The Saints Drummer & Music Journalist Iain Shedden Dies, Aged 60

Australian music industry identity Iain Shedden has sadly passed away at the age of 60.

The celebrated music journalist and former drummer for veteran punk act The Saints died this week, with confirmation coming today from his coworkers at The Australian.

Shedden’s cause of death has yet to be publicly announced, but tributes to the beloved music writer are coming in thick and fast.

During his 25-year stint at The Australian, where he’d been working since 1993, Shedden covered every major shift, upheaval and event in the Aussie music industry and interviewed some of the world’s biggest acts (often multiple times) from David Bowie to Iggy Pop, Tom Waits, Jeff Buckley and Kylie Minogue.

A touching memorium penned by The Australian‘s Arts Editor Ashleigh Wilson remembers Shedden as an “astute”, “generous” and “gentle” personality, as well as “a talented writer, reporter and critic” whose stories were “a joy to read” because he’d “seen the music industry — warts and all — from behind the curtain”.

As Shedden recalled back in 2004, “I have an understanding of (musicians) and I can talk about it from the inside … I might get a nuance in a story that someone else might not because maybe other writers haven’t spent 12 years staying up all night.”

While reflecting in 2010 on his time as drummer for The Saints — who are set to be honoured by a new mural in their hometown of Brisbane and a live music event — during the heady golden age of the early ’80s, Shedden wrote:

“Touring the fleapits of northern Europe through rain and snow has its charms: the cultures change even if the weather doesn’t. But playing in a country, sometimes for up to three months, where each day was as hot and sunny as the last, was, to this particularly pale Scot, too good an opportunity to pass up. What else were you supposed to do all day?

“Now it’s tough financially for even established Australian bands to tour and visiting acts rarely step beyond the city centres. The ’80s was a boom time for Australian rock music and, for some of us, the sun shone every day.”

Iain Shedden is survived by his wife of 20 years, and two teenage children.

Read a number of tributes to Shedden, below.

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