Donald's Encyclopedia of Popular Music

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

EASYBEATS, The

Australian beat group formed '63 by emigré Europeans who met at a youth hostel: George Young (b 6 November 1947, Scotland), rhythm guitar; Gordon 'Snowy' Fleet (b 16 August 1945, England), drums; Harry Vanda (b 22 March 1947, Holland), lead guitar, Dick Diamonde (b 28 December 1947, Holland). Through Fleet they met Englishman Stevie Wright (b 20 December 1948, Leeds; d 27 December 2015, New South Wales), then won a residency at the Beatle Village club, Sydney. Second single 'She's So Fine' no. 1 in the Australian chart followed by hits 'Wedding Ring', 'Sad And Lonely And Blue', 'Woman', 'Come And See Her', with Wright something of a teen heartthrob. They turned their eyes to Europe/USA '66, recorded 'Friday On My Mind' in London with Shel Talmy (produced Kinks, the Who): with an urgency rare in mellow sounds of the time, it made no. 16 USA, 6 UK, 1 Australia.

Fleet left before a USA tour, replaced by Tony Cahill (ex-Purple Hearts). Drug and management problems postponed a follow-up; Talmy-produced 'Who'll Be The One' eventually flopped. They changed style wildly to find the audience: 'Hello How Are You', Tom Jones-styled ballad, was second and last UK hit (no. 20 '68) 18 months after 'Friday'. LP Vigil '68 was equally confused, with unlikely covers such as 'Can't Take My Eyes Off You', 'Hit The Road Jack'. They eventually came up with 'Friday'-style 'Good Times' (Steve Marriott on backing vocals) but it was too late; the band split. Songwriters Vanda and Young stuck together, produced a debut solo LP for Stevie Wright (Hard Road '75), assisted Young's brothers Angus and Malcolm in starting AC/DC, Australia's most successful group; had mixed fortunes as Band of Hope, Marcus Hook, Paintbox, Flash And The Pan: the latter had no. 7 UK hit '83 'Waiting For A Train'.