Strike a chord with vet­eran rocker and artist Reg Mom­bassa

Herald Sun - Property - - FRONT PAGE - PHO­TOS: JOHN AP­P­LE­YARD

THIS artist and mu­si­cian has been a main­stay of Aus­tralian pop cul­ture for more than 40 years. He is best known as for­mer gui­tarist and vo­cal­ist with rock band Men­tal as Any­thing and for his art that has adorned T-shirts and posters for surf and street-cloth­ing la­bel Mambo. He is a co-founder and mem­ber of rock band Dog Trum­pet with brother Peter O’Do­herty and is in blues band The Pinks. He is also a land­scape artist and has had a ret­ro­spec­tive of his works fea­tured in a book, The Land­scapes of Reg Mom­bassa.

“Peo­ple mainly know me for be­ing in Men­tal as Any­thing or for do­ing weird Mambo-style stuff, but I’ve ac­tu­ally been paint­ing land­scapes since I was about 15,” he said.

Mom­bassa was born in New Zealand and moved to Aus­tralia with his fam­ily when he was 17. His real name is Chris O’Do­herty.

“Reg Mom­bassa is a stage name I made up in 1978, which I didn’t think would stick,” he said. “It struck me as amus­ing hav­ing Reg as like a truck driver’s name, with an ex­otic sur­name.”

Mom­bassa’s twin tal­ents of artist and mu­si­cian will be on show at the Port Fairy Folk Fes­ti­val (March 1013). He de­signed the fes­ti­val’s 2017 poster and will per­form with Dog Trum­pet and The Pinks.

Mom­bassa lives with wife Martina in Syd­ney. They have three adult chil­dren: Darcy, Clau­dia and Lucy.

Typ­i­cal Satur­day morn­ing

I read the Satur­day pa­pers and then get back to work. I gen­er­ally work seven days a week, so week­ends are no dif­fer­ent to any other day. Al­though there is slightly more news­pa­per to read on Satur­day.

On my bed­side ta­ble

At the mo­ment, I have a copy of Sapi­ens: A Brief His­tory of Hu­mankind by Yu­val Noah Harari. I en­joy read­ing his­tory and science. Apart from that, I have no hob­bies. I don’t do any­thing apart from work. I don’t go to the beach. I rarely go to the pic­tures, or see bands or go to the theatre. I stay home, read a bit, watch TV.

Se­cret do­mes­tic skill

I can make good mashed potato. I like pota­toes be­cause of my Ir­ish her­itage. I don’t do recipes but I have a few ba­sic meals I can pro­duce rea­son­ably com­pe­tently. I do about half the cook­ing.

Ideal night in

Play the gui­tar — I might be work­ing on a song. Have din­ner that my wife or I have cooked. Watch a bit of TV — a his­tory, science or art show. Then I might talk to the cat for a cou­ple of min­utes.

What would you tell your 18-year-old self?

Don’t be such a reck­less anti-so­cial id­iot. I did a lot of risky things that un­for­tu­nately many young men do. But at the time, I prob­a­bly wouldn’t have lis­tened to this good ad­vice. I would have said mind your own busi­ness.

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