Saturday, 16 April 2011

Telstar Twist

#206: Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! My good fiend Andy Wood (a.k.a. 'Fruity Buckfoot') posted a photograph (above left) during a discussion about those marvellous gigs by the Electric Light Orchestra Part Two and the Moscow Symphony Orchestra during May and June 1991. I still fondly recall excitedly driving up to the NEC in Birmingham on Tuesday 28th May from Weston-super-Mare to see the music of ELO performed live for the very first time. Sadly, Yours Truly KJS never got to see the classic ELO line-up perform live.

I also remember seeing the highlights of the gig on TV and buying the video as released by Telstar Video Entertainment (#TVE1037) at that time. One year later, I managed to obtain the Scotti Brothers US CD release "Performing ELO's Greatest Hits Live" and was much impressed. Since then we have seen ELO Part II run its course and Bev Bevan leave the ELO arena (so to speak) as well as the rise of The Orchestra (former members of ELO & ELO Part II).

But one thing we have not seen is any kind of official re-release on DVD of this astounding, once-in-a-lifetime concert. Andy Wood found the above pictured disc in a second hand record shop in Rennes, France a few years ago. It has no serial number and is evidently a very professional looking bootleg drawn from those VHS recordings - now 20 years old! But do you not agree that this concert would be an attractive DVD release? It's a tantalizing glimpse of what might be if an official release did come along. We know that Telstar are no more and that the original video footage (as shot by the legendary Mike Mansfield) and audio soundtrack were copyrighted to Rockview Promotions back in 1991. But the questions now must be:

(a) Who currently owns the rights to this ELO/MSO concert material?
(b) Do any visitors to ELOBF know who owns said audio and visual recordings?
(c) Have any ELOBF visitors come across any other 'unofficial' DVD releases?

To this writer, this is almost as fascinating as the enigma that is "Beatles Forever"- that long lost ELO gem from their 1983 originally-intended double album "Secret Messages" - and the only track (to date) that has not been released. This was the original reason that I started ELOBF back on (Groundhog Day) Monday 2nd February 2009 (although the scope of ELOBF has now morphed significantly) and it seems quite natural to recall that day as we approach the landmark of 50,000 visitors to ELO Beatles Forever (ELOBF)! I am truly thankful to you guys for each and every visit and long may it continue!

Until next "Time" in the ELO (and related) Universe ... KJS ... 16-Apr-2011


  1. Did this ever make it onto DVD? Would love to see the full concert which included a stunning version of Back in the USSR with the full orchestra. Sadly it didn't make it onto the VHS release.

    1. Apart from the Telstar video [1991] and Scotti Bros. US CD [1992] releases mentioned in my article, there have only ever been the odd bootleg and/or DVD's transferred by fans onto DVD. I would love to know who owns the rights to the video and audio recordings being as we now have Blu-Ray and some amazing audio technology that could make an 'official' re-release really quite attractive. ELOBF will keep investigating! KJS@ELOBF :-)