Andrew "Greedy" Smith, founding member and songwriter of Australian pop-rock band Mental As Anything has passed away aged 63 after experiencing an unexpected heart attack in his car in Sydney.
The Australian Associated Press (AAP) received confirmation from the band's manager Grant Bartlett that Smith was driving his car on Monday evening when he suffered an unexpected heart attack, and could not be revived after an ambulance came immediately to his aid. The fatal heart problem came as a surprise to people close to Smith, as Bartlett states, who has managed the Australian pop-rock band for 16 years, that Smith was "One of the healthiest guys I've seen", and that there had been no indication Smith was unwell.
Just last Saturday night, the band along with the late energetic "Greedy" Smith performed in the south coast town of Tathra and were scheduled to perform a night in Melbourne on Thursday. They were currently in the midst of a national tour which would've wrapped up on New Year's Eve.
The band were inducted into the Aria Hall of Fame in 2009, as a beloved Australian band providing soundtracks to young people's lives all over the country. Smith joined the band late in the year of 1976 and played a key role in the band as a songwriter, and was awarded for his work when he was inducted just three weeks ago into the Australian Songwriters Association Hall of Fame. Smith was also a vocalist, alongside lead singer Martin Plaza, and played the keyboard and harmonica with a jolly and fun-loving spirit, on and off the stage.
Publicist Dianna O'Neill said she was shocked by Smith's death, having known him for more than three decades, and Smith had served as godfather to one of her children.
He's one of our dearest and closest friends
O'Neill said, "I spoke to him two days ago ... I've never known him to be sick". O'Neill described the late Smith as "Funny, jolly, he was sincere, caring ... just a really incredibly decent person who didn't have a bad word to say about anyone."
The band confirmed Smith's death on their Facebook page "with an incredibly heavy heart". They followed the statement with "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". The beloved Smith is survived by his son Harvey, fiancee Fiona Docker and brother Stuart.