Alan Parsons continues his work in music and pursues acting career

By From page B1 | February 15, 2013


FAIRFIELD — Pete Townshend. That’s one musician Alan Parsons wants to work with.

“He’s a great guitar player,” Parsons said. Of course, he’d consider working with The Who, too. “Or just something with Townshend,” he said.

Parsons is making a short run through North America and will stop Feb. 24 at Napa’s Uptown Theatre. These dates coincide with the 35th anniversary of The Alan Parsons Project’s “I Robot” and the 40th anniversary of Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon,” which Parsons engineered.

When asked to share some highlights about working on each of the albums, Parsons said it was a topic he could easily write a book about.

The Pink Floyd work won him a Grammy nomination for best engineered album, non-classical.

He began his career as an assistant engineer at Abbey Road Studios, working on projects such as The Beatles’ “Abbey Road” and “Let It Be.”

Later, he went on to form The Alan Parsons Project, which featured his collaborator Eric Woolfson and a rotating cast of studio musicians. “Eye in the Sky,” “Time” and “Don’t Answer Me” spent time on the Billboard Top 40 hit singles chart.

The Alan Parsons Project was a mention in the “Austin Powers” movie series, starring Mike Myers. Parsons said he was told to go watch the film because his name was mentioned.

“I was surprised because no one told me (in advance),” he said of the reference, which made him laugh. The film was released almost 15 years ago and Parsons said people still remind him about the reference. “It’s arguably the biggest piece of promotion I’ve had,” he said.

Parsons bravely owned up to being one of the many who have played “Dark Side of the Moon” while watching “The Wizard of Oz” muted. Doing so is said to produce moments where the music and film appear to correspond.

“I wasn’t impressed,” he said. “People have too much time on their hands.”

The cousin of actor Oliver Reed, Parsons is now getting ready to enter the acting arena. He’s working with an acting coach and brings a family history of the art to his learning. His great-grandfather and an uncle were actors. His mother, too, though on a less successful level, Parsons said.

This summer, Parsons fans will be able to get their hands on a box set of his work.

“It’s nice that people will have access to all the albums in one place,” he said.

On the other hand, “the fact of the matter is the box set doesn’t have as many goodies as buying each album separately,” he said.

After the North American tour, Parsons heads off to Europe. The show in Napa will be the last in this country.

“We love coming up there,” Parsons said in reference to him and his wife. “We are great wine lovers.”

An Evening with Alan Parsons Live Project

  • 8 p.m. Feb. 24
  • Uptown Theatre, 1350 Third St., Napa
  • 259-0123
  • www.uptowntheatrenapa.com
  • www.alanparsonsmusic.com
Amy Maginnis-Honey

Amy Maginnis-Honey

Amy Maginnis-Honey joined the staff of the Daily Republic in 1980. She’ll tell you she was only 3 at the time. Over the past three decades she’s done a variety of jobs in the newsroom. Today, she covers arts and entertainment and writes for the Living and news pages.

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