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Tuesday, October 24, 2017

George Young ...1946-2017...former Easybeats guitarist and songwriter tribute post

Former Easybeats guitarist/songwriter and older brother of ACDC's Angus and Malcolm Young has died at the age of 70.

George Redburn Young (born 6 November 1946) was an Australian musician, songwriter and record producer. Born in Scotland, he moved to Australia with his family as a teenager, and became a naturalised citizen. He was a member of the 1960's Australian rock band the Easybeats, and with band mate Harry Vanda he was a co-writer of the international hits "Friday on My Mind" and "Love Is in the Air", the latter recorded by John Paul Young (no relation). Vanda & Young were also the producers of some work by the Australian hard rock band AC/DC, formed by his younger brothers Malcolm and Angus Young. Vanda & Young were inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame in 1988 and The Easybeats in 2005. 

George Young started his music career in Sydney, after attending Sefton High School as his secondary school. He formed a beat pop band, The Easybeats in late 1964, on rhythm guitar alongside Dick Diamonde (born Dingernam Vandersluys) on bass guitar, Gordon "Snowy" Fleet on drums (ex-Mojos), Harry Vanda (born Johannes Vandenberg) on lead guitar (ex-Starfighters, Starlighters) and Stevie Wright on lead vocals. Aside from performing and recording, Young co-wrote nearly all of their tracks. Early top 10 hits on the Australian singles chart for the Easybeats were co-written by Young with band mate Wright. The group had relocated to United Kingdom to record and perform; they disbanded in late 1969.

After the Easybeats dissolved Young formed a production and song writing duo with Vanda, as Vanda & Young in 1970, initially living in London.They provided pop and rock songs for other recording artists, and for themselves under various stage names: Paintbox, Tramp, Eddie Avana, Moondance, Haffy's Whiskey Sour and Band of Hope. The pair worked with Young's elder brother Alex in Grapefruit. Young and Vanda returned to Sydney in 1973 where they worked for Ted Albert, at his Albert Productions recording studio to become the in house producers.

One studio-based group Marcus Hook Roll Band, was joined in 1974 by Young's brothers, Malcolm and Angus. The brothers had already formed a hard rock group, AC/DC, in 1973. Young helped them with AC/DC, which went on to become a success internationally. Young briefly played as AC/DC's bass guitarist for a short stint, early in their career.

In mid-1976 Young formed Flash and the Pan, initially as a studio-based duo with himself on guitar, keyboards and vocals, and Vanda on guitar and keyboards. They had local top 10 hits with "Hey, St. Peter" (No. 5, September 1976) and "Down Among the Dead Men" (No. 4, July 1978).

Vanda & Young also co-produced Rose Tattoo, The Angels and John Paul Young (no relation).

After retiring from the music industry in the late 1990's, Young resided mainly in Portugal with his family. George Young died on 22 October 2017.

See also Easybeats post on this blog:

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