In 1973, David took a night
job at Tiffany's playing bass for the resident band, Band of Gold.
There he hooked up with Ian Bairnson, the band's guitarist and Stuart
Tosh who frequently filled in on drums for the band. David would
write songs with Billy at Craighall and play in Band of Gold with
Ian at night. The band would mix David's songs into its set, including
what would become Pilot's first smash hit, "Magic'. After one
set, a guy offered to buy the song for 200 pounds. Fortunately for
David and Pilot, he turned him down. Ian and Stuart would ultimately
join David and Billy down at Craighall Studios to play on their
Late in 1973, Ian moved to London to
seek out work
as a session guitarist.
He brought some demos with him that he shopped around to record companies with
no luck. Meanwhile back in Edinburgh, David, Billy and Stuart were also mailing
the demos to record companies and getting the usual reply "They're quite
nice, but not really what we want. Keep Trying." In November of 1973, the
winds would change. David and Billy flew down to London and met with EMI label
manager John Cavanagh who Stuart knew. EMI knew immediately they had an ace.
Over the next four months,
EMI ended up in a bidding war with Warner Brothers to sign the band.
EMI won. In April of 1974, David, Billy and Stuart began recording
their first album "From the Album of the Same Name" which
was produced by Alan Parsons. The name PiLoT
came from the first letter of each of their last names. Ian ultimately
would play guitar on the album but was not an "official"
a member of the band at the time because he had an offer on the
table to join Steve Harley and Cockney Rebel. Ultimately before
the release of the album, Ian climbed aboard. It was quite ironic
that once Pilot soared to #1 with "January" that they
were knocked out of the #1 spot by none other than Steve Harley
and Cockney Rebel. Now that you know how it all got started go back
and click on In Flight to join the
band on its maiden voyage!