Graham Brazier’s swagger and musical talent are part of Kiwi music history. Brazier's career began with university band Oktober; in 1975 he joined Dave McArtney and Harry Lyon to form Hello Sailor. Their self-titled debut album spawned classics 'Gutter Black' and Brazier's 'Blue Lady'. Inbetween Hello Sailor and his band The Legionnaires, Brazier recorded solo albums Inside Out (1981) — which included classic track 'Billy Bold' — Brazier (1987) and East of Eden (2004). A fourth album was almost complete when he died on 4 September 2015, a month after suffering a heart attack.
Coup D'Etat were a short-lived band featuring Harry Lyon (during a Hello Sailor sabbatical) and Jan Preston (from travelling theatre act Red Mole). The band's second single is an ode to "the dangers of having too much fun". The bright, breezy number was written by Lyon, with the familiar Ponsonby reggae beat favoured by Hello Sailor. Peaking at nine on the charts, it won Best Single at the 1981 NZ Music Awards. The pedestrians in Leon Narbey’s video are near Auckland's Civic Theatre on Queen Street. In the same period, Narbey shot the short film of the same name.
Coup D'Etat was launched by two members of theatre troupe Red Mole (Jan Preston and Neil Hannan), who were soon joined by guitarist Harry Lyon (on a break from Hello Sailor). They are best remembered for Preston's single 'No Music on my Radio' and Lyon's hit 'Doctor I Like Your Medicine' (a NZ Music Awards Single of the Year). After one album they disbanded in 1982. Preston composed soundtracks and reinvented herself as a boogie-woogie pianist; Lyon returned to Hello Sailor; Hannan founded label SDL Music.
Reflecting the nautical themes found on chart-topping album Time and Tide, the classic 'Six Months in a Leaky Boat' demonstrated that Tim Finn was far from out of good ideas, even though he was soon to leave the band he had sailed with for so long. Opening with scene-setting Eddie Rayner instrumental 'Pioneer' and images of boats at sea, the video soon reveals Tim Finn and band below deck, in sailor's garb. Finn's much-loved line about refusing to be overcome by "the tyranny of distance" was likely inspired by the 1966 book by Australian historian Geoffrey Blainey.
Director Grahame McLean uses the notorious (then recent) 'Mr Asia' drug smuggling saga as fodder for this Wellington underbelly tale. Hello Sailor’s Harry Lyon headlines as a musician and ex-con who partners with a beautiful journo to investigate a global drug syndicate, in between nightclub sessions with fellow musos Beaver and Hammond Gamble. High on 80s guitar licks, Should I be Good? was made in the tax break era without Film Commission investment. McLean followed it right away with The Lie of the Land, becoming a rare Kiwi to make two movies back to back.
In this five part series, photographer, conservationist and publisher Craig Potton is a New Zealand coast tour guide. Each episode focuses on a region, taking in scenic splendour, while celebrating and taking the pulse of its biodiversity. Along the way Potton frames photos and meets the coasters: from scientists, sailors, swimmers and artists, to iwi, boaties and bach owners. As well as presenting, Potton conceived and wrote the series, produced by South Pacific Pictures. Wild Coasts followed the award-winning and ratings success of Potton’s 2010 series Rivers.
Ian Morris got his start in the music industry as a recording engineer at Auckland's Stebbings Studio, where he did distinctive work on Hello Sailor classic 'Gutter Black'. A guitarist in Th'Dudes, he co-wrote some of the band's biggest hits with Dave Dobbyn (including 'Right First Time' and 'Bliss'). In 1987 he topped the charts as Tex Pistol with both his cover of 'The Game of Love' (which he performed, arranged, engineered and produced) and 'Nobody Else', with his brother Rikki. He worked with many iconic Kiwi musicians, and composed and recorded for television and commercials. Morris died on 7 October 2010.
The Mockers had a breakthrough year in 1984. Their sixth single 'Swear It's True' caught New Zealand's attention, and in May their debut album peaked at number four on the Kiwi charts. In June they played Mainstreet for one of 1984's batch of Radio with Pictures specials, spawning the live album Caught in the Act, which was released in July. Vocalist and part-time poet Andrew Fagan cuts a piratical figure in his sailor's jacket and trademark fingerless gloves. Dunedin band The Idles were a lesser known proposition. They made ripples in 1984 with their first EP, 'Agroculture'.
Following the initial break up of legendary group Hello Sailor in 1980, Dave McArtney moved to centre stage with The Pink Flamingos (named after the cult comedy by John Waters). Formed around the ideas of "simplicity and melody", the group's revolving line-up included Dragon songwriter Paul Hewson. They released three albums and an EP; their self-titled debut led to five NZ Music Awards in 1981, including Group of the Year. After an unsuccessful second album the band reformed in 1984 to record The Catch. Their singles included 'Virginia', 'I'm in Heaven' and 'Remember the Alamo'. McArtney died in April 2013.
In a typically polished effort from the industrious Thunderlips duo, Doprah vocalist Indira Force’s metamorphosis into a schizophrenic kawaii girl (Japanese for ‘cute’) makes for an unsettling contrast to the song’s slow-burning ambience — although a late cameo from bandmate Steven Marr in Sailor Moon-style garb provides some comic relief. The clip premiered on US music journal SPIN’s online edition, and was nominated for Best Music Video at the 2014 Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards.