Coup D'Etat Profile

John Dix
15 Oct 2014

It was all a matter of timing. Sweetwaters, January 1980. Hello Sailor were fresh from a disastrous spell in Sydney following an earlier disheartening foray in Los Angeles. The Red Mole Theatre Troupe, New York-based, were back home for a handful of performances.

Three months later, Hello Sailor had split up and two key members of Red Mole's musical arm, keyboardist Jan Preston and bassist Neil Hannan, had decided not to return to the USA, and formed Wolfgang with drummer Steve Osborne. As a sideline to Red Mole obligations in New York, Preston and Hannan had formed an occasional band, the Shaky Islanders, but they were looking at a more permanent group in New Zealand. The fledgling band needed a guitarist. Enter Harry Lyon.

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Coup D'Etat: Jan Preston, Harry Lyon, Paul Dunningham and Neil Hannan
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Coup D'Etat's second lineup, 1981: Neil Hannan, Harry Lyon and Paul Dunningham
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Coup D'Etat at Auckland University's Maidment Theatre, May 1980
Photo credit: Design by Barry Linton
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Jan Preston with Coup D'Etat
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Jan Preston and Harry Lyon with Coup D'Etat, 1981
Photo credit: Photo by Murray Cammick
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Coup D'Etat - Dr I Like Your Medicine
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The artwork for Dr I Like Your Medicine
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Coup D'Etat - No Music On My Radio
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Coup D'Etat: Jan Preston, Paul Dunningham, Harry Lyon and Neil Hannan
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Barry Linton's generic Coup D'Etat poster
Photo credit: Design by Barry Linton
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The 1981 self-titled Coup D'Etat album
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Harry Lyon and Neil Hannan with Coup D'Etat
Photo credit: Simon Grigg collection
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Harry Lyon - guitar, vocals

Jan Preston - keyboards, vocals

Paul Dunningham - drums

Neil Hannan - bass

Stuart Pearce - keyboards

Steve Garden - drums

Steve Osborne - drums

Murray Hancox - keyboards

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