Easybeats singer Stevie Wright dead at 68
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Easybeats singer Stevie Wright dead at 68




Legendary lead singer of The Easybeats, Stevie Wright was taken to Moruya Hospital on the far south coast of New South Wales on Boxing Day. We are sad to report that he passed away at 6pm Sunday the 27th of December, 2015. This sad news has been verified when radio station 6PR made the following announcement via Twitter, from the well respected rock historian Glenn A. Baker.

Easybeats singer Stevie Wright dead at 68

Easybeats singer Stevie Wright dead at 68

Little Stevie Wright burst onto the Australian and World music scene with the iconic sixties Australian group, The Easybeats. "Friday On My Mind" was an international hit which peaked at No. 1 in Australia in 1966 and also made it to No. 6 in United Kingdom, the Top 10 in France, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands. It was also Top 20 in United States in 1967. It was also famously covered by David Bowie on his 1973 covers album, Pinups. Furthermore the song was voted "Best Australian Song" of all time by the Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA) in 2001.


The Easybeats gave Australian music a whole new identity and confidence. Not only were they refreshingly original but they were blessed with same rare charisma that made The Beatles and The Rolling Stones so famous. Early hits for The Easybeats were co-written by George Young and Stevie writing the lyrics. Even before their first recording session on Albert Records, the energetic pair had already had written over twenty original songs. They even wrote "Step Back ", the 1966 debut hit for Perth singer Johnny Young, who had later success as the host of the popular TV show, Young Talent Time.


Other outstanding Easybeats chart successes include 'She's So Fine', 'Wedding Ring', 'Women (Make You Feel Alright)', 'Come and See Her', 'I'll Make You Happy' and 'Sorry'. The songwriting dynamics of the band radically changed when The Easybeats arrived in London. The English record label criticised that the lyrics of previous Easybeats songs were too simplistic and Stevie took that to heart. Harry Vanda stepped up to write songs with George for The Easybeats and Vanda & Young became a songwriting/producing duo powerhouse that wrote many hit songs for John Paul Young and produced the first six AC/DC albums. They would later form the studio-only pseudonym of Flash and the Pan. The 1983 released single 'Waiting For A Train' by Flash and the Pan would feature Stevie Wright on vocals. That would become the band's biggest overseas hit, charting at number 7 on the UK Charts.


The breakthrough trail that The Easybeats laid, cannot be understated. So many Australian bands have covered their songs from The Sports with 'Wedding Ring' in 1979, Divinyls with their 1982 cover of 'I'll Make You Happy and the INXS and Jimmy Barnes collaboration, that achieved major chart success with their 1986 cover of 'Good Times'. In 2008, a tribute album titled Easy Fever: A Tribute To The Easybeats featured a greatest hits complication by the band plus a disc featuring covers by The Living End, Neil Finn, The Cruel Sea, Iva Davies, Ben Lee, Grinspoon, Jimmy Barnes with Stevie Wright and more.


After The Easybeats in 1969, Stevie pursues a solo career, which had it's pinnacle with the release of the epic 1974 single, "Evie (Parts 1, 2 & 3)" from his Hard Road album. 'Evie' broke the unwritten rule of pop chart success, as it became first 11 minute song to chart at #1 anywhere in the world. Written by Stevie's Easybeat band mate, Harry Vanda and George Young, it also features George's brother Malcolm Young of AC/DC fame on lead guitar. Some rock critics have call 'Evie' the one of the most perfect rock n' roll songs ever. Wright resumed songwriting, as he wrote six songs for the Hard Road album.


Stevie's next single "Guitar Band" had minor chart success but other releases like 1975's 'Black-Eyed Bruiser' failed to capitalise on his solo success.


Stevie has had problems with alcohol and drug addictions and was hospitalised in 1976 and undertook methadone treatment and eventually Deep Sleep Therapy with a combination of drug-induced coma and 14 electroshock treatments. He tragic story of this dark time was written about in Sorry: The Wretched Tale of Little Stevie Wright by Jack Marx (1999) and Hard Road: The Life and Times of Stevie Wright by Glenn Goldsmith (2004).

Easybeats singer Stevie Wright dead at 68

There was a six-week Easybeats reunion tour in 1986. Stevie did get back on the road as a part of the 2002 'Long Way To The Top' concert tour. On 14 July 2005, Stevie Wright with The Easybeats were inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame. In 2009, Wright headlined the Legends of Rock music festival in Byron Bay. Stevie's final performance was when he got on stage to perform 'Evie Part 2' in August 2012 at the Penrith Panthers Leagues Club.


We at The Dwarf are totally devastated about this sad news.


Stevie Wright (20 December 1947 – 27 December 2015)
Easybeats singer Stevie Wright dead at 68
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