Ian Bairnson, guitarist for Alan Parsons Project and Kate Bush, passed away at 69

Kate Bush, guitarist and Ian Bairnson

Ian Bairnson, 69, was a Scottish guitarist best known for his work with the Alan Parsons Project and Kate Bush. Bairnson’s death was verified by his family on April 5, 2023, with no more information about the cause of death provided.

Who was Ian Bairnson?

Ian Bairnson was born on August 3, 1953, in Lerwick, Shetland Islands, Scotland. He began playing the guitar at 12 and soon started performing with local bands in his hometown. Bairnson moved to London in the 1970s to pursue his music career.

In 1976, Bairnson was introduced to musician and producer Alan Parsons, who was looking for a guitarist to join his newly formed group, the Alan Parsons Project. Bairnson’s distinctive guitar work became a vital element of the group’s sound, and he continued to work with Parsons for several years.

Collaborations with Kate Bush

Bairnson also collaborated with Kate Bush on several of her albums, including “The Dreaming,” “Hounds of Love,” and “The Sensual World.” He provided guitar work on many of Bush’s biggest hits, including “Running Up That Hill” and “Cloudbusting.”

Critics lauded Bairnson’s work with Bush, cementing his status as one of the most brilliant guitarists of his time. In addition to his work with Parsons and Bush, Bairnson was involved in a variety of other projects and cooperated with a number of other artists.

Ian Bairnson’s death left a significant void in the music industry. He was widely recognized as one of the most gifted and versatile guitarists of his time, with a distinctive style that blended technical prowess with a deep sense of melody and emotion.

Bairnson’s work with the Alan Parsons Project and Kate Bush helped define the sound of popular music in the 1970s and 1980s, and his influence can still be heard in the work of many contemporary artists. His legacy as a musician and guitarist will continue to inspire future generations of musicians for years to come.

Ian Bairnson
Images Source:
The Guardian

Tributes and Condolences

Many fans and other artists have gone to social media in the aftermath of Ian Bairnson’s death to express their condolences and pay respect to the late guitarist. Alan Parsons issued a comment on Twitter, writing, “I am deeply saddened by the news of Ian Bairnson’s passing.” He was a gifted musician and a close friend, and his contributions to the Alan Parsons Project were enormous. During this awful time, my thoughts are with his family and loved ones.”

Others who have paid tribute to Bairnson include Kate Bush, who called him a “brilliant musician and a dear friend,” and fellow guitarist Steve Hackett, who praised Bairnson’s “amazing talent and creativity.”


The passing of Ian Bairnson is a significant loss to the music industry and his legions of fans around the world. Bairnson was a true pioneer of the guitar and a master of his craft, and his influence on popular music will be felt for generations to come.

As we grieve his death, we are reminded of the power of music to bring people together, and we honour the life and legacy of a real musical genius. During this sad time, our thoughts and prayers are with his family and loved ones.

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