Alan Mair is a Scottish musician, songwriter and record producer.
Mair's music career spans more than 40 years. He came to prominence in the late 1970s as the co-founder and bass guitarist for the English rock band the Only Ones, co-producing their second studio album Even Serpents Shine and writing and singing "My Way Out Of Here" for their third and final album Baby's Got a Gun. They released a top 60 hit in 1992 with the single "Another Girl, Another Planet". The band has maintained a cult following throughout its existence.
Mair began his solo career in 2014, while still a member of the Only Ones.
Alan Mair grew up in the Glasgow area. He began playing guitar at about age 13 and gained experience in various bands during the 1960s. In 1962, Mair and Eddie Campbell formed the Glasgow band The Beatstalkers. The line-up included Davie Lennox on vocals, Eddie Campbell on guitar, Mair on bass and 'Tudge' Williamson on drums (replaced by Jeff Allen). Later Ronnie Smith joined the group on rhythm guitar. Under the management of Joe Gaffney, the band went on to become Scotland's "top group" at the time. They were called the "Scottish Beatles" by the local press because of the screaming and riots that occurred anywhere they made an appearance; although the band toured England and Europe many times, had a 6-week sell-out residency at the famous Marquee Club and performed on the TV show "Ready Steady Go!", they never achieved the same dizzy heights of success as they did in Scotland. The band signed a recording contract with Decca Records. Their records sold thousands of copies in Scotland, but with only two chart shops in Scotland their sales made no impact on the UK charts. They split in 1969 after their van was stolen with all their equipment in it.
Mair eventually moved to London where he began making leather clothes and handmade boots, which led to him opening a shop at Kensington Market in 1970 selling handmade leather stacked heel boots. After a short time he employed Freddie Mercury, later of the rock band Queen, as his shop manager from 1971 until 1974.
Mair was recruited to play with the Only Ones in 1976, after he answered an advertisement in Melody Maker for an audition with Roger Chapman's band Streetwalkers. The Only Ones were in the rehearsal room next door. The Only Ones included lead vocalist Peter Perrett, guitarist John Perry and drummer and ex-Spooky Tooth member Mike Kellie. Their first single, "Lovers of Today", was self-released on the Vengeance record label, and a year later they signed to CBS. Their next single "Another Girl, Another Planet" became the band's best-known song. The band released The Only Ones in 1978, which was well received. The next year they released Even Serpents Shine, and a year later, they released their final studio album, Baby's Got a Gun. In the summer of 1980, they supported the Who on their tour of the United States. In 1982, the band officially disbanded. In subsequent years, The Only Ones gained a cult following, and compilation albums now outnumber their official studio albums.
Mair currently lives in London and has played in both of his band reunions. On 23 December 2005, he played in a Beatstalkers reunion in Glasgow.
In 2007, Mair was the driving force in reforming the Only Ones, who performed to a sell-out show at Shepherds Bush Empire. This was followed by shows at the O2 Wireless Festival in London's Hyde Park and Harewood House in Yorkshire with the White Stripes, and the first ever Connect Festival at Inveraray Castle in Scotland where they shared bills with Primal Scream, Big Star, and Johnny Marr. In 2009, they extended their touring to take in the Netherlands, Japan, Hultsfred Festival in Sweden, and in 2012, they played at the Rebellion Festival in Blackpool and headlined the Opera House stage in The Winter Gardens on Saturday 4 August. Mair remastered all three CBS studio albums for the band, which were re-released with bonus tracks in February 2009.
In 2014, Mair started to record tracks for a solo album Field of One planned for release in 2016 on his own label IKA Records. His debut single "Four Winds", taken from the album was released in December 2014, and his second single "Stairway to Hell" was released in August 2015. Mair also signed other groups to IKA including Zal Cleminson's "Tandoori Cassette"