MENTAL As Anything founding member and songwriter Andrew “Greedy” Smith has died after suffering a heart attack in his car. He was aged 63.
Band manager Grant Bartlett on Tuesday confirmed to AAP that Smith had suffered a heart attack while driving in Sydney on Monday evening. An ambulance arrived promptly to provide treatment but he died.
Mr Bartlett, who has managed the Australian pop-rock band for 16 years, said Smith’s fatal heart problem came as a surprise.
“One of the healthiest guys I’ve seen,” Mr Bartlett said.
The band performed in southern NSW’s Tathra on Saturday night and was scheduled to perform in Melbourne on Thursday. They were on a national tour which was set to culminate on the Central Coast on New Year’s Eve.
Smith’s publicist Dianna O’Neill on Tuesday told AAP she was also shocked by the musician’s death, having known him for more than 30 years.
Smith had served as godfather to one of her children.
“He’s one of our dearest and closest friends,” Ms O’Neill said.
“I spoke to him two days ago … I’ve never known him to be sick.
“What you see is what you get. Funny, jolly, he was sincere, caring … just a really incredibly decent person who didn’t have a bad word to say about anyone.”
Mental As Anything was formed in Sydney in August 1977 by Smith, along with Reg Mombassa, Martin Plaza, Wayne “Bird” de Lisle and Peter O’Doherty. The band was inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame in 2009.
Smith was a vocalist, alongside Plaza, and keyboard player. Plaza is battling cancer.
Smith was the final original member of the touring group.
He also produced a solo album, Love Harmonica, in 1996.
Smith is survived by his fiancee Fiona Docker and son Harvey.