Rick Laird

Richard Quentin Laird (February 5, 1941 – July 4, 2021) was an Irish musician, best known as the bassist and a founding member of the jazz fusion band Mahavishnu Orchestra, with which he performed from 1971 to 1973.

Laird was born in Dublin on 5 February 1941 to a musical family. His mother played the piano in a variety of styles and his father played the ukulele; Laird started playing both instruments when he was three. At around five years of age, Laird started formal tuition in the guitar and piano, and he had already started to read sheet music. He soon quit the piano as he did not perform well, which led him to take up painting and drawing. At twelve, Laird began lessons in Spanish guitar, but his teacher used books that he felt were too difficult, so he quit. He then discovered jazz from his mother, who bought her son a pair of drum brushes and made him play along to records.

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