"Well Farmer Thompson really knows how to grow 'em/ if you know what I mean/ he's been sittin' on the porch with his shot gun/ and he don't miss a thing." - Eighteen - Gary Young-Adam Brand.

When popular RRR and former Nu Country DJ Gary Young wrote The Girl Across The Street Just Turned 18 for Daddy Cool he was upset it failed to make their 1973 Sex, Dope & Rock N Roll: Teenage Heaven disc.

Daddy Cool - Gary Young on right

Now, Young is elated that the year the song turned 21 it's a highlight of Get Loud - the fourth album by Geelong and Colac reared country star Adam Brand.

Adam, stepson of a Pastor, heard a live version of the coming of age song of a farmer's daughter by Jo Jo Zep & The Falcons and won Young's permission to revamp it.

"I toned the story line down a little," Brand told Nu Country after naming the farmer after his producer Graham Thompson - husband of Melinda Schneider - in the new version.

"It's a song about a young girl being protected by her dad until she's 18. Gary's version was risque. I thought it was timely to tone it down because of the current teenage sex in advertising debate. The guy was sneaking out at night to see his girl friend who wasn't quite 18."

Young, fresh from interstate tours with the Falcons and long time Chicken Mary host on 3RRR-FM, is enthused by the new version.


"It's a real funny thing, Adam's manager Graham Thompson phoned a couple of months ago and said Adam was interested in recording the song," Young revealed.

"I've never met Adam Brand but saw him on TV doing Wayne Burt's Beating Around The Bush. It was great. I also played his records on Nu Country FM. I thought he's a cute little fellow and he did a great version of Wayne's song.

"I said 'what are you doing to this boy's career - rejuvenate it or ruin it.' He wanted to change it. I said 'that wouldn't be a bad idea for a handsome young fellow like him. He might get some real women chasing him if he put out the original version. It wreaks of carnal depravity but there's nothing in the words that say that. Nothing but the chanting line that says she's finally turned 18 and was delivered with a Captain Beefheart like drooling. The original version was real kind of menacing."

Ross Wilson's live version contrasted with Joe Camilleri's in The Falcons.

"It was originally written because I hoped it might go on the Sex, Dope & Rock N Roll album," Young recalled.

"I knew the album was coming out and thought I would have a shot at making it onto the album. I wrote it back then along with another song Rock N Roll Lady. I wrote them both a couple of months before we recorded the album. I thought I would write something that had a nasty streak but wasn't that nasty it couldn't be recorded by a rock band. Rob E Porter - our label owner - and the record company were freaked out. He wasn't keen on putting it out. Ross sang the original lyrics when we did it live. Joe just made up them when he sang it with the Falcons. With rock n roll it's not so much what you say but how you say it. On the Falcons version you have no idea what Joe was singing but it had a great guitar riff. "


Young is flattered Brand will sing Eighteen on his Victorian tour this month.

"That's great," Young said, "the only thing he's changed is the bit about the farmer. I had how 'she's grown up and how it's shown up/ she used to sneak out at night/ I know that things she did were wrong/ I'd say they were right.' I'm glad he's put out a fresh Adam Brand version of it. I'm way beyond caring about writing anything that anyone's going to take offence at. I've left that behind more than 30 years ago. I'm glad they've changed it around to suit his style and his audience."

Young is not the only musician to appreciate recognition of his coming of age anthem.

Former Skyhooks guitarist, TV tyrant and latter day ABC 774-AM breakfast host Red Symons weighed into a debate after a perennial best of Aussie songs was floated a few years ago.

The list named the Easy Beats hit Friday On My Mind and Ross Wilson penned Daddy Cool anthem Eagle Rock, also performed by the Flying Burrito Brothers on their recent Australian tour, at the top.

"Red wrote a column in The Age a few years back saying The Girl Across The Street Just Turned 18 should have been on the best of list," Young revealed.


Young, long time resident of Warrandyte and Kilcunda, is looking forward to the 21st birthday royalties that Brand's version will bring him.

It has been a long and colourful journey for the New York born bon vivant who joined the Rondells at 17 while still at Carey Grammar.

The band was the backing group for Bobby and Laurie - fellow former Nu Country DJ Bobby Bright and the late Laurie Allen.

Young also picked up the tempo for The Changing Times, Laurie Allen Revue and Ram Jam Big Band before joining Daddy Cool.

L to R
Keith Glass, Gary Young, Mick Hamilton

It was in the U.S. in 1972 that Gary recorded Rock n Roll Lady with Daddy Cool but it came out under his name when the band broke up.

The song peaked at #30 on the charts during a four-week reign.

He formed Gary Young's Hot Dog featuring Daddy Cool bassist Wayne Duncan to prime the sales pump before the cool combo reformed and stayed together until 1975.

Gary also wrote music for the rock movie OZ with Duncan and Wilson before replacing Ernie McInerney as drummer for Jo Jo Zep & The Falcons for five years.


Rocking Emus
Wayne Duncan, Gary Young, Ross Hannaford, Jeff Burstin

The singing drummer formed The Rock Doctors and Gary Young and The Rockin' Emus - his first full-on country combo.

The band - also featuring Duncan, Burt and Ross Hannaford released its Wilson produced self-titled album for Mushroom - in 1982.

Young wrote all 10 tunes including I Just Play In Here For Drinks.

The singles were Runnin' Late For Wandong/Rockabilly Heaven and Keep Your Hands Off My Baby/Rollin' Home.

Young earlier released several singles including his Rock-A-Billy Beatin' Boogie Band that was covered by Nite Trane in the nineties.

Others were One Night 1973, Saga Of The Three Pigs 1973 and Ubangi Stomp/Mystery Train 1980.

The drummer also replaced Steve Prestwich in Cold Chisel in 1982 and joined Duncan in the Phil Manning Trio in 1983.

He later recorded albums and singles with The Dance Hall Racketeers, Andrew Baylor, Southern Lightning, The Hornets, Leslie Avril, Red Rivers and Glass, Hamilton & Young.
And for history buffs the much in demand singer on local discs also played on a single recorded by the late legendary folkie Phil Ochs on his 1973 tour.

Warrnambool born and bred Wild Cherries, Virgil Brothers and Hit & Run singer Dan Robinson - a latter day Anakie luthier - also recorded and performed with Ochs.

He has also performed more recently with international acts diverse as Big Jay McNeely, Louisiana Red, Butch Hancock and Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Rockin' Dopsie, The Drifters, Jimmy McGriff, Queen Ida, Dale Watson and the late Tiny Tim at Paul Madigan's famed Druids lodge on the Gaza Strip in Brunswick.

"Dale Watson was a blast," Young recalled, "I learned a lot from him, including how to play an authentic Texas shuffle!"

And when Gazza is not on the road with The Falcons or other acts you can catch him on the wireless hosting Chicken Mary each Monday from 2-4 pm on 3RRR- 102.7FM.


Eastbank Theatre, Shepparton, on September 3
Churchill Saloon - September 4,
Bairnsdale Secondary College Hall - September 5.
Horsham Town Hall - September 7
Bendigo Performing Arts Centre - September 8
Ballarat Regent Multiplex Cinemas - September 9
Colac RSL - September 10
Warrnambool Performing Arts Centre - September 11
Hamilton Performing Arts Centre - September 12.

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