Donald's Encyclopedia of Popular Music
Australian beat group formed '63 by emigré Europeans who met at a youth hostel: George Young (b 6 Nov. '47, Scotland), rhythm guitar; Gordon "Snowy' Fleet (b 16 Aug. '45, England), drums; Harry Vanda (b 22 March '47, Holland), lead guitar, Dick Diamonde (b 28 Dec. '47, Holland). Through Fleet they met Englishman Stevie Wright (b 20 Dec. '48), won residency at Beatle Village club, Sydney. Second single "She's So Fine' no. 1 in the Aussie chart followed by hits "Wedding Ring', "Sad And Lonely And Blue', "Woman', "Come And See Her', with Wright something of a teen heartthrob. Turned eyes to Europe/USA '66, recorded "Friday On My Mind' in London with Shel Talmy (prod. Kinks, Who): with an urgency rare in mellow sounds of the time, it made no. 16 USA, 6 UK, 1 Australia. Fleet left before a USA tour, replaced by Tony Cahill (ex-Purple Hearts). Drug and management problems postponed follow-up; Talmy-prod. "Who'll Be The One' eventually flopped. They changed style wildly to find the audience: "Hello How Are You', Tom Jones-styled ballad, was second and last UK hit (no. 20 '68) 18 months after "Friday'. LP Vigil '68 was equally confused, with unlikely covers such as "Can't Take My Eyes Off You', "Hit The Road Jack'. Eventually prod. "Friday'-style "Good Times' (Steve Marriott on backing vocals) but it was too late; band split. Songwriters Vanda, Young stuck together, prod. debut solo LP for Stevie Wright (Hard Road '75), assisted Young's brothers Angus and Malcolm in starting AC/DC, Australia's most successful group; had mixed fortunes as Band of Hope, Marcus Hook, Paintbox, Flash And The Pan: the latter had no. 7 UK hit '83 "Waiting For A Train'.