Robert McComb

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Robert McComb
Birth nameRobert Harold McComb
BornPerth, Western Australia, Australia
GenresRock, alternative rock, folk rock, country
Occupation(s)Musician, teacher
InstrumentsViolins, guitar, keyboards, percussion, vocals
Years active1979–1989
Associated actsThe Triffids, Lawson Square Infirmary, The Red Ponies

Robert Harold McComb is an Australian musician who played guitar, violin,[1] organ, and other instruments with Perth-based rock group The Triffids,[2] from 1979 to 1989.[3] He is the older brother of the band's founder and lead singer-songwriter, David McComb (1962–1999). Both were also members of Lawson Square Infirmary and The Red Ponies.

Subsequently, McComb was a teacher[3] of geography in Melbourne. On 1 July 2008 The Triffids, with McComb and other surviving members, were inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame.[3]


Robert Harold McComb was born in Perth, Western Australia as one of four sons. His parents were both doctors, his father, Dr. Harold Keith McComb (born 1924, Brisbane),[4] being a plastic surgeon[5][6] and his mother, Dr. Kathleen Athel Hockey (AO) (1923–2011), a medical geneticist.[6][7][8] Harold was the only son of A. R. McComb of Montreal, Canada and Athel was the youngest daughter of P. R. Hockey of Toorak, Victoria.[9] In 1947 both completed their medical degrees at University of Melbourne and were engaged in July.[6] In 1955 the McCombs moved to Perth,[4] and raised their family in a historical residence, The Cliffe in McNeil Street, Peppermint Grove.[10] All four boys attended Christ Church Grammar School in Claremont. The eldest son, Peter McComb, is also a doctor – in obstetrics and gynaecology – and an associate professor in Vancouver.[4]

In 1979 McComb joined his youngest brother, David Richard McComb in the rock band The Triffids, initially as a guitarist, replacing founder Phil Kakulas.[11][12][13] Aside from guitar, McComb also provided violin, keyboards, percussion and backing vocals for The Triffids from 1979 to their disbandment in 1989.[11][14] From 1990-1991, McComb toured internationally and recorded as a guest guitarist/violinist for Tall Tales and True. In June 1993, three former members of The Triffids: McComb, David and Graham Lee; as well as Charlie Owen and Chris Wilson guested on Acuff's Rose's debut studio album, Never Comin' Down.[15] On 2 February 1999 David McComb died.[11] From 2006, The Triffids, with McComb, have reformed for various performances with different guest lead vocalists. On 1 July 2008 The Triffids, with McComb and other surviving members, were inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame.[16]

Outside his music career, McComb has been a secondary school teacher of geography in Melbourne and has written advice for Victorian Certificate of Education students.[3][17] In October 2009, McComb was a guest panellist on Australian Broadcasting Corporation TV pop music quiz show, Spicks and Specks.[18]


  • McFarlane, Ian (1999). "Whammo Homepage". Encyclopedia of Australian Rock and Pop. St Leonards, NSW: Allen & Unwin. ISBN 1-86508-072-1. Archived from the original on 5 April 2004. Retrieved 20 July 2012. Note: Archived [on-line] copy has limited functionality.
  • Spencer, Chris; Zbig Nowara; Paul McHenry (2002) [1987]. The Who's Who of Australian Rock. Noble Park, Vic.: Five Mile Press. ISBN 1-86503-891-1.[19]
  1. ^ Zuel, Bernard (26 June 2006). "The Day of the Triffids". Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 9 July 2012.
  2. ^ "Artist: The Triffids". Long Way to the Top. Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC). Archived from the original on 2 February 2009. Retrieved 9 July 2012.
  3. ^ a b c d "ARIA Hall of Fame - The Triffids" (PDF). Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA). Archived from the original (PDF) on 5 March 2009. Retrieved 9 July 2012.
  4. ^ a b c "Emeritus Consultants Biographies – Harold Keith McComb". Royal Perth Hospital. 2006. Retrieved 21 July 2012.
  5. ^ "McComb Foundation history". Archived from the original on 9 February 2012. Retrieved 20 July 2012.
  6. ^ a b c Heinz, Karin Coventry (December 2005). "Western Australian Medicos Establish Scholarship at Queen's" (PDF). In Aeternum. Queens CollegeUniversity of Melbourne. Archived from the original (PDF) on 9 July 2009. Retrieved 21 July 2012.
  7. ^ Sutherland, Grant R (9 December 2009). "The History and Development of the Human Genetics Society of Australasia" (PDF). Human Genetics Society of Australasia. Archived from the original (PDF) on 18 March 2012. Retrieved 21 July 2012.
  8. ^ "Obituary: Dr Athel Hockey, (McComb), AO. [1923-2011]". Newsletters April 2011. Office of Population Health Genomics, Department of Health, Government of Western Australia. April 2011. Retrieved 20 July 2012.
  9. ^ "Lady Kitty Writes About People". The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1931 - 1954). National Library of Australia. 15 July 1947. p. 10. Retrieved 20 July 2012.
  10. ^ Heritage Council of Western Australia – Heritage listing – 'The Cliffe'
  11. ^ a b c McFarlane (1999). Encyclopedia entry for 'The Triffids'. Archived from the original on 17 April 2004. Retrieved 20 July 2012.
  12. ^ Nimmervoll, Ed. "The Triffids". Howlspace – The Living History of Our Music (Ed Nimmervoll). White Room Electronic Publishing Pty Ltd. Archived from the original on 27 July 2012. Retrieved 11 February 2014.
  13. ^ Spencer et al, (2007), 'Triffids, The' entry.
  14. ^ Holmgren, Magnus; Skjefte, Morten; Warnqvist, Stefan; Simonetti, Vince. "The Triffids". Australian Rock Database. (Magnus Holmgren). Archived from the original on 26 September 2012. Retrieved 1 March 2014.
  15. ^ McFarlane (1999). Encyclopedia entry for 'Acuff's Rose'. Archived from the original on 3 August 2004. Retrieved 23 July 2012.
  16. ^ "Winners by Year: 2008". Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA). Retrieved 21 July 2012.
  17. ^ McComb, Robert (December 2001). "VCE Geography sample SACs for Unit 3". Interaction. Geography Teachers' Association of Victoria. Retrieved 21 July 2012.
  18. ^ "Episode Thirty Seven". Spicks and Specks. Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC). 7 October 2009. Retrieved 21 July 2012.
  19. ^ "Who's who of Australian rock / compiled by Chris Spencer, Zbig Nowara & Paul McHenry". catalogue. National Library of Australia. Retrieved 20 July 2012.