Alistair “Zal” Cleminson (born 4 May 1949, Glasgow, Scotland) is a Scottish guitarist, best known for his prominent role in The Sensational Alex Harvey Band during the 1970s.

A self-taught guitarist, at the start of the 1970s he played and recorded with the Glasgow based band Tear Gas. The musicians in that band then provided the backbone for The Sensational Alex Harvey Band (SAHB). In his white-face pierrot make-up, audiences could not mistake him, or his guitar solos on stage with SAHB.

In 1979, he joined Nazareth and recorded two albums with them, 1979’s No Mean City and 1980’s Malice in Wonderland. He was a regular guitarist with UK legend Elkie Brooks on many of her tours throughout 1980s. He also wrote and played on Brooks’ album, Minutes. Cleminson has also toured and recorded with Midge Ure and Bonnie Tyler.

In 2006 he appeared in his début acting role as Wilson in the western film, A Shot in the West, for which he wrote the theme music. In early 2008 he announced his retirement from the music industry and stated he would never perform live again.

Cleminson is referenced in the novel The Sacred Art of Stealing by the Scottish author Christopher Brookmyre as the basis of the disguises worn by bank robbers during a heist.

Zal Cleminson’s first novel - Hail Vibrania, is scheduled for publication next year (2012).

Edited by rusty2000 on 10 Dec 2011, 13:55


Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. “Biography: Nazareth”. AMG. Retrieved 17 May 2010.

Zal Cleminson: Interview in Guitar Player (May 2006)


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