“Fred Negro’s life’s work is to capture the life and the characters that have filled St Kilda and her streets and he draws them with the care of an old friend…You may find that beyond the image of the angry post-punk, often nude to semi-nude and over the top stage performer, he is also a keen observer of the characters and crazy nights that have littered his life. There are stories, thousands of stories in all those days that can make you chuckle, maybe feel a little bit sad, occasionally shocked and sometimes enlightened on the scenes of St Kilda that are slowly being cleared in the aggressive march of gentrification.” -Louise Avery, St Kilda News Dec 2017
Fred Negro was born at a very early age. A self-taught cartoonist growing up in Richmond in the 1960s, he moved to St Kilda mid-70s after completing a graphic design course at Prahran College. In 1979 he joined the local art-punk band “The Editions” as a drummer and graphic artist. He started designing flyers and posters in the early 80s for local St Kilda rock venues such as the Esplanade hotel, The Prince Of Wales, The Venue and The Seaview Ballroom which continued right through to the noughties. In 1983 he formed the band I Spit On Your Gravy which became notorious for their outrageous stage show and uncompromising hardcore punk rock. His artwork and this band quite often found itself in big trouble with the vice-squad, resulting in a number of obscenity court cases. The Gravys first vinyl record ‘St Kilda’s Alright’was seized from the record shops by the vice squad and a media-saturated trial ensued. Virgin Records signed the Gravys in 1985 and the album ‘Froot Loop City’ was released.
During this time Fred also performed with Paul Elliot’s Gong Show, The Band Who Shot Liberty Valance, The Gravybillys, and The Beaumaris Tennis Club Quartet. In 1989 Fred started a weekly comic strip called ‘Pub‘ for Inpress magazine which is still going strong today ( although exclusive to his website as Inpress got too many complaints in the later years ).
Fred sang and performed in many bands after The Gravys including The Brady Bunch Lawnmower Massacre, Shonkytonk, 57 pages Of Pink, Squirming Gerbil Death, Whore, The Fuck Fucks, The Twits, Little Freddie And The Pops, The Eggs, Giraffe Party, Blackmolls, Hanksaw & The Peptide
Fred Negro has co-authored and illustrated a huge graphic novel with Elizabeth Reale recently called ‘Piranhas In Love’ which was self-published in 2017. He plans to move into designing merchandise and doing more portraiture & painting to ( in his own words ) ‘… make some fuckin’ money to feed my addiction of collecting giraffes and to make my beloved girlfriend Viv a “Kept Woman” He has two children, is a one-eyed Collingwood supporter and is called by the local St Kilda-Ites “The Unofficial Mayor of St Kilda”.