Tag Archives: Ed Kuepper

SONGS – I’m Stranded

 

SONGS (I’M) STRANDED BY THE SAINTS

 

“It was our first adventure in a recording studio. 
I recall it all felt rather natural. Drink and go to work”

Christ Bailey, 2001 speaking to MOJO

(I’m) Stranded is the first Australian punk single.  Speaking to Andrew P. Street at Faster Louder, Chris Bailey said:

” I know that years ago I refused to play [debut single] ’(I’m) Stranded’ because I thought it was the most boring song I’d ever heard – well, that’s not strictly true, it’s actually an OK tune – but people even had t-shirts printed up that said “Play Stranded, You Bastard” [laughs]. But I remember there was one tour and there were all these Hitler Youth looking kids going “play ‘Stranded’! Play ‘Stranded’!” so we did, and nobody noticed.”

Chris Bailey on Triple J, 1985

 “With Stranded I was chuffed because it was a record and it had my picture on it. I was young and I didn’t know any better.”

Andrew Stafford, in The Guardian

“Then there was the video, which begins with the unintended metaphor of drummer Ivor Hay kicking open a door. The band are playing in an abandoned building on inner city Petrie Terrace, Bailey singing in front of a fireplace with the words “(I’m) Stranded” daubed above in red letters, which would form the backdrop for the cover of the Saints’ debut album of the same name, released in February 1977.”

PUNK ROCK – AN ORAL HISTORY BY JOHN ROBB

Rat Scabies, The Damned:

“One of the things that made punk very valid was, when you consider The Saints were doing the same in Australia at the same time and the Ramones in New York, it was obvious that people wanted to do it all over the world. The Saints were totally removed from everything going on anywhere else. They couldn’t get Sounds or NME in Australia. The synchronicity was amazing.”

GRANT AND I BY ROBERT FORSTER

“I got the single, released on the band’s Fatal label, the next day and I wish I’d bought twenty and was now slowly selling them on eBay.”

NICK CAVE

“The Saints had a genuine gut level contempt for everything going – it was very Australian, it was very different from the English punk thing. (I’m) Stranded gave me and a lot of people around me a kind of soundtrack to the way we wanted to live, it gave us a licence to behave in a certain way.’

DAVID NICHOLS : Dig: Australian Rock and Pop Music 1960-1985

Ed Kuepper: “I was working at Astor Records as a storeman and noticed boxes of private pressings – mostly country tunes by truck drivers. Having our own label seemed like the sensible way to get a record out. We conducted a poll among our fans as to which songs would most likely become a hit and ‘Stranded’ got the most votes. I can’t remember if we rigged the poll.’

 

SONGS (I'm) Stranded by The Saints on Fatal Records.
SONGS (I’m) Stranded by The Saints on Fatal Records.

 

All The Punks Bought It

The Clash in the NME. Bernie Rhodes bought (I'm) Stranded in bulk.
The Clash in the NME. Bernie Rhodes bought (I’m) Stranded in bulk.

BARRY MILES “All the punks bought it. Bernie Rhodes, the manager of The Clash, had a box of them and gave me one just two weeks after release. “ (London Calling: A Countercultural History of London Since 1945)

JON SAVAGE, ENGLAND’S DREAMING

“The Saints had been developing in near-isolation for three years but it took just one review in Sounds to make their career.”

Jon Savage in Hero Magazine: 

“I came out of university, and into a recession. I couldn’t see how I could have the life I wanted to have. Anybody that was into rock music in around 1975 had a real sense that something was going to happen. When the first Ramones album came out in 76 I thought, “Whoa, this is it.” I was obsessed with them, and The Saints’ record, I’m Stranded. It’s a great record, the singer just didn’t give a shit.”

 

SONGS (I'm) Stranded by The Saints reviewed by John Ingham.
SONGS (I’m) Stranded by The Saints reviewed by John Ingham.

BOB GELDOF

Rock historian Glenn A. Baker records how Boomtown Rat Bob Geldof told him: “Rock music in the ’70s was changed by three bands—the Sex Pistols, the Ramones and the Saints”.

Ed Kuepper to Joe MateraAustralian Guitar, 2004

JM: You actually did two sessions for I’m Stranded. Did you use the same gear for both sessions?

EK: “No, the first session we did at Window Studios in Brisbane, was for the single ‘(I’m) Stranded’ b/w ‘No Time’ in June, 1976 about six months before we did the rest of the album. For the single, which was engineered by Mark Moffat, we went in, set-up and recorded it and mixed that same night. Everything was done in about five hours and it’s the original single which appears on the album. On the first session, I used a Fender Twin amp and Gibson SG with no effects whatsoever, I just cranked the amp up.”

CLINTON WALKER – “When Kid Galahad and the Etemals became the Saints back in Brisbane in the mid seventies,there wasn’t even a scene they could crash into. Eventually, with bassist Kym BradShaw in tow, they wound-up playing at parties they would throw themselves.”

MARK MOFFATT “In London, I worked in a guitar shop and people would bring in their amps to sell for cash,” Moffatt recalls. “I could hear this thunderous noise upstairs so I went to see what was making it and bought the amp that afternoon.”

Moffatt, a guitarist in the Carol Lloyd Band, had recorded in Sydney, where he picked up tips about microphone placement.

“There was a cement hallway at the studio, so for The Saints I put a microphone in there. You can hear that in the chorus of No Time where it takes off. I still hear that now and go ‘Wow’.”

THE DOCUMENTARY
Great Australian Albums – I’m Stranded

 

Chris Bailey in the famous Petrie Terrace house.
Chris Bailey in the famous Petrie Terrace house.

Great Australian Albums – I’m Stranded is free to watch on YouTube.
With interviews with Chris Bailey, Ed Kuepper,  Nick Cave, Rob Younger (Radio Birdman), Damien Lovelock (The Celibate Rifles) and many more, this is the definitive documentary on the band, the single and the album.  Written by Toby Creswell ; produced by Toby Creswell &​ Larry Meltzer ; executive producers Martin Fabinyi &​ Michael Gudinski. Originally screened on SBS-TV.

 

Songs - (I'm) Stranded on Apple and Amazon
Songs – (I’m) Stranded on Apple and Amazon

Songs – (I’m) Stranded on Apple and Amazon

BUY I’M STRANDED ON APPLE MUSIC
BUY I’M STRANDED ON AMAZON

 

 

 

The Brisbane Music Trail

The Saints’ Brisbane Mural

 

The Saints are to be honoured in a $60,000 mural on the north side of Upper Roma Street in Brisbane, near the band’s Petrie Terrace share house and rehearsal space, nicknamed Club 76.  Rented by Ivor Hay, the original Saints’ house stood opposite the local police station. Ed Kuepper supplied the iconic red graffiti.

 

Chris Bailey in the famous Petrie Terrace house.
The Saints founding Australian punk rock in Brisbane.

BAILEY II

The Brisbane Music Trail

The Saints mural will be part of a new Brisbane music trail, including former George Street rock venues (Brisbane’s Curry Shop) and be developed over a decade with  venues, practice rooms, apartments, homes, galleries and, of course, musicians – with digital place markers, according to  The Brisbane Times. 

It could have stories from Cloudland, which was flattened for developers.

Fans of The Go-Betweens will recognise Dr John Willsteed as the man behind Brisbane’s new music trail.

Years ago, he was John E, an artist and musician in some of Brisbane’s most inventive bands; Zero, then Xero, then the Go-Betweens and now, Halfway.

Today, Dr Willsteed is the senior lecturer in the Creative Industries faculty at the Queensland University of Technology.

I’m Stranded on the Brisbane Music Trail

The Saints’ famous  DIY single, I’m Stranded,  laboriously sent out by mail-order by singer Ed Kuepper, sells for $1881 on eBay although it was recorded for around $200 in 1976.

The single – and the site of Club 76 itself – officially makes Brisbane the birthplace of Australian punk, something the Queensland government seems happy to recognise these days, though it was very different when Joh Bjelke-Petersen was Premier.

Former Go-Betweens bass player John Willsteed drove the campaign for The Saint’s Brisbane mural in 2017, persuading  Queensland premier Annastacia Palaszczuk to put the band on the map.

The Go-Betweens have already been honoured in the city, by the Go Between Bridge, which links Hale Street in Milton to Montague Road in South Brisbane.

The launch of Ed Kuepper Park, also announced recently, at Oxley Road and Lawson Street, was successful after local fan Maurice Murphy drove a petition.

Kuepper’s parents’ garage was the band’s first rehearsal space – and his parents’ home in Oxley provided the contact address for the vinyl. As he was later to suggest on a solo release, the young Kuepper was in fact a Mail Order Bridegroom, giving birth to Australian punk in Queensland. This photograph  (below) of the young Saints in North Sydney is from Kuepper’s Twitter feed, photographed by Violet Hamilton.

Ed Kuepper I Was a Mail Order Bridegroom
Ed Kuepper I Was a Mail Order Bridegroom
The Saints at Berry Street, North Sydney photographed by Violet Hamilton (Twitter - Ed Kuepper)
The Saints at Berry Street, North Sydney photographed by Violet Hamilton (Twitter – Ed Kuepper)

Petrie Terrace, Brisbane

The Petrie Terrace area of Brisbane is also part of the history of The Go-Betweens, who played Baroona Hall in an early $5 gig. This poster comes from the excellent Live Delay website. Baroona Hall at 15 Caxton Street, Petrie Terrace is now heritage listed. The Saint’s Brisbane mural will now add to that heritage.

 

BAROONA HALL HERITAGE LISTED AT 15 CAXTON ST PETRIE TERRACE

GO BETWEENS BAROONA HALL PETRIE TERRACE

June 12th, 1976 and the Brisbane Music Trail

The June 12th, 1976 recording of I’m Stranded  makes it the first punk single ever released in Australia and one of the first punk recordings anywhere in the world.

Kuepper played through Mark Moffatt’s 1960 Fender Super amp, purchased in London. A microphone placed in a concrete hallway helped the sound, according to Moffatt.

The single was recorded at Window Studios in West End, owned by Bruce Window, in  Brisbane. Only 500 copies were pressed. The State Library of Queensland now owns one of them.

The mixing desk upon which I’m Stranded was recorded,  was sent to a tip in Tasmania. It’s a sad story all too typical in Australia.

The 24-channel desk was purchased by Nick Armstrong and placed in Hobart’s Spectangle Productions in the late Seventies. He paid $4000 for it. Later, it was given free to anyone who wanted it and this piece of Australian history was driven away in a Kingswood by Hobart ABC staff Steve Jay and Graham Himmelhoch-Mutton. It was pronounced ‘rooted’ and was then gutted and sent to the local tip.  It remains dormant in Hobart. A punk rock volcano.

The Country Connection

The Saint’s first album was produced by New Zealander Rod Coe who had 40 albums with Slim Dusty to his credit.

Andrew Stafford gives indispensable background on The Saints’ presence in Queensland, in his Brisbane music bible, Pig City.

Kuepper was working at Astor Records as Sales Representative for Northern Queensland, which meant receiving tapes of country and western music from amateur musicians, and turning them into vinyl. Before that, he had worked in an abbatoir.

It was only when he’d left Astor that he realised that The Saints could do exactly what unknown country and western singers in Queensland were doing and take a DIY, hands-on approach.

Some copies of I’m Stranded would go to Rocking Horse and Discreet Records in Brisbane. Others would be posted to England, notably Sounds, which gave them one of the best-known reviews in music press history (below). John Ingham made it SOUNDS SINGLE OF THIS AND EVERY WEEK on October 16th, 1976 so the stamps from Brisbane had been worth every cent.

Kuepper printed his parents’ address in Oxley as The Saints’ mailing address. Cash envelopes arrived, for the single which had been mastered and pressed in Melbourne at Astor Records, probably cut by Frank Hulbert, according to Kuepper’s source Donat Tahiraj.

Send 90p to Eternal Productions

Anyone in Britain willing to send a 90p postal order to Eternal Productions, Oxley, 4075, Queensland Australia back in October 1976 was making a great investment. Robert Forster, writing in his autobiography Grant and I, was an early Brisbane purchaser (and Saints fan) and says he wished he’d bought multiple copies, if only for the eBay returns.

I'm Stranded by The Saints. Sounds Single of This Week and Every Week.
I’m Stranded by The Saints. Sounds Single of This Week and Every Week.

Kid Galahad

David Nichols writes – anyone who ordered a copy of I’m Stranded by mail-order in 1976 also received a request to write back, if they were interested in either The Saints – or Sixties bands.

This interest in the Sixties and Fifties was a hallmark of Seventies punk rock, all over the world. The Saints began life as Kid Galahad and the Eternals – a reference to the Elvis Presley Film, Kid Galahad, according to  author Clinton Walker. Eternal Productions of Oxley also nodded to the film.

 

Ghost Ships

It’s now four decades since Club 76 in Brisbane. A map of The Saints’ old stamping ground is now etched on limited-edition effects pedals.

The work of Chris Bailey (in the Church of the Latter-Day Saints) gives people who are new to the band a second-wave experience.  The clip below, from Rockarena, is a reminder of a band whose individual members sailed on, having launched their ships all those years ago at Club 76. Buy The Best of the Saints here.

 

Effects pedals with a Stranded map.
Effects pedals with a Stranded map.

Australian Music Walking Tours

 

AUSTRALIAN MUSIC WALKING TOURS

Australian music maps, apps, podcasts and guided walks for fans of everyone from The Birthday Party to Archie Roach are in hefty supply these days. Australian music walking tours offer you Bon Scott or Nick Cave – take your pick.

Brisbane has her Walk of Fame and Go-Between Bridge – and Ed Kuepper will soon have a park, alongside The Saints’ forthcoming mural near their old Club 76 house/rehearsal space.

Melbourne, the Australian music capital, offers video, audio and printable guides to landmarks like AC/DC Lane and Rowland S. Howard Lane in St. Kilda.

SYDNEY – FROM COLD CHISEL TO  BOWIE

Sydney has hosted Bowie and started Chisel on their way.  The city is also on a global rock’n’roll map of early punk, thanks to The Oxford Bar, formerly The Oxford Hotel or Oxford Tavern at 134 Oxford Street, Darlinghurst.

This is where Radio Birdman turned an historic pub into the Oxford Funhouse. Bernard Zuel from The Sydney Morning Herald co-created this minimalist map of the city’s key landmarks. That’s Chris Bailey from The Saints standing over Paddington.

 

The Sydney Music Map by Bernard Zuel (Sydney Morning Herald).
The Sydney Music Map by Bernard Zuel (Sydney Morning Herald).

 

SYDNEY – DOWNLOAD FREE ROCK’N’ROLL AUDIO TOURS

SYDNEY WALK

 

Sydney offers wonderful audio guides from members of Mental As Anything, Radio Birdman and The Hoodoo Gurus – around Newtown and other historic music hubs.  This is a free download for visitors to Sydney and locals, too. Tour Festival Records. Meet John Kennedy (the king of King Street). See what Oxford Street was like when rock’n’roll ruled. Go from Surry Hills to Kings Cross, where Don Walker wrote Cold Chisel classics. From Waterfront Records to Phantom to Red Eye, Sydney was once a huge hub for Australian indie bands. Download and start walking to see why. Collector Vanessa Berry even has the old Waterfront bag on her blog.

 

Waterfront Records bag photograph: Vanessa Berry World
Waterfront Records bag photograph: Vanessa Berry World

 

MELBOURNE MUSIC WALKS AND MAPS

St. Kilda also offers visitors and fans of Australian music  a curated, guided tour – with rave reviews. You will need to book well ahead to secure a place, visiting landmarks like Rowland S. Howard Lane (below).  Explore local Sixties garage bands too. This is a five-star rated walk on Trip Advisor.  Find out more here. From the young Nick Cave (pictured, photographer unknown, from the website) to the still-young, Espy, this is a solid local walking tour.

 

Rowland S.Howard Lane poster, St. Kilda 2013. (Elle Russell).
Rowland S.Howard Lane poster, St. Kilda 2013. (Elle Russell).

 

THE MELBOURNE MUSIC WALK

This amazing free music walk is presented by the City of Melbourne and you can download a free PDF map (click on the heading link) and take it with you. The walk takes in AC/DC Lane and the pub and music venue Cherry Bar, halfway down the lane itself – along with thoroughly researched landmarks, past and present. AC/DC Lane graffiti is ever-changing. Like this (below). Cherry Bar is the watering hole for big-name musicians on tour in Melbourne. You never know who you’ll bump into at the bar.

 

AC/DC Lane, Melbourne.
AC/DC Lane, Melbourne.

 

FROM AC/DC TO SKYHOOKS AND ELVIS COSTELLO
The Melbourne Music Walk offers historical venues, rock routes, sticky carpets and music laneways. The walking time is 1.5 hours and covers a distance of 3.5 kilometres.

Melbourne has featured in many music clips over the years including: AC/DC It’s A Long Way To The Top (1975) Skyhooks This Is My City (1976) John Paul Young Yesterday’s Hero (1975) The Mixtures The Pushbike Song (1970) Elvis Costello I Wanna Be Loved (1984) The Meanies It’s A Long Way To The Top (1995) The Cat Empire Steal The Light (2013) Courtney Barnett Elevator Operator (2016). See the website for the map and the scoop on the city.

THE CHRISSY AMPHLETT WALK 2018

 

Amphlett Lane, Melbourne viewed by Paul Kelly and Charlie Owen (Instagram).
Amphlett Lane, Melbourne viewed by Paul Kelly and Charlie Owen (Instagram).

Pictured here are Paul Kelly and Charlie Owen at Amphlett Lane, the laneway off Little Bourke Street named in honour of the late, great, Chrissy Amphlett. The podcast, map and walking tour celebrating key places in her life in Melbourne will be available in 2018. (Instagram). Bookmark this website to stay updated.

TRIPLE J MELBOURNE WALKING TOUR PODCAST

This podcast starts at The Espy in St. Kilda as host Dom Alessio takes you on a music walking tour of Melbourne, meeting with locals Big Scary, The Smith Street Band, Saskwatch and more at key locations around the city. Another good free audio guide to Australian music.

MELBOURNE MUSIC CITY – VIDEO GUIDES
Bruce Milne is the best-known music historian in Melbourne and these free video guides take in some of the city’s most iconic locations, beginning with Archie Roach (below) and Gertrude Street. Don’t miss Bruce’s knowledgeable on-camera tours. All free.

The YouTube Channel is here.

The Models, Split Enz, Paul Kelly, Painters and Dockers, Lobby Lloyd and more are all part of Bruce’s unique, filmed snapshots.

ARCHIE

 

GERTRUDE STREET, MELBOURNE AND INDIGENOUS MUSIC

Gertrude Street, Fitzroy was an important hub for Indigenous musicians like Ruby Hunter and Archie Roach and The Workers’ Club, formerly the Rob Roy, still has bands today.

THE AC/DC HOUSE AT 6 LANSDOWNE ROAD, EAST ST KILDA
Bruce Milne continues this series of short YouTube clips with the 24-hour party house where half the bands in Melbourne would end up late at night. Was Whole Lotta Rosie also written here?

 

 

BRISBANE AND THE SAINTS – WALK THIS WAY

While Melbourne and Sydney are literally streets ahead with various music walk options – Brisbane is not far behind.  Ed Kuepper Park will link Oxley Road and Lawson Street, thanks to a petition campaign begun by Maurice Murphy.

The Go-Betweens’ John Willsteed successfully campaigned for The Saints’ rehearsal space/ house on the corner of Petrie Terrace and Milton Road to be honoured with a mural. This was also the home of Chris Bailey, Ivor Hay and Jeffrey Wegener who went on to drum for Laughing Clowns. The wall was daubed with the legend ‘Club 76’ by Kuepper.

 Everyone knows about The Brisbane Sound.  Let us know if you hear about a Brisbane Walk at @ammptv on Twitter. 

 

Just Keep Walking, Brisbane.
Just Keep Walking, Brisbane.

PERTH – AC/DC AND BON SCOTT  TOURS

Download guides to Perth and Fremantle, stamping ground of Bon Scott, free at this website. The Highway to Hell guide reveals where it all started. Don’t miss it. And – if you’re creating a new music walk of know of one we’ve missed, please let us know in Comments.

 

BON