My Tribute to a True Friend
Geoff "Tangletongue" Mack
Taken from Lucky Grills book "Just call me Lucky". Sadly Lucky was called to God on Saturday 28th July 2007 -
Our thoughts and prayers are with Lucky's family. (Pictured) The late Lucky Grills O.A.M.|
It was back in 1950
When I met this man named Mack
We were working in a show in Parramatta
I had just turned 22
Learning all the things to do
To get some laughs with very dodgy patter.
Macka sang some songs he wrote
Made funny noises with his throat
He really had the audience in stitches
I thought 'wow', he and I no trouble
Could do comedy as a double
Who knows, we might go from rags to riches.
"Tenderfoot" and "Tanglefoot" became our name
Look out, we're on the road to fame
Singing songs and playing washboard - yeah we'll kill 'em
And let me tell you it's a fact
It was a bloody clever act
When we sang our songs to ladies - yeah we'd thrill 'em.
Well we did gigs around the pubs
We travelled out to country clubs
It was just as if in hindsight we were brothers
Mack took photos at my first wedding
But back to London he was heading
To marry Tabbi cause for years
They had been lovers.
Soon they preformed with song and dance
Played in Germany and France
Worked cabaret with a songstress known as Patsy
Patsy's hair was flaming red
And she recently had wed
A German pilot known as Hal - who was a Nazi!
There were others in the group
It was a real successful troupe
They wowed the guys at many army bases
Tabbi would tap and spin and twirl
Which came from being a "Tiller" girl
While Geoff's noises put a smile upon their faces.
They travelled home in '54
To the land they both adore
Bought a house and played the clubs here as a double
Then one day I phoned from Coolangatta
Geoff said, "Goodday Luck, what's the matter?"
I said, "Get your arse up here cause I'm in trouble!"
Well, he and Tab moved to the coast
And it's here I'm going to boast
We were immediately successful with our show
A change of programme every night
The combination was just right
The Trivetts were really raking in the dough.
We spent years there as a team
But we'd always had a dream
That we'd like to take a tent show on the road
So we purchased trucks and caravans
And with carefully laid out plans
The seed to have our tent show had been sowed.
February 1960 it did begin
In the town of Deniliquin
"Carol's Varieties" had finally succeeded
Three hours of variety every night
The programme was just right
It was the kind of entertainment Aussies needed.
We had six years of fun and laughter
Just what the country folk were after
We'd been successful doing what we chose to do
'Till country T.V. came to pass
And set us right back on our arse
It was time for us to look for something new.
So we packed up chairs and tent
And back to Sydney we all went
Our tent show days were over sad to say
The situation could not be clearer
It was the ending of an era
The Travelling shows had finally had their day.
Well Geoff had written a little ditty
Which told a story that was witty
It was called "The Swagman Rock" - I do declare
Then Lucky Starr whom we applaud
Said, "Yep, this song I will record"
And he did, and called it "I've Been Everywhere"
At that time I'd had a vision
I'd like to act on television
So with Jan Adele I performed on several dates
Tabbi's shows were going steady
With her new parter known as Freddy
And through it all, we remained good friends.
Then I travelled overseas
Worked Yankie bases for nice fees
I was determined that I wouldn't be a failure
The Geoff's good fellowship showed reward
When in '97 he won a 'Mo' award
Then later on I got the Order of Australia.
His hard work has been rewarded
Many songs he's had recorded
The respect of all his peers is truly great
He'd held in very high esteem
By every member of the team
There's so many who are proud to call him 'mate'
As the years have moved along
Our friendship has grown strong
Like a family we have always worked together
Ever helping each other through
Whatever shows we had to do
Travelling anywhere in any kind of weather.
But now I'm older I've got weighty
And tomorrow - you're turning 80
And neither of us knows when it will end
But until the final day
Albert Geoffrey let me proudly say
Thanks for being such a thoughtful, loving friend
Your lifelong pal, Lucky Grills O.A.M
(Pictured) Geoff "Tangletongue" Mack on his 80th birthday
Posted 1st August 2007