Mental as Anything’s Greedy Smith has passed away aged 63. Picture: Christian Gilles
Mental as Anything’s Greedy Smith has passed away aged 63. Picture: Christian Gilles

Mentals singer Greedy Smith’s shock death

Mental As Anything frontman Andrew "Greedy" Smith has died at 63 of a heart attack.

The beloved entertainer was moving into a new home with his fiance Fiona Docker on Monday evening when he fell ill.

The singer, songwriter and keyboardist was currently on a tour with the Mentals and was the last original member of the live outfit.

Mental As Anything's Greedy Smith loved performing live. Picture: CAM WARD
Mental As Anything's Greedy Smith loved performing live. Picture: CAM WARD

The funny, charismatic musician who loved playing harmonica was urged by Sydney art school students Martin Murphy, Chris O'Doherty, David Twohill and Steve Coburn to quit his band and join their outfit in 1976.

The Mentals, as they are affectionately known, became one of the most popular band in the Countdown era and enjoyed a string of hits through the 1980s.

Songs including The Nips Are Getting Bigger, If You Leave Me, Can I Come Too? and Berserk Warriors were favourites among pop fans and inner-city lovers of the alternative New Wave music emerging from Sydney's pub circuit.

Martin Plaza with Greedy Smith and Peter O'Doherty from band Mental as Anything. Picture: News Corp Australia
Martin Plaza with Greedy Smith and Peter O'Doherty from band Mental as Anything. Picture: News Corp Australia

 

 

Greedy was described as the “loveliest, nicest man” by former bandmate Pete O’Doherty. Picture: News Corp Australia.
Greedy was described as the “loveliest, nicest man” by former bandmate Pete O’Doherty. Picture: News Corp Australia.

One of their biggest hits Live It Up, reached No. 2 on the Australian charts and enjoyed some success overseas, peaking at No. 3 in the UK, when it featured on the soundtrack of the Crocodile Dundee film in 1986.

Members of Australian new-wave rock band ''Mental As Anything'' Wayne Delisle, Peter O'Doherty, Martin Plaza, Greedy Smith and Reg Mombassa, 1980s.
Members of Australian new-wave rock band ''Mental As Anything'' Wayne Delisle, Peter O'Doherty, Martin Plaza, Greedy Smith and Reg Mombassa, 1980s.

 

 

Mentals were inducted to the ARIA Hall of Fame alongside Little Pattie and Broderick Smith (The Dingoes) in 2009. Picture: News Corp Australia.
Mentals were inducted to the ARIA Hall of Fame alongside Little Pattie and Broderick Smith (The Dingoes) in 2009. Picture: News Corp Australia.

The gregarious singer also proved hugely popular as a television personality and was regularly a judge on the Hey Hey It's Saturday talent guest segment Red Faces and a panellist on Spicks and Specks as well as filling in for Steve Vizard as host of the variety show Tonight Live.

Pete O'Doherty, who with brother Reg Mombassa, was a member of the most popular line-up of the Mentals was "devastated" by the news of Smith's sudden death.

"It's really hard to comprehend," he said.

"He was the loveliest, nicest man we knew and it's just unbelievable."

His close friend, entertainment publicist Dianna O'Neill said "our grief and confusion at this time are little compared to what Andrew's family will be feeling - our hearts and prayers go out to them."

Smith is survived by his son Harvey, fiancée Fiona Docker and brother Stuart.


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