Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Reconsidering the Easybeats
Honestly, we didn't even know the Easybeats were from Australia. We assumed they hailed from England, like so many other non-American bands that came into prominence during the British Invasion.
And we are close to being right, as the band members migrated at various times with their families from England, Scotland and the Netherlands. But their home base became Sydney circa 1964, so it seems fitting and proper that the Aussies claim them as their own.
We're double-dipping on the Easybeats today because it happens to be 65th birthday of Harry Vanda, lead guitarist and co-writer of many of the band's songs. Vanda and George Young might not make you forget Lennon-McCartney, Jagger-Richards, Goffin-King or Leiber-Stoller, but they were a versatile tandem in their own right, penning the sublime "Friday on My Mind" (No. 16 U.S., No. 6 UK) and several other popular tunes for themselves and other artists. Vanda -Young continued writing material after the band's breakup in 1969 and also became successful in the studio.
Young, the Easybeats' rhythm guitarist, is probably the more recognizable name when you consider the lineage: He is the older brother of AC/DC band members Angus and Malcolm Young. But what about that Stevie Wright? The chemistry and exuberance of the Easybeats channels through their lead singer, who was known to do backflips on stage and danced at least as well as the go-go dancers of this era.
Besides the great video above click on the following link to hear the band members introduced by a German announcer (it's worth it), and keep listening if you want to hear their take on "River Deep, Mountain High" ...