Lost Video Of Australia’s #1 Band In The 1960s Rediscovered
The Easybeats Perform Friday On My Mind On BBC’s Top Of The Pops
Top Of The Pops (TOTP) ran weekly on BBC One Television from 1964 – 2006. The program would highlight the top charting musical acts and their songs. Unfortunately only five complete episodes of the 315 TOTP programs from the 1960s exist. The rest of the tapes were wiped clean for re-use as videotape was considered more valuable than preserving the program.
Lucy Culliton the daughter of former television director Tony Cuillton was going through the belongings of her late father at the family home in the Blue Mountains, New South Wales, Australia, when she made an astonishing discovery.
On a shelf with reel to reel audio tapes, one small box was labeled “Easybeats print – Friday On My Mind.” It was a film copy of The Easybeats performance on TOTP from November 24, 1966.
Culliton had worked with The Easybeats earlier in 1966, directing the live music program It’s All Happening, and later an Easybeats TV special.
You’ll notice none of the musicians even have their instrument cords attached to amplifiers. So the performance is playback with live vocals from lead singer Stevie Wright.
In Australia Friday on My Mind was a number one hit and also charted well in Europe and the U.S.A. The song has since been covered by more than 100 artists.
Bigger Than The Easybeats
The Easybeats were Australia’s first superstar rock band. But more importantly they have a direct connection to one of the most popular bands in the world – AC/DC.
Easybeats lead guitarist Harry Vanda and rhythm guitarist George Young (1946-2017) wrote most of The Easybeats songs. George Young was the older brother of AC/DC’s rhythm guitarist and main songwriter Malcolm Young and explosive lead guitarist Angus Young.
Vanda and Young would produce between 1975 and 1978 the first five AC/DC studio albums and one live album, bringing the band to the cusp of worldwide fame. AC/DC’s production was taken over in 1979 by John “Mutt” Lange who would bring about the band’s mega-selling LPs; Highway To Hell, Back In Black and For Those About To Rock.
Vanda and Young would produce one more AC/DC album 1988’s Blow Up Your Video. George Young alone produced AC/DC’s 2000 release Stiff Upper Lip.