asked what has he planned for his show, Parsons says, “It will be a combination of the classic hits and new recordings as well.” However after a point, doesn’t it get monotonous to play the hits time and again as opposed to showcasing new work, to which he replies, “It doesn’t really bother me. I’ve got used to playing the same songs, singing the same lines. The audience is not always the same everywhere. There are some who like to listen to new material and some like the old. This way I’m catering to the different types of audience.”
Parsons has worked as an assistant engineer on the albums Abbey Road and Let It Be by The Beatles at the age of 19, and later on Pink Floyd’s cult album Dark Side of The Moon, just to name a few before starting his own band The Alan Parsons Project in 1975, solidifying a firm ground for technical knowledge in the studio. So which role does he enjoy better? “I started off as a musician in a Blues band and when I began working on Abbey road, I had to put away my guitar as my principal activity lay in the recording studio. I believe my talent lies in the studio. My activities as a musician are not that great. I heavily rely on the talent in the band. Having said that, both are different roles and I immensely enjoy doing both,” he says.
As for the question of wanting to collaborate with Indian artistes while he’s here, Parsons says that he has no such specific plans. “I’ve collaborated with many artistes and musicians and it’s all about the chemistry. It’s about the admiration, the mutual respect that we have for each
other. Also, the collaboration should work from a commercial point of view,” says he. Working with numerous artistes over the years, one of the few on his wish list happens to be Sting.
The other highlights of the Johnnie Walker the Journey will include live act Ouroboros by The Handspring Puppet Company, which is essentially a love story between a poet Andre and a dancer Nokobonisa. There will be an interactive workshop hosted by John N Hart Jr, an exclusive preview of Shane Carruth’s film Upstream Color, and screening of the film Tasher Desh by Q aka Qaushiq Mukherjee.
So whether it’s music, films or performing arts that you like, choose your pick at this one-day festival.
WHEN & WHERE: December 14, 5 pm to 11.30 pm, Mehboob Studios, Bandra (W)