Mother Goose hailed from Dunedin, New Zealand, and were unique for their performances which combined mime, satire, costumes and novelty songs with virtuoso playing.
Honing their craft during intensive rehearsals at the Dunedin City Highland Pipe Band hall, each member of the band dressed as a distinctive character; Vocalist Craig Johnston was a sailor, Marcel Rodeka was a pixie, Denis Gibbins dressed as Minnie Mouse, Peter Dickson a baby (complete with nappy), Steve Young was a ballerina and Kevin Collings a Bumble Bee.
Moving to Australia, the band started playing at Cloudland in Brisbane and at the Playroom on the Gold Coast in Queensland in late 1976. They eventually came to the attention of Mushroom Records who signed them.
Their debut album, Stuffed (1977), became Mushroom’s fastest selling album, and the first single, Baked Beans was a hit across Australia.
By June 1978, Mother Goose had moved to the United States and were living in California with their own recording studio and a signed deal with Scotti Brothers Records. After five months of songwriting and recording demos, they left the Scotti Brothers and relocated to New York.
Contractual battles with the Scotti Brothers unfortunately prevented the band securing another major recording contract and lead guitarist Peter Dickson left the band in February 1979. He was replaced by New York guitarist, Justin McCarthy, who adopted the costume of a toy soldier.
Mother Goose returned to Australia in 1979 and undertook their ‘Catch Me If You Can Tour’. They also recorded two more albums, Don’t Believe In Fairytales (1979) and This is the Life (1982). The band continued touring Australia and Canada until they finally called it a day in 1984.
The original Mother Goose line-up reunited for a one-off gig in Dunedin, New Zealand, on 23 March 2007.
Kevin “Dwarf” Collings