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The Angels Bassist Chris Bailey Loses Battle With Cancer

Date of News: 2013-04-03
Source: bigpondmusic

[Source:] The Angels have just reported on their official Facebook that bassist, Chris Bailey, has passed away this morning at 12.30am. Bob Spencer, the group’s guitarist, allegedly broke the news.

Bailey was fighting an aggressive form of cancer and had performed with the illness for a number of months before stepping aside back in January to undergo another round of chemotherapy.

Bandmate John Brewster’s son Sam had been filling in for Bailey when he wasn’t up to performing, and Bailey had been working on new material ahead of the Angels Australian tour.

The Angels broke the news of Bailey’s fight back in January via a joint statement to fans. “(We) are deeply saddened to learn that our bass player, Chris Bailey, has an aggressive, life-threatening cancer and is now undergoing palliative chemotherapy,” the statement read.

“He is amongst the very best bass players this country has ever produced and has always been a great and loyal friend. Chris has been in the studio with us recently and has played on some new tracks.”

Bailey joined The Angels in 1976, left in 1982, and returned back to the band in 2002; a characteristic of the group, who’s members have come and gone like a revolving door since the 70s.

Chris Bailey was also in GANGgajang and a number of other Adelaide bands earlier on such as Tattered Sole, Red Angel Panic, Headband and Mount Lofty Rangers (with Bon Scott)

The Dave Gleeson-fronted Angels had released their latest studio album, Take It To The Streets in August last year, with our Tone Deaf reviewer noting it marked, “a new chapter in the ongoing career of a legendary Australian band.”

The Angels performed in May at the Clipsal 500 in Adelaide and announced a benefit concert for Bailey featuring a Who’s Who of Australian rock. The show was set to feature Cold Chisel members Jimmy Barnes, Ian Moss, Phil Small and Don Walker, performing individually, along with Diesel, James Reyne, Gangajang, Swanee with The Brewster Brothers, and The Angels with Dave Gleeson. Wilbur Wilde was to be the MC.

‘Adelaide Salutes Chris Bailey’ was due to take place at the Thebarton Theatre in Adelaide in April 17 although it is unclear if the show will still go ahead.

The tragic news of Bailey’s passing comes as after original Angels frontman Doc Neeson confirmed he had been diagnosed with a brain tumour over Christmas.

Though Neeson had been involved in some nasty legal wrangling with former bandmates, leading to two lineups featuring rival members calling themselves The Angels springing up, Neeson’s newly forged lineup was to come together for the first time for the 100% Tour.

Featuring members crucial to the The Angels’ 28 years of rock history, including Doc Neeson, Bob Spencer, James Morley, Buzz Bidstrup and Jim Hilbun, the five had never once shared a stage before on the road.

Though the pub rock icons had tour plans scheduled through February, all of the group’s forthcoming tour commitments have now been canned while the singer – who turned 66 on January 4 – undergoes immediate intensive care, set for radiation and chemotherapy treatment, over the next six to seven months.

There is also a tribute concert for Neeson scheduled at Sydney’s Enmore Theatre on Monday 15th April, featuring Jimmy Barnes, Rose Tattoo, Screaming Jets, Diesel, members of Noiseworks and Midnight Oil, and many more besides, at the Rock For Doc concert , with all the proceeds from the night will be used to ease the financial burden of his treatment.

Angels guitarist James Morley spoke with Tone Deaf earlier in March and gave an update on Neeson’s battle revealing “Doc is doing well and responding to treatment a little better than we had hoped. He’s generally in good spirits, of course this can take the wind out of your sails So it’s a long bumpy road, but he’s extremely thankful for all the support of his many fans and peers.”

Our thoughts are with Chris Bailey’s friends and family, bandmates, and fans at this difficult time.

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