Easybeats singer Wright dead

Stevie Wright, frontman with Australian rock pioneers The Easybeats, has died at the age of 68.

The English immigrant, also known as Little Stevie Wright, formed the band in 1964 along with Englishman Gordon Fleet, Scotsman George Young and Dutchmen Harry Vanda and Dick Diamonde.

Vanda and Young became one of the leading songwriting teams of their generation. Their best-known composition is The Easybeats’ Friday On My Mind from 1966, featuring Wright’s vocals. It was named the best Australian song of all time by the Australian Performing Rights Association and it’s been covered by David Bowie, Gary Moore, Bruce Springsteen, Peter Frampton, Blue Oyster Cult and others.

George Young is the elder brother of AC/DC co-founders Malcolm and Angus Young. Malcolm played guitar on Wright’s 1974 track Evie, which became the first 11-minute song to chart anywhere in the world.

Wright went solo after The Easybeats split in 1969, but later spent many years fighting addiction issues. He took part in a reunion tour in 1986 and performed a handful of times over the past decade. His last appearance was in 2012.

He was taken to hospital in New South Wales on December 26 (Saturday) and passed away the following day. No cause of death has been reported. He’d been living a reclusive life in recent years.

Wright reported in 2013 that he’d stopped drinking 20 years previously and stopped using heroin eight years later. He’d been left with liver and kidney problems, and he’d become diabetic.

Asked what he’d change about his life, he said: “I wouldn’t pick up and hard drugs. It can destroy. It does destroy.”

Friend and fellow musician Johnny Young said: “Steve could take any audience and absolutely slay them with his energy. He lived a pretty rugged life at the end – everybody knew he had some serious addictions. But I like to remember Steve as he was when he was younger.”

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Not only is one-time online news editor Martin an established rock journalist and drummer, but he’s also penned several books on music history, including SAHB Story: The Tale of the Sensational Alex Harvey Band (opens in new tab), a band he once managed, and the best-selling Apollo Memories (opens in new tab) about the history of the legendary and infamous Glasgow Apollo. Martin has written for Classic Rock and Prog and at one time had written more articles for Louder than anyone else (we think he's second now). He’s appeared on TV and when not delving intro all things music, can be found travelling along the UK’s vast canal network.