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

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