“Rock music in the seventies was changed by three bands—the Sex Pistols, the Ramones and The Saints”. This quote from Mr Live Aid himself, Bob Geldoff, catches the monday-hating Boomtown Rat talking about one thing he knows intimately: the Seventies.
Released in 1976 The Saints “(I’m) Stranded” may be Brisbane’s first classic track. Sounds magazine in the UK famously described the song as the “”single of this and every week” and more recently it was voted by Australian Musician magazine as the fourth most significant moment in the history of Australian pop/rock.
In a time when walking three abreast down Brisbane’s main artery the Queen St Mall was verboten, lead singer Chris Bailey’s vocals captured all the rage and estrangement of the Bjelke Petersen youth in 3m23s. The howls of isolation heard in lyric “I’m Stranded, yeah I am on my own” caught fire not just with locals but around the world.
So were the Saints the first ‘punk’ band? Maybe. While Detroit legends the Stooges “I wanna be your dog” captured the same manic, visceral energy, the same anarchic spirit, it lacked punk’s speed and tends to be viewed as ‘proto-punk’. While the Ramones were undeniable contemporaries, do early tracks “Blitzkreig Bop” and “I wanna be your Boyfriend” really meet the angst requirements? The Sex Pistols of course came later, as did the Vivienne Westwood’s fashion and the name punk itself. But, regardless, for a brief shining moment in 1976 the centre of punk may well have been right where you’re drinking your morning coffee, in Australia’s Northeast capital.
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Brisbane Music has a long and storied history from being one of the claimants to punks birthplace, to the early 90′s renaissance which arguably brought TripleJ’s focus more squarely on locally produced music.
Radio Marmalade will aim to bring you snapshots of the history of Brisbane music as well as the latest and greatest from around the world.