Founding Quireboys guitarist Guy Bailey has died

Guy Bailey press shot
(Image credit: Thirsty Music)

Founding Quireboys guitarist Guy Bailey has died. The news was confirmed in a social media post by fellow band founder Spike.

"I'm heartbroken to have to write this," wrote Spike. "My best friend Guy Bailey passed away peacefully in hospital last night in the arms of his beloved Bianca.

"Guy was the kindest, funniest man you could have the pleasure of being around. He was loved by everyone who he ever worked with, all the bands he ever toured with and all the Quireboys fans he ever met. He certainly loved you all more than you will ever know.

"I have so much I would like to share and say to everyone about him but this is just such a hard time for me and everyone close to him. I hope you all understand."

The news was also posted on the Facebook page of Thirsty, the band Bailey founded in 2015.

"It is with great sadness that we are letting you know that last night our founder, lead vocalist, guitarist, composer and inspiration Guy Bailey passed away peacefully in hospital after a short illness," read the statement. "He will be much missed. 'Goodnight, sweet prince, and flights of angels sing thee to thy rest'."

Spike and Bailey had met in the latter's local pub, an encounter that led to Spike sleeping on Bailey's floor for two years. The pair founded The Quireboys – originally known as The Queerboys – in 1984. 

Bailey would go on to play on the band's first two albums, 1990's classic A Bit of What You Fancy and 1993's Bitter Sweet & Twisted, co-writing fan favourites like Hey You, 7 O’clock and I Don't Love You Anymore. The band went on hiatus in 1994, and returned without Bailey in 2001. 

He would join forces with the singer again in 2022, after Spike was fired from The Quireboys. As a war of words between the two camps escalated, Spike signed former members Bailey, bassist Nigel Mogg, keyboard player Chris Johnstone and drummer Rudy Richman up for a one-off show at London’s Islington Academy in December 2022, performing as "Quireboys" as his former band "The" Quireboys proceeded with their own plans. 

Spike finished his tribute to Bailey with some news for Quireboys fans. 

"I would just like to say, me and Guy Bailey have written the songs for a new album, and me and Chris Johnstone, Nigel Mogg and Rudy Richman will fulfil his wishes that these songs are recorded and a new Quireboys album will be released this year."

"On the first day I sat down with Guy Bailey, the first time in years, we wrote five songs, Spike told Classic Rock late last year. "And they’re pure Quireboys, just the way we sound; good old British rock’n’roll.” 

Fraser Lewry

Online Editor at Louder/Classic Rock magazine since 2014. 38 years in music industry, online for 25. Also bylines for: Metal Hammer, Prog Magazine, The Word Magazine, The Guardian, The New Statesman, Saga, Music365. Former Head of Music at Xfm Radio, A&R at Fiction Records, early blogger, ex-roadie, published author. Once appeared in a Cure video dressed as a cowboy, and thinks any situation can be improved by the introduction of cats. Favourite Serbian trumpeter: Dejan Petrović.