Thursday, 30 September 2010

Remembering Tony Curtis

#143: Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! We are all doubtless saddened by the announcement of the death of the legendary Tony Curtis yesterday (Wednesday 29th September). Much as I have always liked the film "Some Like It Hot" which (of course) co-starred Marilyn Monroe and Jack Lemmon, as an ELO fan one always remembers with great fondness his eclectic and memorable introduction to that charity gig at Wembley by the Electric Light Orchestra as part of their "Out Of The Blue" world tour in 1978, as broadcast by the Beeb at the time and available in its releases and re-releases in various versions and formats since. Yours Truly KJS and ELO Beatles Forever (ELOBF) will leave you with these immortal words as a fitting tribute to remember this fine actor thus:

"Your Royal Highnesses, Ladies, Gentlemen and Children. And to those of you who are not Highnesses or Ladies or Gentlemen. All who are here. I bid you welcome. And peace and happiness to all of you. For the disabled children. And for this great, great honour that's been presented to me. To present to you, the most outstanding rock group in the world today. My friends... the Electric Light Orchestra!"

Until next "Time" in the ELO (and related) Universe ... KJS ... 30-Sep-2010

Sunday, 26 September 2010

New Website: Beatles Blues & Blue Violin Project

#142: Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! It is my great pleasure to announce the launch of a new Beatles Blues & Blue Violin Project (BBBV) web site:

You can also find a link over in the RECOMMENDED section opposite to this site. This project has great potential not only to pay tribute to the wonderful works of ELO's progenitors - The Beatles - but also the classic Blues tunes. You also get the chance to hear a different interpretation on all those Jeff Lynne penned ELO classics plus an opportunity to enjoy the songwriting talents of Phil Bates. Yours truly KJS has attended not a few BBBV shows and heartily recommends this fantastic act.

Until next "Time" in the ELO (and related) Universe ... KJS ... 26-Sep-2010

Saturday, 25 September 2010

Here Is The News #4

#141: Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! Some snippets of ELO related news today. On the left is a scan of a report in South Devon's Herald Express from Thursday 23rd September on the subject of former ELO cellist Mike Edwards' recent funeral. On the right is a photograph that Yours Truly KJS took earlier today promoting an upcoming gig featuring co-founding ELO and The Move drummer Bev Bevan here in downtown Wolverhampton. There's always something going on somewhere in the ELO (and related) universe ...

Until next "Time" in the ELO (and related) Universe ... KJS ... 25-Sep-2010

Friday, 24 September 2010

Recommended: Sean Mack Page

#140: Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! Today Yours Truly KJS would like to introduce you to my new found friend Sean Mack Page. This gentleman is a huge ELO fan who I met on Facebook as a result of one of my ELO related postings. Sean is not only a great drummer and percussionist, he is a member of two successful US bands: Fragile X and Imaginos.

Both bands get significant airplay on US radio. Sean has covered at least two ELO trax in his career: "Turn To Stone" and the soon-to-be released "Oh No Not Susan" which features another new friend Steve Midgley, another avid ELO follower.

Sean has just mailed me a copy of his 1996 CD "Drop In Time" and I have to say that is is a great set of songs. SMP uses Slingerland drums (as does Bev Bevan) and his new recording with his current Imaginos outfit will be released shortly. You can view Sean's eight minute solo drumming promo on ELOBF @ YouTube &/or hear his bands Imaginos and Fragile X via these links:

What is perhaps of more interest is that Fragile X supported ELO Part II on their 1996 US Tour. Sean has also sent me a ticket from that very gig! "Mustang Sally's Dance Hall & Saloon" sounds like a great venue doesn't it? What an honour to support ELO in more than one way and then share the stage with your very heroes! Why not have a listen to both bands whilst supporting honest musicians plying their trade who just happen to be fellow ELO admirers?

Yours Truly KJS & ELO Beatles Forever (ELOBF) will keep you posted of their progress.

Until next "Time" in the ELO (and related) Universe ... KJS ... 24-Sep-2010

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Report: Mike Edwards Funeral

#139: Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! Mike Edwards, master cellist and the victim of that much publicized tragic accident in South Devon on Friday 3rd September, was buried earlier today thus:

We've lost some class musicians and ELO related musicians over the last few years in Carl Wayne, the late, great Kelly Groucutt and now Mike Edwards. These words always touch my soul when I hear them: "You never know what you have got until it is gone". Let's appreciate ELO's extended musical family and not get into that state of apathy that oft grips us.

Until next "Time" in the ELO (and related) Universe ... KJS ... 22-Sep-2010

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Everyone's Born To Die

#138: Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! For many reasons, today (16th September) is a special day to this writer. In particular, it is now 33 years since the tragic death of Marc Bolan. Marc, of course, featured on three songs in ELO's third album, the aptly named "On The Third Day" (1973). They were "Ma Ma Ma Belle", "Dreaming Of 4000" and "Everyone's Born To Die".

The above photograph was taken by Gary Merrin at Watford Town Hall on Tuesday 10th April 1973 and features Marc guesting on stage with the band. Marc would have been 63 years of age on 30th September. One of THE best guitar riffs ever (in my opinion) is that which is found on "Ride A White Swan". And "Ma Ma Ma Belle" is one of my all time fave ELO tracks. Both artistes were a good fit then and still compliment each other nicely now.

Until next "Time" in the ELO (and related) Universe ... KJS ... 16-Sep-2010

Friday, 10 September 2010

Glen Burtnik & Friends: Jersey Beatles Bash IV

#137: Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! Eric Troyer has asked me to post this promo for the latest Glen Burtnik Beatles Bash over in New Jersey, USA on Saturday 18th September. This looks like a great gig as it features the talents of Glen and Eric showcasing classic Beatles tracks thus:

Glen Burtnik & Friends - Jersey Beatles Bash IV
Saturday 18th September @ 9:00PM
State Theatre, New Brunswick, NJ
Tickets: from $22 to $42 each

It’s back! The Jersey Beatles Bash with Glen Burtnik and Friends! And this time, Glen and friends are performing three [3] Beatles albums! Experience "Let it Be", "Rubber Soul" and "Help!" note-for-note. Songs include “Get Back”, “The Long And Winding Road”, “Across the Universe”, “Let It Be""In My Life", "Drive My Car", "Yesterday", "You've Got To Hide Your Love Away" and "Ticket to Ride".

Glen Burtnik (bass/vocals); Dave Anthony (drums/vocals); Bob Burger (vocals/guitars); James Egan (conductor/trumpet/flugel horn); John Merjave (guitars/vocals); Dusty Micale (keyboards/arrangements); Marc Muller (guitars/vocals); Joe Nocco (drums/percussion/vocals); Eric Troyer (piano/organ/synthesizer/guitar/bass/vocals). Orchestral musicians include Linda A Heffentrager (violin); Dana Marchioni (violin); James Celesino (cello); Steven Komar (trumpet/flugelhorn); Liz Fackelman (trombone); Rafi Hasib (arranger/transcription)

Original tickets previously issued for the 8:00PM start time are now valid for 9:00PM. Please join us prior to the show, beginning at 7:00PM, for pre-concert festivities including a cash bar with drink specials, live music, and free giveaways [like tickets to future State Theatre shows].

12-29 people (10% off): $20-38
30+ people (20% off): $18-34

Tickets on sale Friday 8/13/10 at 9:00AM (online) and 10:00AM (phone/in person).
1. Buy Online: To purchase online, visit
2. Ticket Hotline: 732-246-7469
3. Group Discount Hotline: 732-247-7200, ext. 517 [e:]
4. In person at 15 Livingston Ave, New Brunswick, NJ 08901

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 10-Sep-2010

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Mike Edwards' Obituary (The Independent)

#136: Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! A really nice obituary for Mike Edwards (complete with a decent overview of the history of ELO) can be found in The Independent newspaper here in England today (Thursday 9th September) thus:

Mike Edwards: Cellist with the original line-up of the Electric Light Orchestra
The cellist Mike Edwards was a member of the first performing line-up of the group, and toured and recorded with them from April 1972 until January 1975. His tenure coincided with the success of the ELO 2, On the Third Day and Eldorado studio albums and encompassed their "baroque'n'roll" version of Chuck Berry's "Roll Over Beethoven", with quotations from Beethoven's Fifth Symphony, and the subsequent Top 40 singles "Showdown", "Ma-Ma-Ma-Belle" and "Can't Get It Out of My Head".

Wearing a top hat, bow-tie and a tuxedo, the 5ft 4in Edwards seemed to embody both ELO's fondness for the classics and their irreverence towards them. Indeed, his party piece of pretending to pluck his strings with an orange or a grapefruit to play "Le Cygne" ("The Dying Swan") from Le Carnaval des Animaux by Camille Saint-SaĆ«ns on a cello which would subsequently explode – fellow cellist Hugh McDowell did the actual playing off-stage – endeared him to ELO fans.

Born in Ealing in 1948, Edwards grew up in a musical family and sang in the school choir. He took up the cello at the age of 12 and in 1968 went to the Royal Academy of Music, where he studied with Douglas Cameron. Edwards only owned a couple of rock albums, by the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, but he had been doing some session work with Barclay James Harvest when he heard through the classical grapevine that ELO were looking for cellists to help reproduce their complex sound in concert.

ELO began in July 1970 when the Move main man and multi-instrumentalist Roy Wood ran riot and overdubbed more than a dozen cello parts on "10538 Overture", a composition by his bandmate and fellow multi-instrumentalist Jeff Lynne. Also featuring the Move drummer Bev Bevan, the track became the launch pad for ELO, the opening track on their eponymous debut album issued in December 1971, and their first Top Ten hit in July 1972 – although by that time Wood had left to form Wizzard and Lynne had assumed leadership.

Edwards made his first appearance with the band in Croydon in April 1972. In August, when they played the Reading Festival, the newly expanded line-up comprised Lynne, Bevan, Richard Tandy on keyboards, Michael de Albuquerque on bass and Wilfred Gibson on violin, as well as Colin Walker and Edwards on cello.

Edwards seemed in his element and played an important part in ensuring that after some early setbacks the string instruments so central to ELO's signature sound were miked and amplified properly. He also contributed to the arrangements and encouraged the string players to become entertainers and pick up the slack from Lynne, the static, sunglasses-wearing front man. Edwards thought nothing of jumping off the speakers with his cello during "Great Balls of Fire", the rock'n'roll classic which followed their version of the Edvard Grieg composition In the Hall of the Mountain King, included on On the Third Day, their 1973 album and US breakthrough.

However, ELO were managed by the nefarious Don Arden, who put the non-Move musicians on a salary rather than make them full-time members of the group. McDowell, Mik Kaminski and Kelly Groucutt had already taken over from Walker, Gibson and de Albuquerque by the time Edwards left after the first US leg of the Eldorado tour. He was replaced by Melvyn Gale.

Edwards lived in various communes and travelled to the US, Germany and India, where he became a Buddhist and took the name Deva Pramada (Divine Joy). In 1990 he settled in Devon, where he taught the cello and other instruments such as the bass viol, or viola da gamba, and the treble viol. He was a founder member of the classical ensemble Devon Baroque and play-ed with the medieval music and dance theatre troupe Daughters of Elvin.

Unlike Bevan, Groucutt (who died last year) and Kaminski, who toured as ELO Part II or The Orchestra after Lynne pulled the plug on ELO in the late 1980s, Edwards was not one to try to recapture the band's former glories.

He was killed in a freak accident on the A381 in Devon, when a huge cylindrical bale of hay weighing 600 kilos rolled down a slope and smashed into the van he was driving. [Pierre Perrone]

Until next "Time" in the ELO (and related) Universe ... KJS ... 09-Sep-2010

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Recommended: Scattered Light Orchestra

#135: Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! Yours Truly KJS has contact with Scattered Light Orchestra - who are a bunch of fellow ELO fans and musicians who have put together a CD of ELO covers and interpretations, not unlike the 2001 Not Lame release "Lynne Me Your Ears". Proceeds from sales of this album are going to two (2) charities, one of which is Birmingham Children's Hospital here in the UK. You may remember that one of ELO's final gigs in 1986 was at HeartBeat - which also supported this deserving cause.

I'm pretty sure that some of you regular vistors to ELO Beatles Forever (ELOBF) might have purchased a copy of this album? FYI: Here is the track listing for "Scattered Light: A Fan Tribute To Electric Light Orchestra" thus: 

"Mission (A World Record)" ~ "Stranger" ~ "Strange Magic" ~ "Danger Ahead" ~ "Can't Get It Out Of My Head" ~ "Daybreaker" ~ "Oh No Not Susan" ~ "Showdown" ~ "Night In The City" ~ "From The End Of The World" ~ "Whisper In The Night" ~ "Mr. Blue Sky"

Until next "Time" in the ELO (and related) Universe ... KJS ... 08-Sep-2010

Monday, 6 September 2010

Petition for the Safer Storage & Transportation of Hay Bales

#134: Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! In light of the tragic death of former ELO cellist Mike Edwards, you can now sign up to a new petition on Facebook set up by Tina McBain of the Beatles Blues and Blue Violin Project (BBBV) for the safer storage and transportation of hay bales.

Remembering Mike Edwards
Bev Bevan Tribute to Mike Edwards

Until next "Time" in the ELO (and related) Universe ... KJS ... 06-Sep-2010

Bev Bevan Tribute to Mike Edwards

#133: Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! In a BBC article published today (Monday 6th September), Bev Bevan pays a touching yet glowing tribute to his fellow former ELO band mate Mike Edwards - who tragically passed away this last weekend. As if to underline the tragedy, a newspaper cutting was left on my desk at work this morning (see below), reminding Yours Truly KJS again of what is a truly awful if not unfortunate incident. The story was the #1 most popular on BBC News at lunchtime today. Find out more via these links thus:

Until next "Time" in the ELO (and related) Universe ... KJS ... 06-Sep-2010

Sunday, 5 September 2010

Remembering Mike Edwards

#132: Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! This news is so sad. Mike Edwards, formerly a member of ELO was killed on Friday 3rd September in South Devon, England in an unbelievably unlucky accident. Here is the text of the report in The Telegraph:

"Mike Edwards, 62, was a founding member of ELO and played cello with the group from their first live gig in 1972 until he departed in January 1975. He quit to become a Buddhist and later changed his name to Deva Pramada because of his religious convictions. His eccentric cello playing - including plucking the strings with an orange or grapefruit - and bizarre costumes were a major ingredient of ELO. He played cello on albums ELO II, On the Third Day, The Night The Light Went On [In Long Beach] and Eldorado. Mr. Edwards died instantly when he was hit by the bale which weighed nearly 700lbs. He was driving along a road when the bale careered down a slope in a field and flipped over a hedge - smashing down onto his roof.

The circular bale is believed to have been in a steeply-sloping field beside the road when it somehow rolled and jumped 12ft to 15ft into traffic. Police said the accident happened at around 12.30pm on Friday on the A381 between Harbetonford and Halwell in Devon. Steve Walker of the Devon and Cornwall police traffic unit said they were trying to contact his family. He said: ''This was a tragic accident and we have now identified the victim as Michael Edwards, a founder member of ELO. ''We have used photographs and YouTube footage to identify him but we now need help contacting his family for formal identification. ''We don't believe he was ever married and we have identified an ex girlfriend but she is currently aboard. ''We think he may have a brother called David in the Yorkshire area and we obviously need to contact him. ''Michael has no immediate family but we believe he may have taught some cello in Devon and would ask his students to contact us if they know of any relations.'' Mr Edwards had been living in Totnes, Devon. After he left ELO, he was replaced as cellist by Melvyn Gale."

Petition for the Safer Storage & Transportation of Hay Bales
Bev Bevan Tribute to Mike Edwards

Until next "Time" in the ELO (and related) Universe ... KJS ... 05-Sep-2010

Saturday, 4 September 2010

Caught Live: Beatles Blues & Blue Violin Project @ Highley 03/09/10

#131: Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! As previously blogged earlier today, Yours Truly KJS ventured over to The Severn Centre, Highley in Shropshire, England last night [Friday 3rd September] to witness the second date of the Autumn 2010 Beatles Blues and Blue Violin Project [BBBV] tour with my ELO gig buddy Chris '10538' Evans.

After an impressive opening set by Groucutt & Haynes, we were treated to a wonderful musical journey of interpretations of Beatles and ELO songs as well as other classic Blues tracks. I must admit that having seen BBBV at The Garrick Theatre, Lichfield back on Thursday 18th March, I was wondering how different the set list would be and - if so - what new songs we would hear in light of the impending release of the new BBBV album.

And we were not to be disappointed either! We were treated to the eclectic rendition of Lennon and McCartney compositions in the BBBV style as one would expect. In addition, one of the many highlights [as ever] was "Old Love", that Clapton/Cray classic.

We expected to hear one or two almost token ELO tracks in the set list. But we were pleasantly surprised not only to hear the BBBV take on "Can't Get It Out Of My Head" and "Evil Woman" but also "Rock 'n' Roll Is King" and a superb version of that excellent Kelly Groucutt crowd pleaser "Midnight Blue". It was that wonderful vocal performance by Tina McBain of a song that she never thought she would never attempt and a real highlight of the evening.

The gig encore was a real surprise too folks! Besides "Daytripper" and [of course] "Beatles Forever", the only other true musical link between The Beatles and ELO is the classic song "I Am The Walrus". This is THE Beatles song that inspired Roy Wood and Jeff Lynne to later found the Electric Light Orchestra in 1971. So to hear it live for the first time in the BBBV flavour was the icing on the cake. The whole evening was superb and I heartily recommend that you check out the tour dates and experience BBBV for yourselves.

By the way, the new BBBV album is really good and includes a new Phil Bates composition entitled "It Doesn't Get Any Better Than This" which also includes a passing Beatles reference in its lyrics and would not be out of place on any ELO or Orchestra album. In short - an absolutely marvellous gig [and CD] folks!

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 04-Sep-2010

Jeff Lynne: BBC4 Documentary + New Album

#130: Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! With many thanx to my ELO gig buddy Christian 'Underture' Evans for alerting me to this news nugget - courtesy of Kevin O'Meara - via thus:

"A documentary charting the story of Jeff Lynne will be broadcast on the British TV channel BBC4 fall 2010/early 2011. The press presentation contains this enigmatic sentence: "The programme follows the band through their successes, up to their brand new ELO album – their first for almost 10 years". A new Jeff Lynne solo album is scheduled, not an Electric Light Orchestra album ..."

Here is the text of this exciting BBC Press Office release plus hyperlink:

 "40 Light Years: Charting the fascinating story of musical genius, singer-songwriter, producer, multi-instrumentalist and Electric Light Orchestra leader Jeff Lynne, this film celebrates 40 years since ELO's first groundbreaking hit recording. The programme follows the band through their successes, up to their brand new ELO album - their first for almost 10 years. With exclusive access to Jeff Lynne, this documentary charts his story from his early years in Birmingham with cult legends the Idle Race, through to his first UK chart success with the Move. It also investigates his international mega-stardom with ELO and beyond, with The Traveling Wilburys - Tom Petty, Roy Orbison, George Harrison and Bob Dylan - Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, the Beatles, Del Shannon, Regina Spektor and many more. SG"

COMING SOON: An ELOBF review of the Beatles Blues and Blue Violin [BBBV] gig at Highley in Shropshire last night [Friday 3rd September].

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 04-Sep-2010

Meeting Up: Phil Bates @ BBBV

#129: Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! Here are a couple of photographs from before the Beatles Blues and Blue Violin concert in Highley, Shropshire last night [Friday 3rd September] of Yours Truly KJS and ELO gig buddy Chris 'Nightrider' Evans with Phil Bates of Quill, TricksterELO Part IIThe Orchestra [former members of ELO & ELO Part II]ELB and Wheels Of Fire fame.

I remember first meeting Phil back stage at Wolverhampton Civic Hall after ELO Part II's gig on Saturday 12th June 1993 - one of the early gigs in his ELO Part II career - now well over seventeen [17] years ago!

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 04-Sep-2010

Recommended: Groucutt & Haynes

#128: Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! Whilst attending The Beatles Blues and Blue Violin [BBBV] gig at The Severn Centre in Highley, not-so-near-to Bridgnorth, Shropshire last night [Friday 3rd September], I had the great pleasure [with Christian Evans] of listening to a strong support set by that rising musical duo Groucutt and Haynes:

The Groucutt element of this band is of course Robin, son of the late, great and beloved Kelly Groucutt - lynch pin vocalist and bass guitarist of the classic ELO line-up. Yours Truly KJS had a brief chat with Robin on several topics and also got the OK to publish the above flyers for their current album and touring schedule. Oh ... and by the way - they sound great!

ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] recommend Groucutt & Haynes to those enlightened folks who enjoy the music of ELO, Jeff Lynne, Roy Wood, The Move, The Idle Race, 'Brum Beat', The Beatles and related artistes.

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 04-Sep-2010

Friday, 3 September 2010

Recommended: Beatles Blues & Blue Violin Project

#127: Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! As far as Yours Truly KJS is concerned, ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] and The Beatles Blues and Blue Violin Project [BBBV] are a perfect fit! Take a look at the above BBBV tour flyer and make a date to go experience this great musical "Magical Mystery Tour" soon!

ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] recommend The Beatles Blues and Blue Violin Project [BBBV] to those enlightened folks who enjoy the music of ELO, Jeff Lynne, Roy Wood, The Move, The Idle Race, 'Brum Beat', The Beatles and related artistes.

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 03-Sep-2010

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

ELO: Live In London 1976 (Part 2)

#126: Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! My French friend Nicolas Guibert over at has posted this interesting information on his web site in the last few days regard the other "ELO Live in Concert 1976" DVD/CD thus:

"I recently talked about a DVD and a CD entitled "ELO - Live London 1976" to be released on 14 September 2010. I have got more information now: it's the "Fusion" concert at the New Victoria Theatre in London in 1976 during the "Face The Music" tour. The video is exactly the same version that is already available with the DVD “Electric Light Orchestra - Live - The Early Years" released in August 2010. The track lists of the DVD and the CD are the same."

This new release seems to be a carbon copy of the recent Eagle imprint "Live - The Early Years" so highly praised and recently reviewed in my previous ELOBF article. The artwork appears to have been lifted from the 1979 "Discovery" promo film and not the actual gig in 1976! The only advantage in buying it that I see would be having the whole of the DVD soundtrack on CD too. are taking orders for this item here whilst quoting a release date of Tuesday 14th September and showing no artwork. Is it a worthwhile purchase? It's up to you 21st Century men and women to decide for your good selves ...

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 01-Sep-2010