STILL GREEDY FOR GIGS
MENTAL as Anything singer ‘Greedy’ Smith earned his nickname by downing 16 pieces of KFC during one of the band’s early gigs.
But as he ages, all Smith is Greedy for is more gigs.
At 61, Smith is a road warrior – and that’s the way he and the rest of The Mentals like it.
“We expect to be playing – I get a bit touchy if I haven’t been playing for a while,” Smith said.
“Each weekend I usually get the train to the airport in Sydney and get on a plane to go somewhere and play.
“The longest break I’ve had from touring, since the 1970s, is about six weeks when I fell off a horse.”
That hunger for live music makes the month-long APIA Good Times Tour ideal for Greedy and Mental as Anything.
Kicking off in May, the lineup is a who’s who of classic Australian acts, with Colin Hay, Joe Camilleri and Deborah Conway all on the bill.
Greedy has played with each before and can’t wait to hit the road with them again.
“The APIA tour will be different because it’s really quite intensive,” he said.
“For us it’s really more of the same, but in illustrious company this time.”
Mental as Anything was formed in the mid-’70s by art school friends Smith, Martin Plaza, Reg Mombassa, Peter O’Doherty and Wayne DeLisle.
During the mid-to-late ’80s they were one of Australia’s biggest bands, with hits like Live it Up and Too Many Times.
Smith described the band’s peak as a blur and the members’ ambitions as humble .
“You haven’t got much money so you put a band together to play for free drinks,” he said. Greig Johnston
The line-up for the APIA Good Times tour, including (rear left) Greedy Smith.