Phil Everly of The Everly Brothers died in Los Angeles yesterday at the age of 74.
Together with his brother Don he released a number of classic hits in the 1950s and 60s, including “Bye Bye Love”, “Wake Up Little Susie”, “All I Have to Do Is Dream”, “Let It Be Me” and “Crying in the Rain” – which was covered by a-ha on East of the Sun, West of the Moon in 1990.
Magne talked about a-ha’s connection to The Everly Brothers in a 2010 interview:
“Our manager Terry Slater had played bass for the Everly Brothers during the ’60s and was a close personal friend of Phil Everly. He also managed them during their comeback at the Royal Albert Hall in 1984 where we met the Everlys for the first time. Next Christmas they presented a-ha with three Everly Brothers guitars made from the same tree! Being huge Beatles fans, growing up and knowing how influential the Everly Brothers had been for the early Beatles’ sound, we thought that it would be a nice tribute to cover one of their hits.”
a-ha also covered the Everly Brothers song “Bowling Green” at the final concert in Oslo on December 4th 2010, as a tribute to Terry Slater who co-wrote the song back in 1967.
The black Everly Brothers signature models (as seen on the ltd. ed. cover of Stay On These Roads) have continued to be among the guys’ favorite guitars. Morten has used it on a lot of his solo stuff, and they all used their guitars on the a-ha farewell tour in 2010.
Rolling Stone: Phil Everly, Everly Brothers Vocal Legend, Dead at 74
USA Today: 10 great covers of Everly Brothers songs (including a-ha)
YouTube: Morten Harket and Bjørn Eidsvåg perform Everly Brothers songs (1991)
YouTube: Morten Harket and Pia Tjelta perform “Let It Be Me” (2009)