The Incredible Penguins

The Incredible Penguins
OriginMelbourne, Australia
Years active1985
Associated actsMother Goose, Wendy & the Rocketts, The Masters Apprentices, Axiom

The Incredible Penguins were an Australian supergroup formed in 1985, which reached the top ten on the Australian Kent Music Report Singles Chart with their cover of "Happy Xmas (War Is Over)" in December.[1] Contributors included Angry Anderson (Rose Tattoo), Bob Geldof, Brian Mannix (Uncanny X-Men), Scott Carne (Kids in the Kitchen), Colleen Hewett, and John Farnham. The charity project, for research on little penguins, was organized and produced by Countdown host, Ian Meldrum.[2]


After hosting Oz for Africa—the Australian leg of Live Aid—in mid-1985, Ian Meldrum decided to create a charity project for a local issue. Meldrum was talent coordinator and compere of national pop music show, Countdown. Late in 1985, he used his industry contacts to organise a charity single for research on fairy penguins. He produced the recording of a cover of John Lennon, Yoko Ono and Plastic Ono Band's 1971 hit, "Happy Xmas (War Is Over)".

The Incredible Penguins were a briefly existing covers band,[3] with members: Steve Donald (Wendy & the Rocketts) on percussion, Craig Johnston (ex-Mother Goose) on vocals, Wayne Matthews (ex-The Masters Apprentices) on bass guitar, John Moon (ex-Keays, W.H.Y.) on guitar, Pat Polo on guitar, and Marcel Rodeka (ex-Mother Goose) on drums.[2][3]

In late October 1985, The Incredible Penguins entered the Flagstaff Studios in Melbourne with Meldrum and guest musicians: Angry Anderson (Rose Tattoo), Brian Canham (Pseudo Echo), Scott Carne (Kids in the Kitchen), John Farnham, Venetta Fields, Bob Geldof, Steve Gilpin (ex-Mi-Sex), Hare Krishna Chorus, Colin Hay (Men at Work), Colleen Hewett, Jim Keays (ex-The Masters Apprentices), Brian Mannix (Uncanny X-Men), Wendy Stapleton (Wendy & the Rocketts) and Chris Stockley (ex-Axiom, The Dingoes).[2][3]

A three-track single, "Happy Xmas (War Is Over)" was released by Mushroom Records and peaked at #10 on the Australian Kent Music Report Singles Chart in December.[1]



  1. ^ a b Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, NSW: Australian Chart Book Ltd. ISBN 0-646-11917-6. NOTE: Used for Australian Singles and Albums charting from 1974 until ARIA created their own charts in mid-1988. In 1992, Kent back calculated chart positions for 1970–1974.
  2. ^ a b c Spencer, Chris; Zbig Nowara; Paul McHenry (2002) [1987]. "Incredible Penguins". The Who's Who of Australian Rock. Noble Park, Vic.: Five Mile Press. ISBN 1-86503-891-1. Archived from the original on 15 October 2009. Retrieved 2 January 2010. Note: [on-line] version established at White Room Electronic Publishing Pty Ltd in 2007 and was expanded from the 2002 ion.
  3. ^ a b c John Moon. "Photo Gallery". Retrieved 2 January 2010.
  4. ^ a b c ""Happy Christmas (War Is Over)" at APRA search engine". Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA). Retrieved 2 January 2010.

External links[]