AC/DC producer and The Easybeats' star George Young has died at the age of 70. Young's cause of death has yet to be revealed.
AC/DC said in a statement the band would not exist without Young's "help and guidance". He was Malcolm and Angus' older brother, and a pioneering producer and songwriter.
Just how pioneering he was in The Easybeats was pointed out in a tribute from Dan Rosen, the CEO of Australia's Official Music Charts. Rosen said Young helped create the Australian pub rock sound and broke new ground in terms of how artists from this country might crack international markets.
"He had a great ability to write songs that had a global following," he said. "Not only were they big in Australia, [but] 'Friday On My Mind' was one of the first songs that broke in the UK. They were able to fuse the influences from the US and UK and make it uniquely Australian."
Despite the Easybeats' premature break up in 1969, Young teamed up with his band mate Harry Vanda, to put their knack for hits to good use. They set up the production company Vanda and Young and first got going over here in the UK. Betweeen 1970 and 1973 based they started churning out pop songs under various guises, including the name Grapefruit where eldest Young brother, Alex, was involved.
Their work in the UK caught the eye of Albert Productions, which was run by EMI in Australia. In 1974 they were drafted to produce AC/DC's single 'Can I Sit Next To You Girl', and produced all their albums from there until 1978. In the early AC/DC days he also played bass for them.
Young's leadership and guidance as a mentor was felt by Sydney rock 'n' rollers Rose Tattoo, who had their debut album produced by him in 1978.
Rose Tattoo paid tribute to him in a statement posted on Facebook today (23 October), calling him a 'trailblazing producer'. They also added: "George was above all else a gentleman who was unfailingly modest, charming, intelligent and loyal, a man with a wonderful sense of humour, He will be missed."
Young also played guitar with 'Love Is In the Air singer' John Paul Young and the Allstars in 1979. He co-wrote said musicians first single, 'Pasadena'.
Young evidently had an ability to juggle multiple projects and simultaneously to working behind the controls on projects mentioned above - and many, many more beyond those - started New Wave band Flash and The Pan in 1976 with Vanda.
The pair were inducted in the ARIA Hall of Fame in 1988, and have a highly regarded songwriting award named for them.
Young retired from the music industry by the turn of the century and lived with his family in Portugal.
RIP George Young ( 6 November 1964 - 22 October 2017)