Saturday, September 5, 2015

Goodbye Sailor (2)

One of New Zealand's best-known rock musicians Graham Brazier died Friday morning (04 Sept.), several weeks after suffering a heart
Brazier came to prominence in the band Hello Sailor in 1975, with iconic songs such as Gutter Black, Lyin' In The Sand, Billy Bold and Blue Lady. Other members were Harry Lyon (guitar), Ricky Ball (drums), Lisle Kenny (bass) and the late Dave McArtney (guitar, who died April 2013). The band's self-titled debut album became the first NZ-made record to be certified gold.
Hello Sailor spent some time in Los Angeles in 1978, going on to Australia in 1979 via NZ, before disbanding in 1980. They made an impression not just in New Zealand but overseas. Tales abound of Brazier being invited to join the Doors after Jim Morrison died. And the guitar solo from The Knack's My Sharona was heavily influenced by Hello Sailor, after they had toured together.
The band was well-known for playing live music in Auckland's pubs and, in his spare time, the erudite Brazier ran a second-hand bookstore in Mount Eden.
Ahhhh, the good ol' days at the Gluepot Tavern in Auckland...
Hello Sailor has reunited for a number of tours since 1980, most recently earlier this year for its 40th anniversary, although those gigs were cancelled after Brazier's August heart attack.
Graham was one of the great kiwi frontmen, captivating and passionate on stage with a great voice. He lived the hard life of a rocker, drank more than most men, lived harder than most men and I suppose his relatively early death was not unexpected - but a sad loss for NZ music nonetheless. He had released three solo albums since 1980 and was just finishing a fourth.
Brazier was 63.

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