Basic Background Info
Richard Bailey was born in Guyana and began his drumming career at nine by performing in his elder brother Robert’s band on percussion, drums, and occasionally bass guitar. Despite his young age, the band was one of the top bands in Trinidad and Tobago at the time. Richard Bailey also performed live on television as a duo with his brother, who played Hammond organ.
When Richard Bailey was twelve, his family immigrated to London, England, where Bailey enrolled in school. As the son of Emmanuel McDonald Bailey, an Olympic Bronze winner in the 100 meter, it was no surprise that Richard Bailey excelled in athletics, especially in the same sport that his father was accomplished in. Richard Bailey became Southern England school champ at the 100 meters. Richard Bailey still sat in on occasional practice sessions and performances. Despite his exemplary athletic performance in school, Richard Bailey dropped out at fifteen and decided to play drums instead.
By sixteen, Richard Bailey was recording and touring throughout the United Kingdom and the U.S. with Johnny Nash and Bob Marley. By eighteen, Richard Bailey had recorded with Jeff Beck and appeared on Beck’s best-selling album, Blow by Blow. That same year, Richard Bailey also appeared on the soundtrack for the film Tommy. The film, based on The Who’s rock opera (of the same name) about a psychosomatically blind deaf-mute boy who becomes a pinball champion, faith healer, and religious cult figure, didn’t exactly skyrocket Bailey into fame and fortune, but it was certainly an eye-catcher on one’s résumé.
In the early 1990s, Bailey joined the British acid jazz group Incognito and has been touring and recording with them ever since then. One of the forerunners in the British acid jazz movement, Incognito is helmed by musician and producer Jean-Paul "Bluey" Maunick.
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