Från en intervju gjord av Greg Prato publicerad den 5 april 2019 berättar Alan Parsons bland annat lite om hur det var att arbeta med The Beatles.
Alan Parsons har erfarit succéer såväl bakom scenen som på scenen genom åren. Han började sin musikbana som en s.k. studioråtta genom att arbeta som ljudtekniker. De största verken han jobbat med torde vara Abbey Road med The Beatles och Dark Side of the Moon med Pink Floyd.
Sedan ledde han the Alan Parsons Project och som brittisk musiker, låtskrivare m.m. nådde han stora framgångar i Nordamerika med hitsinglar som Eye in the Sky, Games People Play, Time och Don’t Answer Me.
På frågan hur det kom sig att han blev inblandad i att arbeta med The Beatles och hur han blev biträdande ljudtekniker på Abbey Road Studios svarar han:
It all happened through the fact that I was working at a related department of EMI Records in West London. I was working in the tape duplication factory, maintaining tape machines and making copies of EMI’s products for foreign factories to manufacture vinyl discs. I heard Sgt. Pepper in ’67, and I just said, ”I want to find out how The Beatles do this stuff.” I just chose the right date and time to do it. I got an interview, and then got the job a couple of weeks later.
Jag skrev faktiskt till Abbey Road Studios – det här var på den tiden man skrev brev! Sättet på vilket man skrev brev på den här tiden sa mycket om vem man var. Nu är det väl knappast någon som skriver brev.
Hur lång tid dröjde det innan du faktiskt fick möta och arbeta med beatlarna?
It was probably about three or four months into my initial employment. I started in the tape library at Abbey Road and then progressed to the fly-on-the-wall/eavesdropper on sessions. And then progressing to being the tape operator, which was actually a very demanding and very responsible job because back then, there was no ”undo” button. If you pressed the record button at the wrong moment, you erased what was on the tape, and it was done.
But I think I started in October of ’68, and it was in January or February of ’69 that I got sent down by Apple to do the Let It Be sessions. It was pretty intimidating. I walk into a control room, and there’s all four Beatles, George Martin, Glyn Johns, and Yoko Ono. I walk in and say, ”Hello! I’ve come to help!” They were all a bit long-faced, but thank goodness, it all improved a bit when the ”rooftop day” came and we recorded them on the roof. It made an enormous difference to the enthusiasm that they had for the songs.
Vilka minnen har du av att ha arbetat med The Beatles?
The ’Let It Be’ period was pretty short-lived – just a few days. But I did spend probably a month on the Abbey Road album, which was great. I got to see more individual Beatles working on their individual songs rather than watching the band work together. It had actually come to that.
George would come in and work on something on his own, and then Paul would come and do ’Oh Daling!’. He would come in every day at 2 p.m. and sing ’Oh! Darling’ a couple of times, and say, ”No, that’s not it,” and then come in the next day and do it again. You wouldn’t see more than one Beatle at a time that day.
Vad minns du från takkonserten?
It was brilliant. It was a great day, but there was an undertone of disappointment because I thought it would probably be the last time they’d play together as a band, in front of an audience. But it was a great day. A very cold day.
Hur var det att arbeta med John Lennon?
He was always good-humored. I didn’t feel like I got to know him that well. I had a much better rapport with Paul and George. But he was always good-humored. He always had a funny line. He was fun to work with.
Kände du på dig att det var en spänning inom bandet eller att de var på vippen att bryta upp vid det här tillfället?
Oh, for sure. I think that was really obvious. By the time Abbey Road came along, they just didn’t want to work together. It had just become individual work.
Hur skulle du jämföra att det var att arbeta med Pink Floyd på Dark Side Of The Moon med att arbeta med The Beatles?
Pretty different. The only similarity is that they both liked to use the studio to its fullest, and they were always looking for new effects and new sounds. But that was the beauty of working with those guys: There were always new horizons to discover in sound.