Hello Sailor (band)

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Hello Sailor
OriginNew Zealand
Years active1975–1980, 1985–2015
Past membersDave McArtney
Harry Lyon
Graham Brazier
Ricky Ball
Lisle Kinney
Jo Miller
Neil Hannan

Hello Sailor was a New Zealand pop/rock band originally formed in 1975. Although the band formally disbanded in 1980 after just two albums, they have continued to sporadically reunite during the years since; recording a further four albums and performing numerous live tours and appearances.


The band's history is long and complicated, with guitarist/vocalists Dave McArtney and Harry Lyon having first played together in the mid 1960s.

Their first gig as Hello Sailor was at the Trees Tavern in Tokoroa, and they subsequently built a huge following playing in hotels and clubs scattered throughout New Zealand.

After several lineup changes, the band released its first album, Hello Sailor, in 1977,[1] which went on to become the first New Zealand made record to be certified gold. The line-up at that time was Graham Brazier on vocals and some guitar and saxophone, McArtney and Lyon on guitars and vocals, Lisle Kinney on bass, and Ricky Ball on drums. Three top 20 singles were taken from the album: "Gutter Black" written and sung by McArtney, "Blue Lady" written and sung by Brazier, and "Lyin' In The Sand" written and sung by Lyon.

Their second album, Pacifica Amour, was released in 1978, after the band had made their first visit to America to try to crack the American market. However, the trip was not a success, due in part to a party atmosphere which saw the consumption of large amounts of alcohol and drugs. In 1979 the band left for Australia, but this trip was also not a success.

Hello Sailor formally disbanded in 1980. Although, the core members of the band have continued to play and record together in the years following. In 1982, a compilation EP-album was released, titled Last Chance to Dance. It contained five tracks taken from the band's two earlier albums, plus an additional rare track "Here Comes Johnny".

The classic line-up eventually came together again within Graham Brazier's early-1980s band the Legionnaires, and in 1985 decided to once again reform as Hello Sailor (with former Coup D'État bass player Neil Hannan replacing Lisle Kinney). The band released a new single "Fugitive For Love", and a follow-up album Shipshape & Bristol Fashion, which included a re-recorded version of the single. In addition to new songs, the album also contained some reworked material which had originally been recorded during their various solo projects since 1980. Following on from the release of the album, the band toured extensively throughout New Zealand during late 1985 and into 1986.

After another hiatus, the band returned in 1994, recording a new album titled The Album, and again commenced a nationwide promotional tour. Three singles were released from "The Album"; "New Tattoo", "Never Fade Away, and "Raging with the Storm". This incarnation of the band also featured a considerably altered line-up, as Hello Sailor became a 6-piece band when original members Graham Brazier, Dave McArtney, and Harry Lyon were joined by three new members; Tony Lumsden on bass, Gordon Joll on drums, and Stuart Pearce on keyboards.

In 1996, a two-disc Compilation / Greatest Hits album The Sailor Story was released. In addition to Hello Sailor tracks, the album also contained material which had been recorded by the band's members during their various solo projects.

In 2005, Hello Sailor's 1977 song "Gutter Black" (written by Dave McArtney) was chosen as the title music for what would become a hit New Zealand television series Outrageous Fortune. This not only sparked renewed interest for the band, but also resulted in a favourable renegotiation of the publishing rights for Hello Sailor's earlier material.

In 2007, the band released the album, When Your Lights Are Out, which featured all-acoustic versions of their best-known material.

In 2011 the band entered the APRA NZ Music Hall of Fame [1].

In 2012, the band again reunited to record an album of new material Surrey Crescent Moon.

Founding member Dave McArtney died in 2013. In 2015, the band were planning their 40th-anniversary tour[2] when Brazier suffered a heart attack. The tour was postponed while he recovered, but he died shortly after, marking the end of the band's career.



Year Album Label Chart Peak
Chart Peak
1977 Hello Sailor Key #L36336 17 72
1978 Pacifica Amour Key #L36682
1982 Last Chance to Dance Key #L20042 11
1986 Shipshape & Bristol Fashion Zulu #ZLP002 21
1994 The Album Control Records / Hello Sailor Productions #471-3112 44
1996 The Sailor Story Festival #D31672 26
2006 When Your Lights Are Out Liberation/Universal #BLUE0922 33
2012 Surrey Crescent Moon Hello Sailor/Warner #5310549872 35


Year Single : A-Side / B-Side Chart Peak
Source Album
1976 "Rum & Coca Cola" / "Casablanca Holiday" Non-album single
1977 "Gutter Black" / "Latin Lover" 15 Hello Sailor
"Blue Lady" / "Lucy's Leaving Home" 13
1978 "Lyin' In The Sand" / "Hiding Out" 29
"Disco's Dead" / "The Boy We Used To Know" Pacifica Amour
1979 "I'm a Texan" / "Dr. Jazz"
1985 "Fugitive For Love" / "Boys in Beirut" 23 Shipshape & Bristol Fashion
1986 "Winning Ticket" / "Shake Shake"
1994 "New Tattoo" / New Tattoo (Party Mix) - Dirty Places 5 The Album
1995 "Never Fade Away" / "Blue Lady" 19
"Raging with the Storm"

Featured appearances[edit]

The group has appeared on the following compilations and soundtracks.

  • (1986) – We Carry The Cup (CBS) – "Billy Bold"
  • (1995) – Bliss (Festival) – "Gutter Black" & "Blue Lady"
  • (1995) – Kiwi Hit Disc No. 17 (NZ On Air) – "Raging with the Storm"
  • (1997) – Bliss Volume 2 (Festival) – "I'm in Heaven" & "Fugitive For Love"
  • (1999) – The Best Beer Drinking Songs in the World Ever (EMI) – "Blue Lady"
  • (2000) – Savage Honeymoon OST (Mana Music) – "Lying in the Sand"
  • (2002) – Nature's Best (Epic Music) – "Blue Lady"
  • (2002) – Absolute Bliss (Festival Music) – "New Tattoo"
  • (2003) – Give It A Whirl The Soundtrack From The Major Television Series (Propeller Records) – "I'm A Texan"
  • (2007) – Outrageous Fortune Soundtrack (Mana Music) – "Gutter Black"


RIANZ Awards
Year Award[5] Work Result
1978[6] Album of the Year Hello Sailor Won
Top Group Won
Year Award
2011 Inductee into New Zealand Music Hall of Fame[7]

Book references[edit]

  • Dix, J. (1988) Stranded in paradise: New Zealand rock'n'roll 1955–1988. Wellington: Paradise Publications. ISBN 0-473-00639-1.
  • Dix, John, Stranded in Paradise, Penguin, 2005. ISBN 0-14-301953-8
  • Eggleton, David, Ready To Fly, Craig Potton, 2003. ISBN 1-877333-06-9
  • Spittle, Gordon, Counting The Beat, GP Publications, 1997. ISBN 1-86956-213-5


  1. ^ "NZ News". Rip It Up. 1 July 1977. Retrieved 21 July 2019.
  2. ^ "Tour news: Hello Sailor's roaring forties". The New Zealand Herald. 18 June 2015. Retrieved 21 July 2019.
  3. ^ a b "Hello Sailor discography". charts.nz. Retrieved 17 April 2013.
  4. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (illustrated ed.). St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. p. 137. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  5. ^ "NZMAs". nzmusicawards.co.nz. Archived from the original on 22 September 2012. Retrieved 30 September 2012.
  6. ^ "1978 Winners". NZ Music Awards. Archived from the original on 30 October 2012. Retrieved 21 October 2012.
  7. ^ "Hello Sailor enters NZ hall of fame". One News. Television New Zealand. 13 September 2011. Retrieved 28 December 2011.

External links[edit]