Stevie Wright’s death on Boxing Day last year marked the end of one of the most remarkable careers in Australian rock music, a rollercoaster of a life stamped with all of the highs and lows which that particular industry has become famous (or infamous) for. Frontman for The Easybeats, the band dominated the music scene in Australia from 1964 until they broke up in 1969, with Wright a Carnaby Street styled dynamo belting out hits like Friday on my Mind and Sorry; the very alpha and omega of the 60’s rock star.
They don’t get much bigger than David Bowie, and his death earlier this month still seems somewhat unimaginable. Bowie was a dominant figure across the pop culture landscape from the mid-sixties on, endlessly reinventing himself stylistically and musically, from Space Oddity and Ziggy Stardust through to his collaborations with Brian Eno and beyond. This terrific catalogue from the V&A exhibition, seen here in Melbourne recently, allows us a glimpse into the colourful complexity of his world.
The death of Glenn Frey, founding member of L.A. band The Eagles, has come hard on the heels of Bowie’s death, and lovers of 60’s/70’s rock must be starting to feel a little uneasy about 2016. One of the most successful groups of all time, The Eagles came out of the early 70s music scene in California working with artists such as Linda Ronstadt and Jackson Browne before setting out on their own. This warts and all biography of the group mirrors their onstage triumphs against the backstage tensions, charting these fragile relationships through a multitude of breakups, reunions and solo careers.
Wild about you! : the sixties beat explosion in Australia and New Zealand by Ian D. Marks & Iain McIntyre
Thinking about Stevie Wright and The Easybeats brought me back to this terrific book on the sixties music scene in Australia and New Zealand; and even though I’ve highlighted it before it’s well worth another look. This was a crucial decade for Australian popular music and the authors do it full justice with this wonderfully illustrated, packed-to-the-rafters treatment of the great, the good, the also-rans and the virtual unknowns. These guys really love this stuff.
The Easybeats and some demonstration Go-Go dancing: R.I.P. Stevie Wright