Derek Bailey miscellany: quotes, lists and other stuff

Derek Bailey quotations

1975: Musics, no. 1, (April/May), p. 13. 1976: Musics, no. 10, (November), p. 19. 1978: Guitar, no. 10, (May), p. 21.

Derek Bailey's top records of 1996

Towards the end of 1996, Derek Bailey was asked to contribute to the Bay Guardian's 'Best CDs of the year' poll. His response is reproduced below with the permission and thanks of John Shiurba.

Indistinguishable in their excellence, 4 records share top spot:

In case the suspicious and ill-informed suspect that my choice of four Incus records to share joint first place in this poll is somehow influenced by my connection with Incus, let me reassure them of my impartiality by pointing out that, at Incus, it is our conviction that we issue only the best available recorded music every year. Further, it is entirely irrelevant that these are, in fact the only ten records I have heard this year. (Excluding, that is, a number of my own recordings issued recently on various labels which, naturally, modesty forbids...

Charlie Appleyard

A close associate of Derek Bailey, Appleyard was responsible for the photographs on Solo guitar vol. 2. His curriculum vitae or position statement was included in the programme notes for Company Week 1990:

Son of a Cricklewood glazier, Charlie Appleyard (57-73, estimates vary) made it clear from the start that he had no intention - citing destiny - to do anything other than play music. His early career, still under investigation, suggests a weakness for the seedier environs of the entertainment industry and a tendency to make dubious musical associations.

Subsequently, although justly famous for the invention of improvisation (October 12, 1953) it was only through the sheer imagination and virtuosity of his Arts Council grant applications, his self-control in the face of promoters and an uncanny ability, even in the most difficult situations, to find work for his wife and children which in the end lead to the spleandour of the career so widely admired today. High points are too numerous and well-known to need any mention here but, for the statistically minded, he has played in every known combination of musicians put together in the past 25 years in addition to appearing on 817 LPs and 274 CDs. Cassettes, he says, don't count.

In his musical maturity, Mr Appleyard has taken refuge in the academic bunker where, through the assiduous re-writing of history, he seeks to bolster his reputation and enhance his esteem. Furthermore, as the Founder, Chancellor, Secretary, Co-ordinator and Official Historian of the Appleyard Institute, a body dedicated to the Propogation, Promotion and Dissemination of Appleyard Improvised Music, he is presently preparing a book of rules, "Appleyard Improvised Music, What it is now and how to do it". As he say, 'Let's get this stuff sorted out once and for all.'

Favourite Derek Bailey recordings

A number of people have been invited to provide their five favourite Derek Bailey discs (LPs/CDs) and their five favourite tracks; some have complied, others have gone further.


'As someone who has been working on computers for too many years, I have long since come to the conclusion that decimal is obsolescent (or should be) - hexadecial is the way to go. So here are my:

favourite eight DB solo albums'

With the ones marked * being my four favourites.


Five favourite discs Five favourite tracks


Five favourite discs Five favourite tracks Fave Album covers


Five favourite discs

'Not easy to keep to five; here's the best I can do:'

Five favourite tracks

Hmm. Somewhere I should note those six wonderful tracks from July 1971 that were released on In Whose Tradition. Perhaps this is the place to do that. Then again there's also "Happy Birthday To You" and "In My Studio"...

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