It all started in the mid-70's in the small town of New Hamburg, Ontario. Little "Beetle" Bailey was in the process of discovering the combination of music and machinery. His first experiment was figuring out that a tape recorder would get him out of violin practice. John Sr. had no idea that violin lessons would lead to this kind of education! Meanwhile, his friends had an attic full of old tape machines and audio gear from a defunct hi-fi store.

"We used to take apart old 8-track

cartridges and run these huge

tape loops around my bedroom."

One of his strongest early influences with audio, however, was his grade 8 teacher, Gerry Zeigler, insisted that if they were going to listen to music, they should turn it up, and not let it be background noise. "That sort of legitimized popular music for me. We were learning about sound-on-sound, splicing tape, overdubbing, electronic music... it was heavy for grade 8!"

"I decided I was going to be a Rock Star,

so clearly, I wasn't going to bother

going back for Grade 11."

A few months later, when the rock star dream evaporated, John decided to take another crack at formal education. By 1987 he was finishing high school in Kitchener while learning the ropes as a sound tech for MAD Productions, based in nearby Mannheim. By that summer he had gotten quite attached to a girl named Heidi, who not only dug his music, but proved to be extremely tolerant of the crazy hours and lifestyle that he was getting himself into. Another big step that year was his first look at a recording studio, Kitchener's Buzz Marshall Studios. In 1988, at age 19, he spent a few weeks touring the U.S. with Canadian rock band "Helix". That fall, John moved to London, Ontario to study Recording Engineering at Fanshawe College's Music Industry Arts Program.

In 1990, John joined The Metalworks Studios, in Mississauga, as a staff engineer. 'Beetle' Bailey was a happy guy, thriving on non stop hard work. As if that wasn't enough, he married his high school sweetheart in 1991. That year became a turning point in his career as well. After having worked on Tom Cochrane's "Mad Mad World" record, John was offered a job at Ardent Recordings in Memphis, Tennessee.

"I was only 22, so I figured that if I couldn't go

down there legally, I'd be crazy to risk the possibility

of never being able to work in the U.S."

After a year and a half of immigration lawyers and collecting recommendation letters, John and Heidi had a decision to make: keep on trying or stay in Canada and get on with their lives. They decided to make a go of the industry in their home country.

John spent much of 1992 doing a lot of freelance engineering, and, because of his technical background, heading up the refurbishing of a Neve 8036 at the Metalworks Studios. The console got a ground up restoration which included fully rewiring the frame, a brand new patchbay, a custom 32 channel monitor section, a new 24trk meter bridge, and extensive metalwork to expand the input section to accommodate 32 input modules (1081's and 1064's). Once the Neve desk was installed, John took on a position doing Audio Installation Design with Pilchner Schoustal Associates in 1993. The main project was a new studio in Richmond Hill ON, called Lydian Sound.

John was feeling homesick for making records. In the middle of 1994 he accepted a position to become Head Engineer at Lydian Sound. In his eight years there, John had the privilege to work with a wide range of music, from Jazz, Classical and Gospel artists to Pop, Dance, Rock, Country, and Blues records. Many of the projects won Juno Awards and earned Gold and Platinum records. He used his steady position to polish his talent for coaxing a great performance out of an artist, especially singers. Despite the demanding schedule he even took on a few independent projects, often acting as Producer-Engineer.

By the end of 2001, however, it became clear that more and more of his clients wanted him to work in a variety of different studios, sometimes even setting up in client's living rooms.

Despite being so invested and attached to Lydian Sound, the responsibility of the job was becoming overwhelming. It was time for a change, and time for another difficult decision. As of 2002, John "Beetle" Bailey chose once again to be a freelance Engineer. Having more time for his family was a really important part of the decision. "As much as I love making records, my wife and my kids mean the whole world to me. I really love walking the kids to school and being a normal guy now and then!"

John has always proven adaptable throughout a career that has already spanned many of the industry's dizzying transitions. But if the key to longevity in this business is personal relationships, he is certainly living out his calling.

John ‘Beetle’ Bailey is a guy who has the gift of an acute sense of pitch, a perfectionist attitude, an obsession with quality, an unstoppable work ethic, a true love of music, and a genuine concern for humans.  He's really quite humble about his career.

"I'm still learning something new every day.

For me, this is the best gig in the world!"

By that time, John had traded the violin for the guitar. He eventually discovered that he could get a really cool distortion sound by plugging into the mic input on an old 1/4" tape machine. "Yeah, it had a tube preamp and this absolutely crushing limiter. I used to put it on REC-PAUSE with a bit of tape on the 'run-out' switch, and I could sound just like Randy Rhodes! I wish I could find that thing now..."

Inevitably, he discovered computers. "If we were doing okay in English class, they'd let us hang out in the library and mess around on the Radio Shack TRS-80's." A curse of lifelong computer upgrades started with his first machine, a Commodore 64. "I used to think, man, I'll never need 64K!" However, it wasn't until much later on that the union of music and computers would become important for him. Despite spending much of his early teenage years under the hoods of old 70's cars, by age 16, any hope of becoming an auto mechanic was officially gone.

After spending several years renting production rooms in various locations around the Greater Toronto Area, an opportunity to move all of his equipment and work under one roof presented itself in the former ‘Arnyard Studios’.  A beautiful tracking room and a complete facility would provide exactly the kind of space that John’s clients needed.  After leasing the facility for a year, John took the next step and purchased the unit.  After almost 2 1/2 years in this location, it’s starting to feel like home!

“I just loved the vibe in this place the first time I walked in here”, said Bailey.  “After almost 20 years of studios with no windows, I couldn’t believe it!”

In April of 2007, John was given the “Recording Engineer Of The Year” Juno award, for his work on “Rain” performed by Molly Johnson, and “The Sisters Of Mercy” performed by Serena Ryder.   John has also received a 2008 nomination for his work on “Something In The Air Between Us” performed by Sophie Milman, and “I’m On Fire” performed by Kevin Breit & Harry Manx.