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Stevie Wright's Hard Road Ends

Stevie Wright's Hard Road Ends

One of Australia's true rock 'n' roll heroes has passed. Stevie Wright was frontman of the Easybeats — arguably the most successful Aussie pop group, which had inspired Beatlemania-like fans in the UK.

Early hits for the Easybeats were co-written by Wright with bandmate George Young, including, "She's So Fine" (No. 3, 1965), "Wedding Ring" (No. 7, 1965), "Women (Make You Feel Alright)" (No. 4, 1966), "Come and See Her" (No. 3, 1966), "I'll Make You Happy" (track on Easyfever EP, No. 1, 1966), and "Sorry" (No. 1, 1966). He was lead vocalist on their only international hit, "Friday on My Mind", which peaked at No. 1 in Australia in 1966. It also made No. 6 in the United Kingdom, the Top 10 in France, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands, No.13 in Canada, and the Top 20 in the United States in 1967.

Wright, after the break up of the Easybeats, struggled with heroin addiction. It would cast a long shadow over the rest of his life with periods of good health and subsequent return to bad habits.

His 1974 single. "Evie" went to number one and is considered the longest single to ever achieve that mark. The song was released in three parts but as album track it is more than 11 minutes long. Very unusual.

In 1982, Wright joined Vanda & Young in their studio band, Flash and the Pan to provide vocals on their album, Headlines and the related singles, "Where were You?" in July, and "Waiting for a Train" in December. That same year there was talk of an Easybeats' reunion. Wright told Juke Magazine in 1983 "we had our lawyers working out the deal" because there was a venue interested in having them "but at the last minute they tried to change the venue and we just said 'forget it'."

Wright was inducted into the Aria Hall of Fame in 2005.

Wright retired and lived on the South Coast of New South Wales. He died on 27 December 2015 at Moruya Hospital. The cause of death was later revealed to be pneumonia.

A legend gone but his music lives on.

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