Bits of Books - Books by Title

The Mind and Times of Reg Mombassa

Murray Waldren

Chris O'Doherty b Aug 1951.

Papakura in the early 50's was a semi-rural village and we were on the edge, with farms beyond. We had this mad postwoman who used to open the letters and read them before she delivered the mail, and she would say things like "oh you've got a nice cheque here" or "This is a lovely letter from your sister" and people would put up with it. She came with the territory.

Had a black-and-tan kelpie that he called Tanner but who was given away after he bit another child.

From the start Mentals royalties split 50% to songwriter and other 50% divide among other band members and manager.

At start Andrew "Greedy" Smith wasn't officially in in the band. But at one gig Reg had divided up the money and was trying to figure out how to split a $5 note 4 ways. One guy said "Why not just give it to Greedy then you won't have to worry about it," and that's when he joined the band.

Dare Jennings, a DJ who started Phantom Records Phantom T-shirts, and was the first backer of Regular Records, who's first signing was the Mentals. In 1984 started Mambo Graphics as a surfwear company - brightly coloured things that took the piss out of surfing as well as celebrating it. He had seen Chris O'Doherty's work at an exhibition so commissioned a design (the fire-breathing chicken). Huge impact bc so different to what everyone else was doing, so Jennings went through all O'D's sketch books and found a lot of other stuff. Worked both ways: "Mambo made me think about other things and try a lot of ideas I wouldn't otherwise thought of."

Mambo both celebrated and made fun of Aussie culture. "I see my role as being like a buffoon who makes fun of mainstream things that irritate me. It's an opportunity to rant and rave in a semi-public way. When someone complains about being offended, I think 'Good! That's a victory for art.'"