OUR MAN WITH THE BEAT DOWN UNDER (George Young, R.I.P.)

Australian rock and roll wasn’t really a thing until George Young and his fellow guitarist–and destined-to-be-musical-partner-for-life–Harry Vanda, wrote “Friday On My Mind” for their band the Easybeats. In the five decades since, Aussie rock and roll has never not been a thing, having been kept alive by many (including the vastly undersung Easybeats themselves) and at the forefront by Young’s younger brothers, who started a little band called AC/DC, for whom George produced the early albums that put them on the map.

His career had a theme, then, and that theme was Stomp. He was as much a pure rock and roller as Fats Domino, whose death, within twenty-four hours, was understandably bound to overshadow any but a fellow giant’s.

I can’t call George Young a giant–but he was an essential figure in the spread of rock and roll across the world and left behind a body of work us mere mortals can certainly envy.

And as long as there’s a Friday somewhere….

4 thoughts on “OUR MAN WITH THE BEAT DOWN UNDER (George Young, R.I.P.)

  1. And what a masterpiece “Friday on My Mind” truly is. It’s often been referred to as the “other Australian national anthem.”

    Damn — that build during the chorus! It’s one of those tunes that makes one think, “I wish I’d written that.” When I first heard it as a teenager, my first thought was, “This is WAY better than the Beatles!”

    It’s obviously also worth hearing the superb Easybeats rockers “She’s So Fine,” “Sorry” and the song that made Paul McCartney screech his car to the side of the road, run to a pay phone, call the radio station and demand to know the title and group: “Good Times.”

    RIP, George. You changed that scene one day!

    • So true on all counts. I had JUST purchased their 2-Cd set (that I reviewed at the link) when I was hit with the Great CD Selloff of 2002….Took me years to reacquire and I was amazed all over again at just how good they were. My guess is they would have been a lot bigger (maybe on the level of Lovin’ Spoonful, say, or Paul Revere and the Raiders) if they had been based somewhere in the Northern Hemisphere.

      And, yes, “Friday On My Mind” is one of those deathless miracles of recorded sound that make life worth living.

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