Chris Bailey's Estate Questions Validity Of Upcoming The Saints 73-78 Tour

15 June 2024 | 9:24 am | Mary Varvaris

The Saints '73-'78 will play six shows across the country this November.

The Saints in 1976

The Saints in 1976 (Credit: Joe Borkowski )

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The estate of late The Saints frontman Chris Bailey has responded to the recent tour announcement of The Saints ’73-’78, claiming that Bailey’s family and the estate weren’t informed or consulted prior to this week’s news. Bailey passed away in 2022.

Earlier this week, it was announced that original band members guitarist Ed Kuepper and drummer Ivor Hay will be accompanied by Mudhoney singer Mark ArmSunnyboys bassist Peter Oxley, and former Bad Seeds/The Birthday Party guitarist Mick Harvey for an Australian tour.

“Chris Bailey's Family and the Chris Bailey Estate have questioned the decision to reform The Saints with Mark Arm from Mudhoney replacing Chris Bailey on vocals,” the statement reads.

“Neither the late singer's family, nor the Chris Bailey Estate, were informed or consulted on this decision.”

The statement continued, “We are surprised that Mark Arm agreed to do this without consultation.

“The Chris Bailey Estate owns The Saints name and our primary objective is to honour Chris Bailey’s memory and the Saints significant legacy with integrity.”

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In the statement, the Chris Bailey Estate also accused Kuepper and his management team, Feel Presents, of selling unauthorised merchandise to accompany the upcoming tour and alleged that Bailey’s role in the band had been diminished in interviews. However, the Estate didn’t link to or mention any specific interviews.

“More importantly, Ed Kuepper and his management team, Feel Presents, also recently put out unauthorised merchandise and reissues without any consultation with the Estate and were eventually forced to change the name to The Saints 1973-1978 and promised not to do anything else without consultation.

“Furthermore, there have been attempts in interviews to reduce or negate the role Chris Bailey played in the original Saints.”

When the Saints ’73-’78 tour was announced this week, Mark Arm told the ABC it was “not about me” and that his goal was to be “true to Chris and try to honour him.”

“I'm not going to just scream my way through Saints songs: That doesn't make sense,” Arm said. “I'm focusing on trying to get the attitude and the delivery… I want to do it right.”

After issuing the statement, The Saints' Facebook page shared a Louder Sound article and revealed that it was in response to ABC’s article about this week’s tour announcement.

“This is in response to the following article where Ed Kuepper and Feel presents say they have reformed The Saints,” the band wrote. “They have not let anyone from the Chris Bailey family know prior to the article being published.

“In addition, they have no right to call themselves The Saints. We clearly believe Mark Arm was not aware or informed that the Bailey family had no knowledge. They should have made clear that it was about The Saints 73 to 78, a kind of tribute band.”

Feel Presents’ Tim Pittman responded to the Chris Bailey Estate’s claims, saying in a statement of his own (via the ABC): “We don't need to ask anyone to use the name The Saints '73-'78, and none of the members need to get anyone's approval to perform the songs that they wrote and recorded.”

Pittman added that The Saints ’73-’78 was a name agreed upon by Bailey and other members of The Saints prior to the singer’s passing to differentiate them from “the other Saints.”

“We were already using it anyway, so it was a no-brainer for us to say yes. It was a request, but we were already using it,” Pittman said.

Pittman also denied the claims that the upcoming tour is selling unauthorised merchandise and claimed that the Estate approved last year’s reissue of (I’m) Stranded.

His statement continued, “The 7" last year (a reissue of (I'm) Stranded, the band's classic debut single) and the merchandise was approved by the Bailey estate: the artwork, the idea, and the bank details that they gave me for payment for the supposed unapproved releases.”

The upcoming The Saints ’73-‘78 tour coincides with the release of a deluxe edition of (I’mStranded on Friday, 15 November. You can pre-order the box set here.