Friday on My Mind
The George Young story—from the birth of the Easybeats to the creation of The Great Australian Songbook.
Pop star, mentor and icon, George Young was one of the most important figures in Australian pop music history. In fact, George Young wasn't so much on the charts for the best part of three decades: he and his musical partner Harry Vanda were the charts.
In Friday on My Mind, Jeff Apter reveals the little-known facts, stories, setbacks and triumphs about a man who helped Australian rock music shake off its humble beginnings and become an international powerhouse.
George Young’s journey began with the trailblazing Easybeats and then, after several years in the wilderness, he struck gold alongside Vanda, as producer/songwriter for hire with John Paul Young, The Angels, Rose Tattoo, Cheetah, Ted Mulry, Stevie Wright and, crucially, AC/DC. George and Harry also struck gold with Flash and the Pan, almost by accident.
George Young helped create such classics as 'Friday on My Mind', 'Sorry', 'Love is in the Air', 'Evie', 'Yesterday's Hero', 'Down Among the Dead Men', 'Hey, St. Peter', 'Bad Boy for Love', 'Jailbreak' and 'It's a Long Way to the Top'. In 2001, APRA voted 'Friday on My Mind' the best and most significant Australian song of the past 75 years.
‘George Young was a no-bullshit kind of guy,’ notes writer Jeff Apter, ‘who instilled that ethic into all the artists that he worked with. Without George Young, Australia might still be some musical backwater.’
In this, the first book to focus exclusively on the life and work of George Young, Apter explores George's long and fruitful association with Harry; his association with Ted Albert that helped create a music empire; and how George—the older brother and mentor of Malcolm and Angus Young—helped AC/DC find the sound that made them superstars.
Renowned music writer and historian Glenn A Baker called the book 'compelling'. 'One hopes the Acca-Dacca community will . . . reward Apter's tome with the sales it merits,' he wrote.
The book has also been very well reviewed in the Canberra Weekly, the Daily Telegraph and the Sydney Morning Herald and was the Book of the Month at ABC Adelaide. I spoke with Stuart Coupe at Dirt Music and launched the book at an event at Warners Bay with John Paul Young.