Vale: Des “Animal” McKenna

Musician Desmond "Dezzy' McKenna, better known as drummer "Animal" on Hey Hey it's Saturday, has died.

Musician Desmond “Dezzy’ McKenna, better known as drummer “Animal” on Hey Hey it’s Saturday, has died.

Friends posted a tribute on social media, noting he had passed away in Chaiyaphum province in Thailand, where he had been living since the mid 1990s.

He was a regular in the Hey Hey band alongside the likes of Red Symons, Wilbur Wilde, Daryl McKenzie, Peter McCutcheon, known for his killer beats and silent grimacing from behind a pair of sunglasses (and tossing himself into the GTV9 pool while using crutches).

Brother of producer Rick McKenna, he also performed as part of Jo Jo Zep & the Falcons and was billed as “Austral-Asia’s swinging-est, laziest, funniest, second quietest, third loudest, and 7th fastest drummer.”

Phil Rudd of AC/DC once described him as “a Solid Sitter” while US jazz trumpeter Nat Adderley once said, “Here we have a hard swinging drummer.”

McKenna also made fleeting appearances in The Pirate Movie, The Bit Part and the notorious Houseboat of Horror.

His death comes less than a week after the screening of the Hey Hey 50th anniversary special.

2 Responses

  1. Very sad and very disappointed that Hey Hey it’s 50 didn’t even mention him in their special or show any footage of him. I had wondered what had happened to him, and now I unfortunately know. He was an awesome and funny member of the Hey Hey team. And that incident of him ‘tossing’ himself into the Channel 9 pool. (The tossing adjective perfect fodder for dickieknee) was absolute gold! RIP Animal.

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