For much of the life of his Alan Parsons Project — including the commercial heyday of “I, Robot,” “Eve” and “Eye in the Sky” — the British-born songwriter, musician, producer and engineer did not take his music out on the road. And that’s a rare regret in a career that’s also included studio work with The Beatles, Pink Floyd, Al Stewart and others.
“I actually do wish that I’d started touring earlier,” admits Parsons, 60, whose latest version of the Live Project includes northern Michigan native PJ Olsson on vocals. “But the fact is, technology wasn’t available to pull it off at the time we made the records without carting a full-blown orchestra around with it.
“Even in the ’90s, that was hard to pull off. But now we have a good time when we play live. I’m sort of proud of the fact that we bring sort of new life to the recordings by playing them live. I feel good up there.”
Parsons remains busy off the road, too. Though he hasn’t made a new album since “A Valid Path” in 2004, he’s “always writing music.” But much of his focus has been on “The Art and Science of Sound Recording,” a six-hour DVD set slated for release later this year with hopes of a TV broadcast as well as a companion book.
And then there’s the 40th anniversary of The Beatles’ “Abbey Road” album, on which Parsons, then in “a trainee/junior position” at the studio, served as an engineer.
“Well, it was legendary,” recalls Parsons, who was “always a self-confessed Beatles fan ... I think a lot of
Beatles, including the group themselves, knew this was the end, it was going to be their last statement. You could see they
really weren’t interested in working as a group anymore; you’d just see one Beatle at a time working on his own songs.
“But it was still a great album and an amazing experience.”
The Alan Parsons Live Project and The Orchestra (former members of Electric Light Orchestra and ELO II) perform at 7:30 p.m. Friday (July 17) at the DTE Energy Music Theatre, Sashabaw Road east of I-75, Independence Township. Tickets are $34.50 pavil- ion, $10 lawn. Call (248) 377-0100 or visit www.palacenet.com.
Send your thoughts and comments to