King Loser

Kurt and Courtney, Thurston and Kim, and even Nancy and Lee. Memorable, offbeat alt-rock couples were popular enough in the 1980s and 1990s. And New Zealand wasn’t long in locating its own, in King Loser’s Chris Heazlewood and Celia Pavlova.

At odds with everyone, including each other, King Loser became the new band to see in New Zealand in the early 1990s, especially when the band line-up settled in 1995 with the arrival of drummer Lance Strickland (AKA Tribal Thunder) and guitarist Sean O’Reilly.

King Loser
Photo credit: Photo by Becky Nunes
Celia Pavlova/Mancini in pre-King Loser band Axel Grinders. L to r: John Markie aka John Segovia, Pat aka Duane Zarakov, Celia Patel (as she was then) and Phillip Ascott.
Photo credit: Photo by Jane Faigan. 95bFM Collection
King Loser - You Cannot Kill What Does Not Live (1995). Ronnie Van Hout
Photo credit: Ronnie Van Hout
Surf's Up In Malibu
Interview with Chris Heazlewood and Celia Pavlova, aka Celia Mancini from King Loser, 6 October 1994. Directed by Ross Cunningham
Celia Mancini - bringing music back from the abyss. 17 Feb, 2018
King Loser
Photo credit: Photo by Serena Stevenson
76 Come Back Special
Flying Nun photo shoot
Alastair Galbraith/King Loser tour 1994
King Loser
Photo credit: Photo by Becky Nunes
Troubled Land (live)
Troubled Land - Bob Sutton Collection
King Loser
Photo credit: Photo by Becky Nunes
King Loser, 1996 - Chris Heazlewood, Celia Mancini, Sean O'Reilly, Lance Strickland (Tribal Thunder)
Photo credit: Photo by Becky Nunes
King Loser documentary trailer - co-directed by Andrew Moore, Cushla Dillon (2023)

Members of the group were banned by their record company from talking to the media.

King Loser covered Bonnie Dobson's folk classic Morning Dew.

King Loser was formed by S.P.U.D.'s vocalist Geln Campbell, who dropped out of the group early.


Chris Heazlewood - guitar, vocals

Celia Patel (also Pavlova/ Mancini) - keyboards, vocals

Duane Zarakov - drums

Shayne Carter - guitar

Steve Dean - drums

Peter Jefferies - drums

Lance Strickland - drums

Sean O’Reilly - guitar

Glen Campbell - vocals


Turbulence Records

Flying Nun

Eighteen Wheeler Records

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