Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Interview: Melvyn Gale (ELO)

#213: Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! Back in December 2009, Martin Kinch - creator and chief inmate of the superlative Cherry Blossom Clinic - published a fantastic interview with Melvyn Gale, the cellist who was a part of the classic ELO string section between 1974 and 1980:

Yours Truly KJS managed to interview Mel Gale recently and I asked him eightnew questions, with the much appreciated assistance of Martin Kinch. Both interviews compliment each other and when read together give the reader a up-to-date and interesting insight into Mel's time in what Tony Curtis once correctly stated was "the most outstanding rock group in the world". Here is that interview with Mel for ELO Beatles Forever (ELOBF) for you to peruse thus:

KJS: Greetings to Melvyn Gale; former cellist (and pianist) with the Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) during their Seventies heyday. Could you tell me what you consider to be the absolute highlight of your time with the band?
Mel: It had to be the charity show at Wembley when my parents came for the one and only time. They had no real idea of what I was up to in the band and were amazed to meet Tony Curtis and have a limo pick them up from home to the gig and back. A lot of my friends came too so it was a really memorable night.
KJS: How did you get along with Don Arden and the Jet Records hierarchy?
Mel: Don was as hard as they come, but I never had any major run-ins with him. David was always good for organizing the social side of things, but it was Sharon who was the stand out member of that family for me. She dealt with some really difficult people on the road, made sure the band got paid at the gigs etc. and hasn't changed at all. What you see is what you get!
KJS: You kindly contributed recently to Andy Wood's charity CD "Between Good Friends". Did you enjoy that project and have you been in the recording studio lately?
Mel: It wasn't a lot to do, and it was for a good cause, so no problem ... and no I haven't recorded anything for years.
KJS: Have you played any ELO music since you left the band?
Mel: If you mean listened to ELO then yes of course, you can't avoid it. But if you mean in a band, live, then no I haven't.
KJS: Do you have a favourite venue &/or country that you visited with the group?
Mel: The USA was our best country as far as audiences went and I spent a lot of time there (in LA mainly) and I always enjoyed playing at Pine Knob in Michigan for some reason ... Frankly there were so many fantastic nights and countries that it's hard to say now.
KJS: What are you doing now in 2011? Are you teaching, writing &/or performing music or something else?
Mel: I'm doing some cello and piano teaching and some occasional outdoor landscaping work which keeps me fit (I can't stand gyms!) but I'm not performing any more.
KJS: Are you often recognized by eagle-eyed fans when out and about?
Mel: Are you kidding? I haven't been recognized since 1979!
KJS: Finally ... what is your #1 favourite ELO song and why?
Mel: Got to be Midnight Blue, because it reminds me of Kelly.

Once again, my thanx are extended to Mel (and Martin) for sparing their time and participating in and assisting in this interview.

ELO Beatles Forever (ELOBF) recommends Cherry Blossom Clinic to those enlightened folks who also like ELO/Jeff LynneRoy Wood, 'Brum Beat'The MoveThe Beatles and related artistes.

Until next "Time" in the ELO (and related) Universe ... KJS ... 04-May-2011


  1. Dads got plenty of fans at my uni... especially my Individual Tutor and my Music Student friends!

    1. Your Dad is a legend i loved watching him back in the day. You should be proud😍

    2. Certainly a legend and very cute too when younger... not that he isn't now! Lol . Awesome musician.

  2. Great to see Melvyn has fond memories of his days with the band nice job Martin. Interesting Melvin's favourite track was one he didn't play on.

  3. Fantastic....the only member of the magnificent 7 I've never seen play live. Good luck Mel

  4. Mel was truly a great guy, i loved watching the 2 cellist int the ELO days mel + hugh was superb to watch.

  5. Great to read the interview. A legend! Would love to know what he thinks of the current tour and the 2016 incarnation of the 'orchestra'.

  6. Still hope the surviving members would play together, love ELO .

  7. Excellent and emotive interview, great spots on it! Thanks for sharing...

  8. It was really great that Melvyn was able to bust the frequent misconception that ELO's string players never featured on their records and hopefully, journalists will take more notice of this.