Graham Brazier, the charismatic frontman of New Zealand rock band Hello Sailor, has died several weeks after suffering a heart attack. He was 63.
According to local reports, Brazier passed away Friday (Sept. 4) at a rehabilitation facility in Auckland where he had been recovering from a heart attack in July. His condition forced the band to cancel a reunion tour booked to celebrate its 40th anniversary.
Formed in 1975, Hello Sailor are best remembered for their the songs “Blue Lady” and “Gutter Black”. The band spent time in L.A. and Australia before calling it a day in 1980. “Blue Lady” (No. 20) and Brazier’s solo hit “Billy Bold” (No. 72) were voted into the top 100 New Zealand songs of all time in a poll of APRA members published back in 2001.
Brazier, who battled with substance abuse, had released three solo albums since 1980 and was in the process of recording new material with producer Alan Janssen, according to Radio NZ.
“If anyone wants to look through the catalog, there’s a giant footprint there and it’s Hello Sailor, Graham was a figurehead for that. So yeah, a mighty tree has fallen,” legendary local singer Dave Dobbyn told reporters.
His death comes after his bandmate Dave McArtney passed away in 2013.