Chris Bailey, the founding singer and songwriter behind the pioneering Australian punk rock band the Saints, has died. The news was revealed in a statement on the Saints’ social media, noting that he died on Saturday, April 9. “Chris lived a life of poetry and music and stranded on a Saturday night,” it reads.
Bailey was born in Belfast, and when he was young, his parents emigrated to Brisbane, Australia. He formed the Saints in the early 1970s with Ed Kuepper and Ivor Hay. Following the release of the “(I’m) Stranded” single in 1976, the band’s debut album (I’m) Stranded arrived in 1977. It was followed in quick succession by 1978’s Prehistoric Sounds and Eternally Yours.
All told, the band released 14 studio albums. “I’ve managed to keep my head above water and indulge in my obsessions, of which making records is one,” Bailey said in a 2013 interview. “Not that I’m content with life, because I certainly am not, but I am happy with the way things have panned out. I know people who are more successful than I who feel trapped in pop stardom. There’s a lot to say for being a rat bag on the outskirts of show business because show business has always sucked and always will. I’m kind of happy being in the prairie on the outside, goddamnit.”
Across the band’s career that lasted with shows that followed their last album, 2012’s King of the Sun, Bailey was the only consistent member of the Saints’ rotating lineup. Bailey released several solo albums under his own name in the ’80s and ’90s. In 2021, an original 7″ copy “(I’m) Stranded” was added to the treasure collection of the John Oxley Library—the State Library Of Queensland.