Next week I head briefly to Brisbane and there, on Wednesday March 17, I will be doing a Q&A event regards the new Stranded (Expanded) at the fabulous Phase 4 record store in the Valley. It’s pretty appropriate because if Stranded started anywhere, it was obviously in Brisbane, and up there they’re very proud of the legacy they enjoy that certainly punches above its weight for a city that for so long was a backwater; a city whose coming of age was indeed partly due to the way the Saints blazed a trail out of it..!
The artwork above returns to the precise scene of the crime. I created it to go in the aborted Bein’ Gnarly festival in Sydney in 2020, its ‘Girt by Shit’ exhibition component “featuring many of Australia’s punk rock artists.” Call it fan art, based on a lino cut I recall I did at Brisbane Art College in around 1976, a view of the Saints’ old crashpad on Petrie Terrace before they put up the ‘Club 76’ sign – long before the place became a landmark, complete with its own mural – showing the billboard for a travel agency I think it was that was on the roof.
The illustration of Chris Bailey was then mooted for the cover of the new edition of the book but dropped in favour of Nick Cave, for two reasons – 1) to open out the meaning to suggest the book wasn’t just purely about the Saints, and 2) because Nick has a global identification-factor beyond any other character in the book. Sadly, the Bein’ Gnarly event, organised by the inestimable Glenno Smith, became the first major Covid cancellation for me and many others. And yes, as some have asked me, the ‘Jamie Dunn’ penning that ultra-clueless assessment of the Saints’ epochal single is the old Brisbane DJ who would go on to enjoy an illustrious career with his hand stuck up that TV puppet ‘Aggro’…
But as the book itself makes plain, in the time in between the Saints and the Go-Betweens in the late 70s and the whole renaissance of the late 80s/early 90s, Brisbane ceased to be a place you had to leave in order to get anywhere… and for me personally I’ve always loved going back, because in Brisbane I have family and many friends, and I just enjoy the place now that it’s so cosmopolitan along with being so commodious as it’s always been. Its music scene is second in this country only to Melbourne’s.
Stranded (Expanded) is getting out there and seeming to be going down okay. I’ve done a couple of radio interviews with Neil Rogers for his ‘Australian Mood’ show on 3RRR and with Phil McDougall for his ‘Sunglasses After Dark’ show on 3PBS and you can hear those, as long as the links last, here and here respectively. I also had an epic chat with Aaron Curran that he’s divided into two whole episodes for his fab podcast Unmarked Tracks that you can find here. Don’t forget either, there are Stranded playlists I’m making public in a staggered fashion to accompany each chapter of the book on both YouTube and Spotify, and you can go and see what’s up so far here and here.
Go to publisher the Visible Spectrum's site for more details, and to BUY, if especially a hard copy, go to Amazon here if you're outside Australia, Booktopia if you're in Australia, and if it's an e-book you're after, go here for a links to all the online retailers.
Meantime, with a few other bits and pieces of promo on the horizon, I look forward to hitting Phase 4…