Ed Kuepper responds to Queensland’s tribute mural of The Saints
For a man who helped form The Saints in the ‘70s to kick against Queensland’s political oppressiveness, guitarist Ed Kuepper has had two reasons in 2017 to shake his head in disbelief at how the state is now honouring the band’s importance, particularly to Brisbane.
Kuepper posted on Facebook yesterday, “Well, willya look at that…first Ed Kuepper Park in Oxley and now this.”
He was referring to an announcement a few hours earlier at the opening of the BIGSOUND conference and showcase in Brisbane.
Queensland Premier and Arts Minister Annastacia Palaszczuk revealed that a mural will be placed in Brisbane to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the release of the first Saints album (I’m) Stranded.
The title track actually pre-dated the British punk scene, released before debut singles by The Sex Pistols or The Damned.
The mural and new recording was developed by musician and academic Dr John Willsteed, a member of another Brisbane-born global act The Go-Betweens.
To coincide with its unveiling, there will be a concert and a reimagining by Saints co-founder Ed Kuepper of the first three Saints albums in collaboration with Robert Davidson of Topology.
“Many of the 150-plus musical acts converging on Brisbane for BIGSOUND would acknowledge the huge influence of The Saints, for not only helping change the face of rock music worldwide in the 1970s but for showing that a Queensland band could have a big impact on the world stage, paving the way for many of the great Queensland musical acts to follow,”The Premier said.
“My Government’s funding of $61,930 will support the mural and accompanying live music and recording event to commemorate 40 years since the release of The Saints’ ground-breaking first album.
“We are committed to fostering a diverse and vibrant arts sector and we’re proud to support significant cultural projects, along with events like BIGSOUND, which has grown to become Australia’s largest gathering for the contemporary music industry, bringing thousands of people to our state each year and making a significant contribution to cultural tourism.”
The Premier added, “The mural will be situated on the north side of Upper Roma St, close to The Saints’ original practice room, share house and live music venue at 4 Petrie Terrace, known as Club 76.”
Recently, Brisbane City Council green-lighted calling a park in the suburb of Oxley near the family home of the Kueppers.
A local resident began a petition after realising that the Saints had their beginnings in his suburb, and argued that the park had never been named.
The first two Saints albums were written in the Kuepper family home, which still has ties to the area.
In a coincidence, Premier Palaszczuk is the MP for nearby Inala where Saints singer Chris Bailey grew up and was thrown out of the local school for his outspoken political views.