Thank God It’s Friday: The Story Behind “Friday on My Mind” by The Easybeats

We’re all trying to get to Friday. If we can just make it to the end of the week. Friday is old English for frīġedæġ, meaning the “day of Frig,” referring to the Nordic goddess Frigg who was associated with marriage, prophecy, clairvoyance, and motherhood. In maritime circles, beginning a voyage on a Friday is considered unlucky, and if it lands on the 13th day of the month, watch out. Traditionally, Fridays were viewed as days of abstinence in the Christian religion, but in more recent times, those restrictions have loosened.

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The Australian quintet The Easybeats burst onto the worldwide rock scene in 1966, led by guitarists Harry Vanda and George Young, with singer Stevie Wright, drummer Gordon “Snowy” Fleet, and bassist Dick Diamonde. Let’s take a look at the story behind their song “Friday on My Mind.”

Down Under

The Easybeats were one of the first Australian rock bands to have success with original material. The five founding members all migrated from England and met at the Villawood Migrant Hostel in Sydney in 1964. They had their first success with “She’s So Fine,” which reached the Top Five in Australia but failed to chart in the rest of the world. They built a rabid following, and the press compared their crowds to those of The Beatles. The band relocated to the UK in 1966.

Monday mornin’ feels so bad
Ev’rybody seems to nag me
Comin’ Tuesday, I feel better
Even my old man looks good
Wednesday, just don’t go
Thursday goes too slow
I’ve got Friday on my mind

The Recording

The Easybeats entered IBC Recording Studios in London, England, on September 8, 1966, to record with producer Shel Talmy. He had encouraged the band to keep writing new material and bring it in for him to hear each week. This process went on for multiple weeks while the producer, who had enjoyed success with The Who and The Kinks, continued to reject their offerings. It was in the seventh week when they brought in “Friday on My Mind.” Talmy exclaimed, “That’s the one we’re doing.”

Gonna have fun in the city
Be with my girl, she’s so pretty
She looks fine tonight
She is out of sight to me
Tonight, I’ll spend my bread tonight
I’ll lose my head tonight
I’ve got to get tonight
Monday, I’ll have Friday on my mind


Vanda and Young wrote the song. The working class could completely relate to it as it yearns for the weekend, but Young told journalist Debbie Kruger in 2005 that it had “more to do with their outlook on the world than any class statement.” In 2006, Vanda spoke on a Dutch radio station about the inspiration for the opening guitar figure. A film appearance by The Swingle Singers provided the inspiration. “It went tudutudutudu, which made us all laugh,” he said. “In the train back from the gig, we were imitating them, and suddenly, it sounded good. They became the first notes of ‘Friday on My Mind.'”

Do the five day grind once more
I know of nothin’ else that bugs me
More than workin’ for the rich man
Hey! I’ll change that scene one day
Today I might be mad, tomorrow I’ll be glad
‘Cause I’ll have Friday on my mind

The Reaction

“Friday on My Mind” peaked at No. 16 on the Billboard Hot 100 and topped the charts in Australia and Holland. In Australia, it stayed at No. 1 for eight weeks. They recorded a version in Spanish in 1966, “El Viernes de mi Recuerdos.”

Unfortunately, the band was never able to equal the success of their big breakout hit. Drug abuse, problems with management, and band disagreements caused delays in releasing a follow-up single. Six months passed before “Who’ll Be the One” appeared, and it failed to chart anywhere other than Australia, where it only reached No. 14. The Easybeats never had another hit in the U.S. After building up large amounts of debt, the band broke up in 1969. Vanda and Young worked for years to pay off their financial obligations.                 

In 1973, David Bowie recorded “Friday on My Mind” and included it on his Pin Ups album. In 1981, Peter Frampton added the song to Breaking All the Rules. Gary Moore reached No. 26 on the UK charts with his 1987 rendition. In 2001, the Australasian Performing Right Association celebrated its 75th anniversary by naming the Best Australian Songs of all time. “Friday on My Mind” was selected as the No.1 song on the list. At the awards ceremony, You Am I performed the song with Vanda, who was guesting on the guitar.

Gonna have fun in the city
Be with my girl, she’s so pretty
She looks fine tonight.
She is out of sight to me
Tonight, I’ll spend my bread tonight
I’ll lose my head tonight
I’ve got to get to night
Monday, I’ll have Friday on my mind


George Young was the older brother of Malcolm and Angus Young, guitarists in AC/DC. Harry Vanda and George Young produced the first six albums for the heavy-metal icons. Those albums included the hits “High Voltage,” “It’s a Long Way to the Top (If You Wanna Rock ‘n’ Roll),” “T.N.T.,” “Jailbreak,” “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap,” and “Highway to Hell.”

In 1986, The Easybeats reunited and toured Australia to positive reviews. In 1988, the Australian Recording Industry Association inducted AC/DC, Harry Vanda, and George Young into their Hall of Fame. They also reunited that same year to record a new album, Blow Up Your Video. The album reached No. 2 in the UK.

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Photo by C. Maher/Daily Express/Getty Images

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