Originally formed in 1975, the Hello Sailor was one of New Zealand’s most famous pop/rock bands. After their first two albums, they disbanded in 1980. Almost four albums had been recorded after their skeletal reunions where they had performed in shows and live tours over the past years.

The history of the Hello Sailor band started with the duo of Harry Lyon and Dave McArtney the vocalists/guitarists who started the band in the mid 1960s. They both built huge following performing in clubs and hotels across New Zealand after releasing their first gig as Hello Sailor at the Trees Tavern in Tokoroa.

In 1977, their first album ‘Hello Sailor’ was released after they had several lineup changes. This pushed them to be certified as first New Zealand made band that was certified gold. Graham Brazier who did some vocals, saxophone and guitar task was on the lineup, Ricky Ball was on drums, and Lisle Kinney handled bass while Lyon and McArtney were on guitars and vocals.


Lyin’ In the Sand’ written and sung by Lisle Kinney, ‘Gutter Black’ sung and written by McArtney and ‘Blue Lady’ written and sung by Brazier were the top 3 singles of the 20 singles that were taken from the album. Early 1978, Pacifica Amour their second album was released. They attempted to break the American market with the second album but due to the wild atmosphere affiliated with alcohol and drug consumption, their trip was not successful.

After an unsuccessful trip to Australia in 1979, Hello Sailor was formally disbanded in 1980.

In the years that followed, the core members of the band continued to record and perform together and ‘Last Chance to Dance’ a compilation EP- album was released in 1982. The album had an additional track title ‘Here Comes Johnny’ and 5 other tracks that were extracted from their two earlier albums.

The Legionnaires, Graham Brazier’s 1980 band became the new classic line up. In 1985, they decided to reunite again as Hello Sailor with Neil Hannan, a former Coup D’etat bass player, replacing Lisle Kinney. The band reunited again in 1994 and released a new album titled ‘The Album’ which featured top 3 singles: ‘Raging With The Storm’, ‘Never Fade Away’, and ‘New Tattoo’. The band was made up of three former members: Harry Lyon, Graham Brazier, and Dave McArtney and three new members: Gordon Joll on drums, Stuart Pearce on keyboards, and Tony Lumsden on bass .

The Sailor Story, a two disc compilation album was released in 1996 which had most of the solo projects recorded by it members on it. In 2005, a New Zealand television series – Outrageous fortune chose Hello Sailor’s 1977’s ‘Black Gutter’ as its title music. This sparked renewed interest among the band members and also resulted in a positive renegotiation of the Hello Sailor publishing rights of their earlier materials.

‘When Your Lights are out’ was released in 2007 which was followed by another 2012 album titled Surrey Crescent Moon. Dave McArtney, one of the founding members died in 2013 which was followed by Graham Brazier’s death in 2015.


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