In 1965 Australia was a musical backwater with good bands singing in rubbish venues. In 1966 I watched the Bee Gees play a school basketball court in Adelaide.
Then everything changed.
The Easybeats released a song called ‘Friday on My Mind’. It was a sensation and the band quickly relocated to London.
Little Stevie (vocals), along with Harry Vanda (lead) and George Young (rhythm), were also songwriters. They produced more hits.
The Bee Gees, The Twilights and The Little River Band followed on from the Easybeats success. Liking Australian bands hadn’t been cool prior to Little Stevie.
Little Stevie, became the face of Australian music – Giant Stevie.
Then, as with almost all musos, came the drugs; it was after all the 60s. But whereas most musos simply grew out of them, Little Stevie got sucked into the dank bowels of psychiatry.
They destroyed him. Along with his joie de vivre went his creative ability. He never wrote another hit.
Little Stevie died this week aged 68, but his life really ended the day that he entered Chelmsford Psychiatric Hospital in the mid 1970s. It wasn’t the addiction that took everything from Little Stevie, as the headline of the link claimed, it was the Electroshock Therapy.
Many recover from heroin addiction; few recover from ECT.
Vale Little Stevie