Easybeats Manager Mike Vaughan Passes Away at Age 78.

Some sad news.  The Easybeats Manager Mike Vaughan, passed away yesterday (8th September 2015), in Yonkers, New York, from a massive stroke.Mike2

Vaughan, a young real estate agent from Sydney, first spotted The Easybeats at the famous Beatle Village nightclub (one of Sydney’s first discotheques).  Even during their early days, he saw the potential in the group and was instrumental in getting them their recording contract with Albert Productions in 1965.  That year, the band’s popularity exploded in Australia when the single “She’s So Fine” was released.  The press, comparing the mania to the Beatles popularity, called it “Easyfever”.

In 1966, he traveled to the U.S. to secure The Easybeats a U.S. recording deal.  After meeting with nearly every label in the business, he eventually succeed by landing a deal with United Artists Records.  This led to Mike and the group moving to England where The Easybeats would record their international hit song “Friday On My Mind”.   He continued to book shows and even co-producing for the group as they toured the U.S., Europe and Australia between 1966 and 1969.

Mike in 1966. Being interviewed on the Coca-Cola Special.
Mike Vaughan in 1966. Being interviewed on the Coca-Cola Special.

In 1969, he married the former Jaine Anne Higson and, after the group broke -up in November of that year, relocated to New York City.  Shortly after his move to New York, he would own and operate two restaurants.  In recent years; he would found a successful company that sells satellite TV systems to bars and restaurants for televising sporting events.

Mike had two children, Lainie and her brother Chad.  Jaine Vaughan passed away from cancer last year.  He will be missed.

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Mike (centre right) in the control room at EMI Studios in Sydney. During an Easybeats recording session.
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The Easybeats Special (1969)

The Easybeats Special (1969)

Broadcast Date: 2nd November 1969 at 6.30pm EST.
Show Taping: 21st October, 1969 at ATN-7’s Epping Studios.
Station: ATN-7, Sydney, Australia.
Songs Performed: Set-list unknown however one article confirms that “Hound Dog” was performed by The Easybeats.
Survival Status: Unknown.

Easybeats Advert Oct1969 Taping
An advert printed in a October 1969 issue of the Sydney TV Week.

To promote the current Australian tour, The Easybeats recorded their second special for ATN-7.  According to TV Week, taping for the show took place at ATN-7’s Epping Studios, after the group had returned from the Queensland leg of the tour.  The taping session with the group took place in front of a studio audience.  It began at 6.30pm and was scheduled to finish that evening at 9.30pm.

The Easybeats

The special was broadcast on Sunday night at 6.30pm (the Australian prime time slot then).  Hosted by the “King of Aussie Rock ‘n’ Roll” Johnny O’ Keefe, the special included appearances from The Flying Circus, Johnny Farnham, The Valentines, The Dave Miller Set, Mike Furber, The Children of Tomorrow and “Little” Pattie.

A news paper shot from the special.
Stevie Wright.  Photo taken from the special.
A damning review about the long-hair's in Veritas. Published in the Sydney Morning Herald. 9th Nov, 1969. Click to enlarge.
A damning review about the long-hair’s in Veritas. Published in the Sydney Morning Herald. 9th Nov, 1969.
Click to enlarge.

The special was savaged by a conservative reviewer in the Sydney Morning Herald’s entertainment page Veritas.  The review was titled “Scruffiest Mob I’ve Seen”:

“Merlie, the make-up girl, must have been away the day Channel 7 recorded its Easybeats special.  Otherwise I’m certain Little Stevie and his long-haired mob would have appeared before the cameras with their hair trimmed or at least permed.” 

The “reviewer” doesn’t so much critique the special on its own merits, but instead simply objects to having long-haired rockers on their TV at 6.30 on a Sunday.

To date, no footage has surface as of the initial airing of the special. A picture in the Absolute Anthology LP liner notes is said to be a screen shot from the special. The photo has the band are both dressed and on a set very similar to the album cover of the Friends LP.

Special thanks to Stephen Thomas for his research.

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“The Easybeats were the scruffiest mob I’ve ever seen on television…”
The photo from The Easybeats special in 1969. As featured on the front cover of the Absolute Anthology album.
The photo from The Easybeats special in 1969. As featured on the front cover of the Absolute Anthology album.  The original special would have been a black and white broadcast.
Another shot from the same photo session. This was used as the front cover to the Friends album.
Another shot from the same photo session. This was used as the front cover to the Friends album.
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A bio of the group printed in the Sydney TV Week.
EB special listing B_zps2lqxlwvs
Sydney TV Week listing for November 1969.

The Easybeats [a.k.a The Coca-Cola Special] (1966).

The Easybeats [a.k.a The Coca-Cola Special] (1966).

Broadcast Date: 8th October, 1966 at 6.30pm (ATV-7 Sydney), 19th November 1966 at 5.50pm (ADS-7 Adelaide)
Taping: July 1966 at the ATN-7 Studios in Sydney.
Station: ATN7, Syndey, Australia.
Survival Status: Survived but currently unreleased officially.  The mimed performance of “Sorry” is used by Albert Productions as a promo video as well as footage in the Friday On My Mind:The Story of The Easybeats
documentary.
Songs performed: “Wedding Ring”, “I’ll Make You Happy”, “I Can See”, “We’re Doing Fine” (performed by Janice Slater), “Sorry”, “Easy As Can Be”, “Someday, Somewhere”, “In My Book”, “Raining In My Heart (performed by Tony Worsley), “Knocking On Wood” (performed by Tony Worsley), “Come And See Her”, “Come And See Her” (Coke Jingle Version), “Women”, “Too Much”, “If You Don’t Think” (performed by Janice Slater),  “Coke Jingle (Make Life Swing)”, “For My Woman”, “A Very Special Man”, “She’s So Fine”.

easybeats-coke-title

If you every needed to show somebody the effect Easyfever had on mid 1960’s Australia, then you would only need to show them their Australian “farewell” television special. Although completely mimed, the bands energy is absolutely electrifying as the storm through their set list in front of a studio audience of screaming teenagers complete with go-go dancers and pop idol Billy Thorpe to compère.

Special guests of the program included Janice Slater performing her then current release ‘We’re Doin’ Fine’ with it’s flip side ‘If You Don’t Think’ and Tony Worsley with ‘Raining in My Heart’ and ‘Knocking On Wood’ (released that month on Sunshine).

Coca-Cola sponsored the program and the product placement is so blatant, that you would think it was satire. Thorpe holds a coke bottle facing camera while introducing the band. The Easybeats perform two “Coke Jingles” (the second with some awkwardly scripted opening banter from Stevie). It really shows the a unique period in rock history; there were no cries from fans of “selling out” it’s just what artists did.

The closing credits show us the hysteria of the band boarding their QANTAS jet to the mother land. Next stop – London and Abbey Road Studios.

Coke Special (2)
Promotion for the special in TV Week, South Australia (Nov 19, 1966).

Currently, the special is still unreleased in its entirety.  The National Film and Sound Archive of Australia does have a 16mm kinescope of the program in its archive.  This print has been used in various documentaries on the group and the performance of “Sorry” was used be Albert Productions as a promotional video.

A Brand New 5 Disc Box Set Celebrating Albert Productions Coming August 15th.

GOOD-TIMES-Celebrating-50-Years-Of-Albert-Production-Deluxe-Artwork

A new 5 CD box set celebrating the 5 decades of Albert Productions will be released this coming August.  Good Times: Celebrating 50 Years of Albert Productions features 102 Tracks form the Australian labels extensive back catalogue including songs by The Easybeats, Billy Thorpe and The Aztecs, The Missing Links, Stevie Wright, AC/DC, Rose Tattoo, The Angels and  Flash And The Pan. Also included is an never before released early take of The Easybeats first national hit “She’s So Fine” and a cover of The Rolling Stones song “Street Fighting Man” by Rose Tattoo.  Below is the official press statement from Albert Music.

PREORDER’S ‘GOOD TIMES:CELEBRATING 50 YEARS OF ALBERT PRODUCTIONS’ FROM JULY 25th

https://www.jbhifi.com.au/music/browse/rock-pop/good-times-celebrating-50-years-of-albert-productions/607402/

THE SET WILL BE RELEASED FRIDAY 15TH AUGUST 2014 AS A  5 CD BOX SET & DIGITAL DOWNLOAD. 

http://albertmusic.com/news/alberts-celebrates-50-years-of-albert-productions

TRACKLISTING:

First time released digitally *

First time released CD #

Never been released ^

DISC 1 – Shakin’ All Over

1. Mashed Potato (single Version) – Billy Thorpe and The Aztecs
2. Sick & Tired – Billy Thorpe and The Azetcs
3. She’s So Fine – The Easybeats
4. We 2 Should Live – The Missing Links *
5. Shakin’ All Over – The Missing Links
6. Women (Make You Feel Alright) – The Easybeats
7. Black – The Throb
8. Over The Rainbow (single version) – Billy Thorpe & The Aztecs *#
9. I Told The Brook (single version) – Billy Thorpe & The Aztecs *
10. Sweet And Tender Romance – Bobby & Laurie
11. The Fortune Teller – The Throb
12. Kansas City – The Missing Links
13. Sorry – The Easybeats
14. Hitch Hiker – Bobby & Laurie
15. Try To Remember – New World *
16. Tonight I’ll Be Staying Here With You – The Imagination *#
17. Julia – Ted Mulry
18. Love Is a Beautiful Song – Dave Mills
19. Working My Way Back To You – Bobbi Marchini
20. Falling In Love Again – Ted Mulry
21. Pasadena – John Paul Young
22. You’re All Woman – Ted Mulry
23. St Louis – The Easybeats
24. Friday On My Mind – The Easybeats
25. Good Times – The Easybeats

DISC 2  – (Let There Be Rock)

1. Evie (Let Your Hair Hang Down) – Stevie Wright
2. Evie (Evie) – Stevie Wright
3. Evie (I’m Losing You) – Stevie Wright
4. It’s A Long Way To The Top (If You Wanna Rock ‘n’ Roll) – AC/DC
5. Am I Ever Gonna See Your Face Again – The Angels
6. Bad Boy For Love – Rose Tattoo
7. Never Gonna Die – Choirboys
8. We Are The Kids – Dallimore *#
9. Need Your Love (radio edit) – Ray Arnott *#
10. Let There Be Rock – AC/DC
11. Comin’ Down – The Angels
12. Shadow Boxer – The Angels
13. Who Made Who – AC/DC
14. Dirty Hearts – Dallas Crane
15. It Goes Off – Skybombers
16. The Time I Found My Feet – Knievel
17. Trans Ending – Seabellies
18. Curiosity – Dallas Crane
19. We Can’t Be Beaten – Rose Tattoo
20. You Shook Me All Night Long – AC/DC

DISC 3 – Ain’t it Nice

1. Can’t Stop Myself From Loving You  – William Shakespeare
2. Jump In My Car – Ted Mulry Gang
3. Down Among The Dead Men – Flash and The Pan
4. Excuse Me – Alison MacCallum
5. Yesterday’s Hero – John Paul Young
6. My Little Angel – William Shakespeare
7. Darktown Strutters Ball – Ted Mulry Gang
8. Hey St Peter – Flash and The Pan
9. Standing In The Rain – John Paul Young
10. Jamaica Rum – Ted Mulry Gang
11. Walking In The Rain – Doc Neeson #
12. Spend The Night – Cheetah
13. Time After Time – Mark Williams & Tara Morice
14. In The Dark – Shelley Harland
15. Ain’t It Nice – Ted Mulry
16. Love Is In The Air – John Paul Young
17. Honey Dip – (radio version) – Daniel Amalm
18. Search My Heaven – Aleesha Rome
19. Show No Mercy – Mark Williams

DISC 4 – Open That Door

1. Lazy River – Harry Vanda and George Young *
2. Been And Gone – Cool Bananas *
3. Survival’s A Song (Lazybones) – Graham Lowndes *#
4. Blue Sunny Sky Day – Wendy Grose *#
5. The Girl On The Five Dollar Note – The Prodigal Sons *#
6. Brumby Jack – Alex Hood *
7. How About A Beer For The Horse – Sandshoe Willie & The Worn Out Soul Band *#
8. Love Don’t Make A Fool Out Of Me – Unit 4 + 2 *
9. Care For Kids – The Kids *#
10. You Drive Me Crazy – John Paul Young *
11. Sometimes Good Guys Don’t Wear White – The Magnetics *#
12. Flaming Heart (radio edit) – Ray Arnott *
13. Working For The Man – BAD *
14. Picture Show Man – John Meillon and John Ewart *#
15. The Warrior – Johnny Dick *#
16. Day Is Done – Wayne Jury
17. Mundane – Valve
18. Snow Queen – Rose Tattoo
19. Planned Obsolescence – The Angels *#
20. Open That Door – The Angels
21. Street Fighting Man – Rose Tattoo *#^

DISC 5 – BONUS DISC: My Kind of Music

1. She’s So Fine (live) – Melbourne Awards Show – The Easybeats *
2. My Kind Of Music (live) – Stevie Wright *
3. Crazy  (live) – Ted Mulry Gang *#
4. Darktown Strutters Ball (live) – Festival Hall Melbourne – Ted Mulry Gang *#
5. She’s Got Balls (live) – Bondi Lifesavers – AC/DC
6. Who Rings The Bell (live) – The Elizabethan Theatre, Sydney – The Angels
7. Going Home (live) – The Angels
8. Bad Boy For Love – (Live 1979) – Rose Tattoo *#
9. Rock ‘n’ Roll Outlaw – (Live 1979) – Rose Tattoo *#
10. Dirty Hearts (live) – Hordern Pavillion 2004 – Dallas Crane
11. Tonight! (There’s a Party Going Down) (live) – Annandale – Dallas Crane
12. Comin’ Down (live) – The Angels
13. Shoot To Thrill (Live at River Plate ) – AC/DC
14. Evie (Let Your Hair Hang Down) (live) – Sydney Opera House Forecourt – Stevie Wright *#
15. Evie (Evie) (live) – Sydney Opera House Forecourt – Stevie Wright *#
16. Evie (I’m Losing You) (live) – Sydney Opera House Forefront  – Stevie Wright *#
17. She’s So Fine (Take 2) – The Easybeats *#^