Story and photo by Pfc. Andrew Ingram
4th Infantry Division Public Affairs Office
Sometimes in life men and women have to put aside their passions to follow the path of responsibility.
At least that is what Pfc. Jeremy Bailey thought when he joined the Army.
A generator mechanic, assigned to Headquarters Support Company, Division Special Troops Battalion, 4th Infantry Division, Bailey said he put down his bass guitar and joined the Army in 2009 to make a better life for himself in the struggling economy.
Leaving the civilian workforce behind to enlist, Bailey said he thought he had to give up his passion for playing music in front of an audience as well.
“Joining the Army was one of the best decisions I ever made,” said Bailey. “A lot of people say that, but I say it from my heart.”
Bailey played bass guitar at Carnegie Hall with the University of the Pacific Central Valley University Symphony when he was just 16 years old, and at one point in his life wanted to make a career out of playing music.
With his new band, Alistair Wild, Bailey played onstage, for the first time March 19 since joining the Army.
The concert, held at Sunshine Studios, commemorated heavy metal guitarist Randy Rhoads, who was killed on March 19, 1982.
Rhoads, who is hailed by many as one of the greatest heavy metal guitarists, played with such acts as Quiet Riot and Ozzy Osbourne.
Bailey and his band played tunes thick with Rhoads’ signature razor edge riffs, from the cauterizing heat of “Crazy Train” to the weird and creepy vibe of “Mr. Crowley.”
“I had a blast,” said Bailey. “Being up on stage again was great; I really missed doing it.”
Alistair Wild’s guitarist and leader Terry Span said having an active-duty Soldier playing in the band was a continuation of the great relationship Alistair Wild has with the military.
Span said the band began its partnership with the military when it toured for troops in Kosovo in 1999.
“During that first tour we made a difference in those Soldiers’ lives, and we were not a celebrity band,” said Span. “Unlike those big name acts, we ate with Soldiers and slept in the same quarters and hung out with them, and it made a difference for them. That was when I decided doing shows for Soldiers is what I want to do.”
“Some artists are looking for gold records,” he said. “I wanted to perform for Soldiers.”
Since their first tour with the Armed Forces in 1999, Alistair Wild has conducted six overseas tours, playing for Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines.
Span said Alistair Wild will continue to play shows in the Colorado Springs area and plans to play at Fort Carson and other local military posts during the summer.
Bailey may have chosen a different career path than music but that does not mean he has lost his passion.
“Music is my love. It is my calling,” he said. “I have accepted it is not what I want to do with my career, but it is always going to be a huge part of my life.”