Chris Bailey of The Saints Dead Has Died At Age 65 -
Chris Bailey The Saints play their I'm Stranded Album at the Forum in Melbourne on 14 January 2009. Photo by Ros O'Gorman

Chris Bailey The Saints Melbourne 2009. Photo by Ros O'Gorman

Chris Bailey of The Saints Dead Has Died At Age 65

by Paul Cashmere on April 11, 2022

in News

Chris Bailey of Australia’s punk innovators The Saints has died at the age of 65.

Bailey was born in Kenya in 1957, grew up in Belfast, Northern Island and at the age of seven his family moved to Australia and settled in Brisbane.

In a statement the band posted, “It is with great pain in our hearts that we have to inform you about the passing of Chris Bailey, singer and songwriter of The Saints, on April the 9th 2022.

“Chris lived a life of poetry and music and stranded on a Saturday night.
Family and friends”.

The Saints’ Ed Kuepper has posted, “very sad to confirm the news about Chris Bailey dying on the weekend. Chris and I met when we were about 14 during detention at Oxley High School and became close friends which later developed into what I always thought was an extremely strong artistic partnership, I couldn’t have hoped for a better singer. My deepest condolences to his wife Elisabet, his sisters Margaret, Carol and Maureen and the rest of his family and loved ones. I’ll post something longer down the track but for now”.

Bob Geldof said of The Saints. “Rock music in the Seventies was changed by three bands—the Sex Pistols, the Ramones and The Saints”.

The Saints formed in Brisbane in 1973 and were a punk band before punk was a thing. Their first single ‘I’m Stranded’ was released in September 1976, before The Sex Pistols ‘Anarchy in the UK’ in November 1976. In 2007, the song was added to the National Film and Sound Archives Sounds of Australia registry.

A version of The Saints, fronted by Bailey in 1986, delivered the band’s biggest hit ‘Just Like Fire Would’. It reached no 29 on the Australian charts.

Bruce Springsteen covered the song on his 2014 album ‘High Hopes’ and opened with it on this 2014 Australian tour.

The Saints had a number of incarnations. The original punk band featured the nucleus of Chris Bailey on vocals, Ed Kuepper on guitar, Ivor Hay on drums and Algy Ward on bass. That line-up released the first three albums, ‘(I’m) Stranded’ (1977), ‘Eternally Yours’ (1978) and ‘Prehistoric Sounds’ (1978). All are considered punk rock classics.

Bailey, Kuepper and Hay went to school together at Corinda State High School in Brisbane.

Kuepper and Hay left in 1979, Ward in 1980 and Bailey put a new band together, continuing the name, with the 1981 album ‘The Monkey Puzzle’. (Hay was credited as a session keyboard player for the album).

Bailey signed The Saints to Mushroom Records for the ‘All Fools Day’ in 1986. This is the one featuring ‘Just Like Fire Would’. Hay was credited as drummer for the band.

In 1988, Bailey’s current Saints covered The Easybeats’ ‘The Music Goes Round My Head’ for the movie ‘Young Einstein’.

Chris Bailey released seven solo albums from 1983’s ‘Casablanca’ to ‘Bone Box’, an acoustic retake on his career, in 2005.

The final album for The Saints was ‘King of the Sun’ in 2012.


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Gavin Ryan reports with thanks to

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