RIP Dave Bailey, enabler of the Canadian music scene 161217

Dave Bailey -Facebook timeline post

Dave Bailey -Facebook timeline post


He was a teller of tall tales (many of them quite possibly actually true), a lugger of large loads, illuminator of illustrious talents and a car buff, avid polemicist and debater, teller of politically incorrect jokes, and animal lover and huge Beatles fan.

Dave Bailey, soundman/lighting tech/roadie and friend to many of Canada’s treasured bands and performers, passed away on Thursday December 15 at just 55 years of age after battling an undisclosed illness for some time.

His longtime friend and room mate Bob Segarini made the announcement on Facebook that afternoon.

Bailey, who worked with Segarini over decades after the Pop singer and songwriter moved to Canada from LA, also worked closely with bands like Goddo and The Kings and Teenage Head on tours and domestic shows during their heyday years in the 80s and 90s as well as with Country artists and Blues icons like Jeff Healey.

A who’s who of Canadian musical talents and industry veterans have posted condolences on the Facebook page of the sometimes testy but always engaging and helpful facilitator of great shows and careers.  He was a go-to guy when the stars needed someone to get something arranged and done quickly and as a result also a seemingly endless fount of road stories.

His sense of humour could be off-putting to sensitive types: a joke about a zebra at the Pearly Gates that he posted on his timeline in 2013 would probably cause a riot if it were told in public today. He held his political opinions passionately and many friends remembered heated debates.

But the enduring memory shared by people such as Dave Marsden, Greg Godovitz, Al Joynes, Todd Miller, Jaimie Vernon, Greg Simpson, Frank Soda, Rich Roxborough, Jerome Godboo, Sebastian Agnello, Leo Valvasorri and Neil Numminen (to name a few) is of someone who really wanted to be helpful, who had a good heart, loved to laugh and who truly believed in the Canadian music scene.

CCR group at Miguel's Bistro in 2002 -Dave Bailey is hoisting glass in second row from back.

CCR group at Miguel’s Bistro in 2002 -Dave Bailey is hoisting glass in second row from back.

I first met Dave around the turn of the millennium when we were both part of an internet chat group known as Canadian Class Rock, where we often locked horns but never developed lingering acrimony.  I’d see him at shows put on by members of that group and, once he described to me his vision of a permanent road show featuring great talents and all the vehicles he wanted to assemble to make that happen.

Perhaps Dave knew the end was imminent because on September 20 he cryptically posted this excerpt from a Paul Simon song on his timeline without further explanation (and that we can only hope describes his own final moments on earth):

“And I dreamed I was dying
I dreamed that my soul rose unexpectedly
And looking back down at me
Smiled reassuringly”

No announcement has yet been made about a funeral or memorial event.

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He will most certainly be included in the “builders” category of Toronto Moon’s forthcoming Musical Legacies Online Museum website once sufficient support has been secured to enable its launch on

-Gary 17, 161110-support-the-moon