Hi, my name is Mark Callaghan, but my friends call me 'Cal'.

I am the lead vocalist and songwriter with GANGgajang and before that "The Riptides".

I was born in Aldershot, England, but my earliest musical memories are of my childhood days in Kenya, East Africa. My father as a member of the British Army Parachute regiment, was attached to the fledgling Kenyan Army, teaching them to jump out of airplanes (which still seems like a bizarre concept!).

Music is everywhere in Africa, people singing all the time and I can still hear the rhythmic songs of the workers as they cut grass by the roadsides.

The Beatles were on Voice of Kenya Radio, and I can still recall asking my mother, "Mum if I wrote a song for The Beatles, would they sing it?" She said, of course they certainly would and so the songwriter in me was born!


We returned to England in 1968 and what a vibe that was, all those great bands on the radio. I used to hide my transistor radio under my pillow in boarding school and tune to Radio Luxembourg (Fab 208).

My Dad retired from the Army in 1972 and we moved to Australia.


We arrived in Brisbane, bought a Holden wagon, all piled in and drove north deciding that when we saw something we liked that's where we'd live.

Well, we got as far as Bundaberg, and that's where we settled.


Self Portrait - circa '83

Musically speaking it was the pits, but I spent my time playing sports and looking longingly at the old battered guitar that lay around the house. I'd always wanted to learn to play, but somehow couldn't get past lesson 1.. 'how to tune your guitar'. So for many years I couldn't play the guitar, I could tune one!

Cal's drawings from his studies in architecture at The University of Queensland.