Sadly Monkey is with us no more. He died early, at about 42 years of age.
I lost touch with him after I left Brisbane in 1978. He lived with his family across the street from me in the Brisbane suburb of MacGregor. We hooked up the day my family moved in to our house and became realy good mates.
I finally got in contact with his family about ten years ago. I was thrilled to be chatting to his mum and dad, Lenny and Gloria Balcombe who are great people. After about 5 minutes of catching up, Lenny said "I s'pose you'd like to talk to Dave? unfortunately Olly, he died about 6 months ago". He was coming home from a party somewhere, he was a passenger in the back seat of a car. He fell asleep, no-one paid any attention to that, but he never woke up, just slipped quietly away. That was how I remembered Lenny telling me.
After all the times I had tried to track them down, I was 6 months too late.
I havent heard from Lenny and Gloria since. I will get a bit further into this Blog and try and contact them again.
Monkey became good mates with Michael "Stevo" Stevenson and Stevo kept in pretty good contact with Len and Gloria.
I heard that Monkey had been married and had at least one child. He had a younger sister as well, Annette.
Lenny Balcombe owned a fleet of trucks and he bought Dave a Triumph Bonneville. Dave was a lunatic on that bike, but he could ride it fast and it handled well and that helped. I remember once we where on a run and the bolts came out of the front mud guard and it rolled forward over the front wheel. Not much traction after that happened, and about a dozen bikes went down in that particular spill.
Later on, Lenny got him a Honda Four, an ex cop bike. He was a loony on that as well. He painted it and put on a "Harley" back wheel, a 16 incher with a "wide" 130 trye.
One night coming back from a piss up somewhere, he hit a wet patch in a bend on the highway and aquaplaned off the tar at about 100 miles an hour and hit a tree. That didnt kill him, though it did fuck him up pretty badly. I remember that his head hit the tree so hard, all the fillings in his teeth fell out, and a dentist had to visit him in hospital to fill his holes back in before he could eat properly.
I distinctly remmber the Honda after that prang, there were bits of the tree protruding from the crankcase.
I also remember one day we visited him in hospital after that prang. There was a kid in there who was driving a car that crashed, killing four of his mates. Those must have been painful days for the Old folks.
We did crazy things in those days. Death defying, out of control, booze fueled and all of the Gods must have been on the look out for us.
As This blog grows, more or less of these stories and memories will come to the surface and maybe people will see the blog and want to add to it.
I recently recieved an email from Caroline Abel, the daughter of Dave Balcombe. I will post the email she sent me here, as soon as I can find it.