The Saints' Chris Bailey
Image: Mark Metcalfe/Getty

The Saints Frontman And Punk Pioneer Chris Bailey Has Died

Chris Bailey, co-founder and frontman for Australian punk rock legends The Saints, has died. The news was confirmed by a post on the band’s official Facebook page this morning.

“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,” the post reads. “Chris lived a life of poetry and music and stranded on a Saturday night,” it continued, a reference to the band’s 1976 debut single ‘(I’m) Stranded’.

Bailey was born in 1957 in Nanyuki, Kenya to Irish parents. He grew up in Belfast until the age of seven, when he and his family moved to Brisbane, Australia. Bailey formed The Saints in 1973 with guitarist Ed Kuepper and drummer Ivor Hay, originally calling themselves Kid Galahad and the Eternals.

By the time they released their debut album, 1977’s (I’m) Stranded, Kym Bradshaw had joined on bass. The album’s eponymous lead single has maintained a significant place in Australian music history, with APRA naming it as one of its Top 30 Australian songs of all time in 2001.  Last year, the State Library of Queensland named its 7″ vinyl copy of the single as one of the treasures in its John Oxley Library collection, writing that the song has “[influenced] generations of bands around the world.”

With the departure of Kuepper and Hay in 1979 following the albums Eternally Yours and Prehistoric Sounds the previous year, Bailey continued to front the Saints for over four more decades, with a revolving personnel lineup that has included drummers Peter Wilkinson and Iain Shedden, the Birthday Party‘s Tracy Pew, Davey Lane of You Am I and many more. The Saints’ last album was 2012’s King of the Sun.

Among those who’ve paid tribute to Bailey since the news of his death are Kuepper, former Cure drummer Lol Tolhurst, Guns N’ Roses‘ Duff McKagan, Frenzal Rhomb‘s Lindsay McDougall, Dave Graney, actor Rhys Muldoon and more. See those below.

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