Thursday, 29 September 2011

New Developments in Mike Edwards Case #1

#250: Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! We all thought that the tragic and unfortunate death of former ELO cellist Mike Edwards on Friday 3rd September last year and all the legal machinations thereof were concluded upon the verdict of "accidental death" at his inquest in March:

Henceforth, Yours Truly KJS was most surprised to receive (another) telephone call earlier today when I arrived home from work from Pete Reynolds - my roving reporter down in South Devon - informing me that there have been some further developments in this sad story, as reported today in the South Devon Herald Express (a.k.a. This Is South Devon) thus:

You can read the full report if you click on the above link. Here is an excerpt outlining the case:

"Two men are to appear in court charged with offences linked to the death of former ELO musician Mike Edwards who was killed by a runaway bale of silage ... (they) ... have been charged with health and safety offences relating to operations on farm land at Halwell, near Totnes ... (and) ... are due to appear before magistrates in Torquay on Friday, October 14, after a previous hearing was adjourned. The 62-year-old Totnes musician, who was a member of the Electric Light Orchestra in the 1970's; died after the quarter-tonne bale rolled 60 yards down a steep field, crashed through a hedge and landed on the cab of his van as he drove along the A381 last September, crushing him to death."

Petition for the Safer Storage & Transportation of Hay Bales
Report: Mike Edwards Funeral

Until next "Time" in the ELO (and related) Universe ... KJS ... 29-Sep-2011

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Recommended: Bubble Gum Orchestra

#249: Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! I find it interesting that some postings about a new ELO related project entitled Bubble Gum Orchestra (BGO) have started to sprout up both on Facebook and elsewhere as their new album "Out Of This World" is released on Tuesday 27th September. What is also interesting is that they have dropped a comment or two on some of my recent [non-related] blogs plus they're following ELO Beatles Forever (ELOBF) too!

If you click on the above link; you can hear the lead single "Night In Shangri-La" and check out their web site. The project is to be the brainchild of Michael Laine Hildebrandt. The style; artwork and even track listing demonstrate a remarkable deference to and is a fitting tribute to ELO's iconic double album "Out Of The Blue" - particularly when one considers that OOTB was originally slated to be entitled "Out Of This World" anyway! Here is what BGO say about themselves:

"Bubble Gum Orchestra is an American band with a flair of English pop rock influences among many others. Michael Laine Hildebrandt - songwriter; composer; singer and all-round "guru" has composed a 17 song gem rooted deep from his influences of the 70's era style "double album" days of yesteryear."

Yours Truly KJS really quite likes "Night In Shangri-La" which is full of ELO song title citations and is very catchy. Here is the track listing for the album for your perusal:

Side 1
Agnes Is Back ~ Night In Shangri-La ~ Lights Over London ~ Lonely Girl
Side 2
Reversible Relationships ~ Yesterday Tomorrow Tonight ~ Goodbye My Old Friend ~ Where Are You Now ~ Sky Has Turned Blue
Side 3 - "Concerto For A Sad Day"
Feeling Down ~ The Wheels Keep On Turnin' ~ Summer Day ~ Happy Song
Side 4
Girl I'm Gonna Miss You ~Sunrise In Spain ~ All I Wanna Do ~ Love Never Goes As Planned

ELO Beatles Forever (ELOBF) has contacted Michael and BGO and hopes to arrange a long distance interview in the next few weeks, hoping to assist BGO in promoting what looks like being an interesting release for fans of not only ELO but also other class bands from a superlative musical decade. Expect a review of "Out Of This World" in the next few weeks folks!

Until next "Time" in the ELO (and related) Universe ... KJS ... 27-Sep-2011

Monday, 26 September 2011

Interview: Sean Mack Page

#248: Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! Greetings to multi-talented musician and my good friend Sean Mack Page for this exclusive ELOBF interview:

KJS: Sean ... please tell the folks about how we crossed paths - how we came to meet up?
SMP: My band Fragile X did a cover of “Turn to Stone” and it was posted on the ELO Discovery web site by Nico, their web master! Fragile X were listed on the site next to an ELO compilation album. I was experimenting with various ideas on how to market my newest band called Imaginos at the time. I saw that there was a growing interest in the music of Fragile X, so I began researching various ways in marketing the music. Jason Brown, the drummer for Burn Sand Burn (a local band in the Denver area) told me about MySpace and that eventually led me to pursue Facebook and Reverbnation; both being vehicles to help promote my music! From that point, I believe we began talking over on Facebook about our mutual ELO interest! This was the beginning of our friendship!
KJS: Can you tell me about your physical and musical backgrounds?
SMP: I have always had an interest in drums and music ever since I can remember! I practically wore out my grandparents 'America' record listening to "Horse With No Name"! I used to listen to "Turn To Stone" and "Sweet Talkin' Woman" by ELO on the AM transistor radio hanging from the handle bars of my bicycle before I really knew who they were! When I was nine years old, I was injured severely by a gunshot; thus I strived to find some method of fitting in and being accepted. Over the years, I tried several musical instruments including drums and percussion. Drums were very beneficial, and helped me cope with my Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) throughout the years - without actually being diagnosed professionally! During my freshman year in High School, Karl Knox, a friend of mine in a marching band, sold me an old beat-up 'Rogers' Drum Kit - that was incomplete! I knew within a week that drums are what I wanted to play! When I was sixteen years old, I got a new black 'Ludwig' drum kit for Christmas! I was ecstatic to say the least. I always loved the 'Rock' genre, and was especially interested and influenced by ELO and my idol Bev Bevan, their drummer. I also enjoy metal, classical, big band era, oldies and all of these music styles influenced my playing! I am now finally in recovery from PTSD and I wanted to share my story with others to let them know how healing music can be! It is very good that I have incredible support from friends and family. I am truly blessed, and very grateful for my life.
KJS: What bands were (and are) your musical influences besides ELO?
SMP: I can’t help myself Keith! ELO; ELO Part II; The Move; Rush; Pink Floyd; Savatage; The Guess Who; Evanescence; Black Sabbath; Led Zeppelin; Slayer; Metallica; Metal Church; King Crimson; Mozart; Bach; Beethoven and Vivaldi are definite influences - to name a few! I love all the musicians that played in ELO over the years!! Bev Bevan and Kelly Groucutt will always be very special to me! When I opened for ELO Part II in 1996, I got to meet everybody and spend time backstage with the whole group - a dream come true! I enjoy the amazing writing of Jeff Lynne! My other favourite musicians are: Neal Peart; Alex Lifeson; Geddy Lee (Rush); Tony Iommi; Bill Ward and Geezer Butler from Black Sabbath. My first record was "Herman's Hermits Greatest Hits" so I also have to list them as one of my early influences! "Mrs. Brown certainly had a lovely daughter!" Other drummers that I like are: Gene Krupa; Carl Palmer (ELP; Asia); Steve "Doc" Walchoz and Jimmy Vincent [Louis Prema Orchestra]. Jimmy did a mean "Sing, Sing, Sing"! Buddy Rich; Butch Miles and Sandy Nelson are awesome drummers too!
KJS: You have been a member of quite a few bands Sean! Onyx Rook; Cat Bleu; Navigator; Fragile X; Imaginos to name a few! Can you tell me about those bands and what they were about?
SMP: Currently, I am actively working with all these bands. That is partially the reason that I have taken so long in getting this interview finished for you, Keith!
Onyx Rook was my first real band; it was heavy metal, influenced by bands like Metal Church; King Diamond; Metallica; S.O.D. and Slayer. It was the first of my bands to receive airplay! We were played on Z-Rock Radio nationally and in Denver; Colorado. There were six members of the band over the years! The remastered demo is available directly through me for special friends and fans! To this day Onyx Rook remains an underground fan favourite! There are no web sites!
Cat Bleu is a three-piece group which has that blues-disco-funk-rock-metal sound! 'The Cat' has an attitude! We just released "Don’t Bury Me" and I've heard that Bryan Spainhower is working on new material! Bryan and Brian Nicks co-write most of the Cat Bleu material.
Navigator is my solo project. I'm currently working on a new release called “Song For You” which has been two years in the making. I think it will be a song that many can relate to as it evolved over a lost relationship! I’m very proud of what I’ve been able to accomplish in my studio for Navigator and my ELO influence really shines through with this newest song!
Fragile X stems from my old day job where I worked with special needs children - more specifically - those suffering from Fragile X Syndrome - a genetic disorder of the male 'X' chromosome that causes mild to severe birth defects. My goal was to form a band that could help raise awareness and financial aid to help fight against this horrible affliction. Please consider donating to the National Fragile X Foundation! The band Fragile X consists of four members and is heavily influenced by ELO! We released our first album "Drop In Time" back in 1996 just before opening for ELO Part II. Fragile X  is now resurfacing and  gaining international popularity as we speak! All of the original members as well as new studio musicians from my other bands are all file sharing music and currently working on several new songs. We plan to remaster and release a number of great, never-released songs from the past such as "Poison Arrow", "Epic" and "Under The Radar" along with new material. Lance and I are re-energized, and we are working very hard to get everything released as soon as possible!
Imaginos is the newest three piece group. We hired two ladies to give our first album "Pathways" that elegant, Gothic contrast to its metal edge! We've been told that Imaginos have probably some of the prettiest hard rock music out there! It is currently receiving airplay throughout the US and UK. Savatage - who are loved by both Brian Nicks and me - were a very strong influence for the album "Pathways"! Being progressive and calling upon influences from the past, there are also shades of Pink Floyd, Rush, and ELO in the Imaginos sound! Imaginos have also been compared to Evanescence - and that is an honour too! I’m very proud of this project and  album since it was done entirely within our own studios. Imaginos are currently working on the follow-up album to "Pathways" and I am currently in rehearsal to record the drum tracks for the next two songs! The invasion continues!
KJS: Please could you tell me about some of the characters in those bands, Sean?
'Onyx Rook' were Mike Wolff (main writer/lead guitarist); Chuck Gillespie (lead vocals/guitars); Chris Aderhold (rhythm guitar); George Chisholm (bass/backing vocals) and Tim Lawrence (lead vocals). I think you know who the drummer was! We were very young and dreamt of being rock stars! Boy were we naive! The music was heavy and we had quite the following, but immaturity was at its peak for all of us! There is no substitute for age and experience! Most of us are now apart physically but we keep in touch through email and Facebook! I am working with guitarist Chris Aderhold again! I am very pleased to have him back on board as his writing and guitar work add a new and exciting element to the band! 
Cat Bleu is Brian Spainhower (lead guitar/vocals); Brian Nicks (bass guitar/vocals) with yours truly on drums and vocals. Brian Spainhower (a.k.a. "Spanky") is heavily influenced by Jimmy Hendrix. He even won "Best Guitar Player" in Denver, CO at the local Grammy Awards! Brian Nicks is a wicked bass player and sets the groove for Bryan and myself. Brian wrote the recent release "Don’t Bury Me". I do a little drumming on all the Cat Bleu songs and even sing lead vocals on "Open Mind"!
Navigator: "Beyond The Galactic Rim” was my first attempt at writing and composing songs on a piano! With the exception of "Thinking of Home" and "Hyperdrive"; this six song CD consists of self-written and self-produced songs that give you a spirited look into the future of space exploration on the edge of the Galactic Rim - not dissimilar in theme from the "Time" LP by ELO. "Thinking Of Home" was written by Keith Stewart along with the music for "Hyperdrive". George Chisholm played bass on "Hyperdrive" and I played all the other instruments - and all the vocals! These were the first tracks produced and recorded in my studio! I learned a lot in the process. This will come out in the new recordings for all the bands that I'm involved with! "Song for You" will be my latest 'Navigator' release! Work continues on the "Bone Planet" concept album once again, thanks mainly to the addition of Chris Aderhold on guitar!
Fragile X: Lance Allred (lead vocals/songwriter): He loves studio work; motorcycles and is currently based in Branson MO. He is very excited about the opportunity to write and help produce past and present Fragile X tunes again - whilst working with the original group - and our pals Mark Fisher; Bryan Spainhower and hopefully Brian Nicks! Lance’s buddy Martin Schroeder is playing bass guitar on our new tune "I’m Going Home". Lance is currently utilizing the talents of a great producer and has access to world famous studios like "The Mansion". Jeremiah Riggen (lead guitar/backing vocals): Jeremiah’s guitar playing is excellent and very unique. He is into video games and music in his spare time. He is the father of a beautiful daughter! George Chisholm (bass guitar/vocals): George is the lead vocalist on "No Longer" from the CD "Drop In Time". He is also the father of two beautiful daughters and is currently residing in Florida. He plays live with several local area bands. Although now spread out throughout the US, this group realizes the importance of putting their heads back together to help this exciting music resurface and be made available to the masses!
Imaginos are led by originator Brian Nicks (lead/backing vocals; lead/rhythm/bass guitars AND keyboards! Brian’s writing and musical abilities are phenomenal. He and his family reside in Colorado. He is deeply involved in family activities and also enjoys karate! Brian works with computers in his day job! Mark Fisher (lead/rhythm/bass guitars; keyboards/backing vocals). Mark is an exceptional musician and contributes immensely to anything he is asked to do! He is a true professional! In his spare time he climbs the Colorado Rockies! He lives in Colorado with his wonderful family! Yours truly (again!): Sean Page (drummer; drummist; drums; percussion; backing/lead backing vocals!); I also co-wrote "I, King". I spent a lot of time in my Navigator Studios and almost went mad helping to produce the first Imaginos album "Pathways"! I did all the drums to a click track so they are tight! I also did them "old school" in a two track format. The drum kit is a whole instrument this way, so they sound really good! However, I now track in eight separate tracks because editing and mixing the drums is much easier on Brian and the engineers this way! We both learned a lot in the production of this album! It took us two years to complete. We’re very proud of the final product! Awesome to have the female talents of Elise Winters and Laura Clarke on the "Pathways" disc too! Great voices! What a great job they did for us! We all learned a lot during this experience, and the next Imaginos album is currently in the works!
KJS: Besides your ELO interpretations; I’ve been impressed with the music you have written; co-written and performed. Personally; I really rate “Winter Gift” on the ‘Imaginos’ “Pathways” album; “Colorado Way Of Feeling” and “World Apart” by ‘Fragile X’ and a few others! What inspires you when you put pen to paper, Sean?
My inspiration comes from my life experiences and my imagination. I wish I could take credit for the majority of the writing, but I can’t! My hats off to all the guys - they are the genius' behind most of the writing for the majority of the songs. Being a drummer, I am a little slower when it comes to writing songs, but I do contribute! I create the original framework for all of our songs to a click track with scratch tracks! Writing; composing; engineering; recording and performing music in 'Navigator' alone has allowed me to express my feelings and emotions on the piano; keyboards and drums. And it’s almost like I don’t have a choice! I have to do it! I also really enjoy singing! All my music comes from the heart!
KJS: You have had the good fortune to cross paths with ELO on a few occasions. What do you recall from attending one of ELO’s 1982 ‘Time’ tour shows in the US? 
SMP: It was my second big concert. I was twelve years old at the time and I had to take my little sister with me but we had a blast! I was blown away. ELO were awesome; the experience made me like them even more; the Robot was super cool; as was the excitement of just being there at a huge arena concert! The McNichol Arena in Denver I believe! I wish I could have bought a T-Shirt! My dad sees it a little different, he looked for us all around the perimeter of the building but we were waiting on the opposite side of the building from where we had told him to pick us up! He says he didn't hold ELO responsible but I guess he was pretty scared; thinking we had been kidnapped or lost! We had no idea what Pop went through - just so we could see ELO! My fave concert of all time! I think this is what made me want to become a drummer, but there is certainly more to that story!
KJS: Was that where your love of ELO began?
SMP: No! It began on my bicycle with a transistor radio hanging from the handlebars when I was about eight or nine years old! I knew some of their songs, but I didn’t know the band yet! I just knew I liked the music! It rocked! In 1979 I bought my first ELO album "Discovery"! I absolutely love "Don’t Bring Me Down"!
KJS: As an articulate percussionist yourself, can you tell us why Bev Bevan is your drumming inspiration?
SMP: Very thoughtful of you Keith! The ELO "Time" concert and the Black Sabbath "Born Again" tour are really what got me interested in Bev Bevan. He was the drummer for my favourite band ELO, and now also Black Sabbath! I was star struck! Bev was a rock star and I really wanted to be just like him! The way he plays drums to specific songs can be so cool. For example, his drumming on "Roll Over Beethoven" and the entire ELO II record or CD (not the band  - the album!) is amazing! Frenzied, energetic and difficult to play - or played with amazing feel! Bev’s drumming made me feel good! Doesn’t everybody love his drumming on "Fire On High"? Bev’s drumming makes hit records. ELO are not the same without him on drums! His drumming with The Move was second to none! Just listen to the song "Looking On" - it speaks for itself! The drum solo and the music in the second half of the song is all in a five feel. Very cool! In old drumming magazines, he is credited with being one of the greatest rock drummers in the world! His respect for other drummers and musicians is an inspiration to us all! I have had the honour of seeing Bev solo live more than once and even at 66 years young, he continues to inspire me to this day! Him and my dad are the same age!
KJS: Tell me about your other percussion heroes and their influence on your style of drumming?
SMP: Neal Peart (Rush) is the most technical drummer that I enjoy! I would hope that my own style lies somewhere in between him and Bev. Neal Peart is one of the greatest of all time! Jimmie Vincent from the big band era is also one of my favourite drummers! Sandy Nelson's "Let There Be Drums" influenced Bev and many other drummers including me! "Teen Beat" is pretty awesome! Kirk Arrington, the original drummer for Metal Church, is also very talented! Too many others to mention!
KJS: What are your thoughts on the musical legacy of ELO’s predecessors The Move?
SMP: I love them equal to ELO or Rush! The Move are under appreciated. However, I know that they have influenced many other musicians such as me and the band Cheap Trick. More ELO fans need to discover The Move! I would love to see the reformed version of the band! It’s cool that they are still rocking into their sixties! I certainly hope I can too! Move, Move, Move!
KJS: Regular visitors to ELOBF will know that back in 1996; your band Fragile X actually supported ELO Part II on their USA tour. What was it like being on the same stage as your musical icons?
SMP: Wow! I used to tell people in High School that I would open for ELO someday! Dream big and your dreams sometimes come true. Mine did! It was an experience that I will never forget and I will cherish it always! Fragile X and ELO sounded really good through that big stage PA! We sold a lot of shirts and CD's that night! One of our best, if not the best gig ever! My 'Slingerland' set on stage next to Bev’s drum stack - is that awesome or what?
KJS: Could you elaborate on what it was like spending quality time with the likes of Kelly Groucutt; Bev Bevan; Eric Troyer; Lou Clark; Mik Kaminski and Phil Bates at that time?
SMP: We were supposed to go backstage, but due to the large crowd, it almost didn't happen! But thanks to my father, he got it done! Very hurried! It seemed to go by in a flash! Bev was really busy, and Kelly was the talkative one in the group and very sweet to my mother! What a gentleman - rest in peace my brother! Eric, Lou, Mik and Phil were all polite; very approachable and they made us feel great. We had a ball just hanging out with them and sharing some snacks and cold beverages! As my dad recalls, Bev was soaking wet! He worked really hard for this concert; as did the whole group! Just talking to Bev was enough to trip me all over my tongue! I even forgot to introduce my girlfriend at the time - not on purpose - whole other story there! Kelly was such a great guy, he was always friendly to everyone and never failed to say hello every time I saw them after that first meeting in Colorado. Bev was a little harder to get close to because he was in such demand and very busy trying to make time for everyone! I managed to get a great picture of him and me with him receiving one of our 'Fragile X' T-Shirts! The next thing I know, their manager is telling them to rap it up … they had a plane to catch ... the life of a rock star eh? I will never forget that night!
KJS: It must have been the fulfilment of a dream to support your favourite band - but you also went onto record a great version of ELO’s seminal classic “Turn To Stone” with Fragile X that I play regularly on the 'KJS Suggests' radio show. How did that session come about?
SMP: Fragile X were working in Rudy’s Studio in Denver CO around late 1999. We had a couple of extra studio hours that day and decided to lay down "Turn To Stone"! With one additional session, we finished the version that many folks get to hear today on "Hamilton Radio" and your show! Because it wasn't recorded live and because I was the biggest ELO fan, I got to sing it in the studio! Drummers almost never get to sing! Besides, according to my dad, I was the only one with a fake British accent!
KJS: You’ve also worked on covers of other ELO songs including “Oh No Not Susan” with Steve Midgley. Do you have any plans to record other ELO tracks with your bands?
SMP: Keith, as you know, we are all very saddened by the recent death of our dear friend Steve Midgley! I hope to finish the "Oh No Not Susan" tracks to honour Steve and to continue to do other ELO covers with my current band members in the future! Yes! I am open to anyone that wants to work with me doing ELO covers! I am especially interested in string players since I don’t know any at the moment! Violins and cellos rock! Imaginos currently has an ELO cover tune in the works and Navigator already has plans to do more ELO! Any musicians interested in doing ELO covers via file sharing can contact me at:
KJS: Have you ever performed any ELO songs live and are you planning to attempt any in future?
SMP: Yes! "Turn to Stone" by Fragile X - maybe! I would love to play ELO live again. It would be awesome! Getting out and playing live again is one of my immediate goals!
KJS: You have a great professional and personal relationship with Hamilton Radio and DJ Gino DiPierro alias ‘Doc G’. Please tell us about your friendship with HR and Gino? How important is that musical partnership with HR and other radio stations to you and your ongoing projects?
SMP: Hamilton Radio and Doc G are a breath of fresh air to the music scene; especially for the indie artists! He also plays bands that have been ignored by corporate radio. His play list is considerably larger and filled with more variety with more full length versions of songs than I have heard anywhere in radio! I consider Gino as my dear friend, and what he does for ALL artistes is unheard of in today's music scene. He is simply one of a kind and has streamed my music all over the world. He is the most unselfish and caring DJ in the industry today! No-one out there does it the way he does it. He truly listens to his listeners and values their input! I know that you feel the same way that I do and look forward to Fridays when we get to hear your 'KJS Selection Show' on Hamilton Radio. This is all because of Doc G! We are tied to this thing collectively, and our love for ELO and each other will help to change radio forever! I also have a deep respect for Dominic Forbes at 'Brit Rock' - who has aired Fragile X and Imaginos tracks - and has also featured Navigator on his show. 'Brit Rock' is also featured on many other stations worldwide. Stu 'n' Kendall’s "Friday Night Rock Show" on Harborough FM in the UK also plays Fragile X and Imaginos. It's an honour to be aired alongside of great well-known artistes like Rush and ELO, and to hear their wonderful compliments about my music! You guys rock! Thanks to my fans, friends, and these DJ's who have given my music air play; I am forever grateful! These relationships are all possible because of Gino DiPierro finding me on Facebook and offering to play my music! His connections, the promotion of my music plus your and Francis Pope's marketing skills in the UK, were the catalyst to my bands getting worldwide exposure! Not only on his station, but other stations as well. Shaz Pratt of 'The Light Shines On' is also playing Fragile X and Cat Bleu on her ELO show at Radio BackTrack and now on Hamilton Radio too! She is special too, and I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity that all of these DJ's are giving my bands. I know the other band members appreciate it as well! This is unheard of in today’s corporate music world. I want them all to know that it means the world to me! I also want to put a special thanks out there to my band members; without them, I am just a drummer! This is not about me, but all of us, and our quest to be successful!
KJS: You have a remarkable bond with your incredibly supportive parents. Can you tell me about the role of your father Mack in your career?
SMP: Simply put - my father is my manager! He is my biggest fan and critic! He gets things done that others can’t! Pop is the guy that made sure we got backstage with ELO Part II! For the whole world to know: I love my dad! My mom is an angel; and any son would be blessed to have a mom like mine! She is the most giving and caring person I know on Planet Earth. She helps me with all the little day to day things I sometimes can’t get to when the music takes over my day! My parents are my best friends! Family is very important to me.
KJS: You have a growing collection of followers both online and on all radio frequencies! How important are those fans to you?
SMP: Keith, I have been at this since I was 16 years old. The DJ's have been incredible in their support! Sean Page's 'Army' of friends and fans are essential, and also extremely important to the success that I have achieved. Without them I would be nowhere. I want to personally thank each and every one of them for their support! There are numerous friends and fans that go way beyond the call of duty to help promote my music, there are too many to mention individually without forgetting somebody. They know who they are! No man or woman left behind! The invasion continues!
KJS: What musical projects is Sean Mack Page working on right now here in 2011?
SMP: Fragile X; Imaginos; Navigator and Cat Bleu. Right now, I am working on a number of songs for all of the bands. I am also currently rehearsing with Chris Aderhold of Onyx Rook! It's more than enough to keep me busy!
KJS: Now a question I ask very interviewee here on ELOBF: What are your favourite songs of Jeff Lynne; ELO; The Beatles and (naturally)] The Move?
SMP: ELO songs: "Secret Messages"; "Ticket To The Moon"; "In Old England Town"; "From The Sun To The World" and anything off "Electric Light Orchestra II" (the album that is!). For ELO there are many other favourites depending on my mood. I mentioned the ones that came to mind today! The Beatles: "Strawberry Fields Forever" and "Eleanor Rigby". The Move: "Looking On"; "Fields Of People"; "The Last Thing On My Mind" and "Beautiful Daughter". "Shazam" was my first Move album!
KJS: Finally, with five bands, there must be many ways for folks to get a hold of your music and catch up with what SMP is up to. Can you please tell folks of the many ways they can keep in touch; contact you and purchase or download your music?

Official Websites 

Radio Stations/Shows
Being rising indie artistes and ELO fans ourselves, all of the bands would be honoured and grateful for ELO fans and followers to purchase our music at the following websites:

KJS: I would like to take the opportunity to thank Sean for participating in this trans-Atlantic interview. 
SMP: Keith, thanks so very much for your help and support. Without ELOBF, Frances Pope and Gino DiPierro - my music would still be sitting on the shelves of corporate radio collecting dust! Because of you folks, 'Sean Page's Army', my band members, the other DJ's, friends and fans, I am successful. I'm now on worldwide radio with the continued support of the ELO family! Thanks again so much my friends!

Related KJS/ELOBF articles

ELO Beatles Forever (ELOBF) recommends the many musical activities and outlets of Sean Mack Page to those enlightened folks who enjoy the music of ELO/Jeff LynneRoy WoodThe MoveThe Idle Race'Brum Beat'The Beatles and related artistes.

Until next "Time" in the ELO (and related) Universe ... KJS ... 26-Sep-2011

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Recommended: Please Vote for Rain #2

#247: Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! You will be doubtless pleased to hear that the superb song "Rain" as written, produced and performed by Groucutt & Haynes in the YouBloom 2011 Music Awards has duly qualified for the next round in the Top 3 of Q3 Heat 8. Thank you for taking the time to vote!

The guys are now competing in the Q3 Quarter Final in their bid to win the competition and the £10,000 first prize. There are 24 artistes in this latest round and the Top 12 will progress to the Q3 Semi-Final. Groucutt & Haynes need you to vote for them again folks ... so please consider voting again for the duo and also passing on this "Message From The Country" onto your friends and family?

As mentioned here previously, Yours Truly KJS reckons that there a not a few ELO (and Beatles) fans and admirers out there who would be thrilled to see local, talented musicians garner some acknowledgement for their efforts. I know that Kelly Groucutt (Rob's father) would be out there promoting them if he were still here with us. So please consider voting for this song and pass the message along by Facebook, Twitter, word of mouth or any other method! All you need to do is to 'Join' by creating a user name; a password and citing your email address. You can listen to and vote for their entry by clicking the link below:

ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] recommends "Rain" by 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 ... 22-Sep-2011

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Recommended: Please Vote for Rain #1

#246: Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! There's an important deadline approaching this weekend when Sunday 18th slips into Monday 19th September at "Midnight Blue". That's the time when you will no longer be able to vote for the superb song "Rain" as written, produced and performed by Groucutt & Haynes in the YouBloom 2011 Music Awards, a competition wherein the winner will walk away with a £10,000 prize.
The guys are currently nestled in fourth place in Q3 Heat 8 and need to finish in the top three to progress. They are just five (5) votes behind at the time of writing and every vote counts! ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] reviewed their debut album "Another Good Reason" (which, of course, includes "Rain") back in May thus:

Yours Truly KJS reckons that there a not a few ELO (and Beatles) fans and admirers out there who would be thrilled to see local, talented musicians garner some acknowledgement for their efforts. I know that Kelly Groucutt (Rob's father) would be out there promoting them if he were still here with us. Please consider voting for this song and pass the message along by Facebook, Twitter or any other method! You can listen to and vote for their entry by clicking the link below:

ELO Beatles Forever (ELOBF) recommends Groucutt & Haynes to those enlightened folks who enjoy the music of ELO/Jeff LynneRoy WoodThe MoveThe Idle Race'Brum Beat'The Beatles and related artistes.

Until next "Time" in the ELO (and related) Universe ... KJS ... 17-Sep-2011

Friday, 16 September 2011

Welcome to the Phil Bates & Tina McBain Christmas Show

#245: Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! There are now two ELO related musical highlights for Yours Truly KJS in the Midlands of England this Christmas. One is the annual Roy Wood Christmas bash at The Robin 2 and the other is another seasonal concert by Phil Bates and Tina McBain at Middleton Hall near Tamworth, Staffordshire. This year The Phil Bates and Tina McBain Christmas Show is being held on Saturday 10th December and doubtless will feature not a few surprise and/or special guests. Here is a message from Tina about the event:

"Phil is taking nearly all of December off from live shows, after the hectic year, it's a well deserved break. But we have decided that we will do our annual home town show at the lovely Middleton Hall. We both look forward to this show and we know a lot of you do too. If you haven't been to one of these shows at Middleton Hall, which is a magnificent historic venue in a wonderful setting and a has fabulous atmosphere then this is a perfect way to get into the Christmas spirit. Especially as the hall is bedecked in all its Christmas glory."

Doors open at 7:00PM and the concert will start at 7:30PM. There will be a licensed bar and a glowing fire! Tickets are priced at just £13.50 each and are available here. Folks who will be travelling substantial distances for this show, and would like details of local hostelries for Bed & Breakfast purposes should email Tina, who be able to assist. Should you have any enquiries, please call Tina on (07572) 452680.

ELO Beatles Forever (ELOBF) recommends both Phil Bates and Tina McBain to those enlightened folks who enjoy the music of ELO/Jeff LynneRoy WoodThe MoveThe Idle Race'Brum Beat'The Beatles and related artistes.

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

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Caught Live (4): Beatles Blues & Blue Violin Project @ The Cavern 10/09/11

#244: Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! It was an absolute dream and my great personal pleasure to travel up to Liverpool yesterday [Saturday 10th September] with my ELO gig buddy Christian 'Flares' Evans to attend the much anticipated Beatles Blues and Blue Violin Project (BBBV) gig at the world-famous Cavern Club down in Mathew Street. Folks - it's essential that Yours Truly KJS reminds you of what you are missing if you don't attend a BBBV gig!
This eclectic yet tight folk blues outfit have matured after each performance that I have witnessed. It is [as always] a real pleasure to again witness the craft of ELO violinist Mik Kaminski, the magnificent musical improvisation of guitarist Phil Bates and the soaring yet soulful vocal talents of Tina McBain. Superb performances of Beatles and ELO standards that included "While My Guitar Gently Weeps"; "Evil Woman", "Norwegian Wood", "Midnight Blue" (a moving tribute to the late, great Kelly Groucutt), "Can't Get It Out Of My Head" were mixed in with beautiful folks renditions of less well known songs "Motherless Children" and "One Winters Night"
The fast and furious encore of "Rock 'n' Roll Is King" followed the highlight of the night for this writer "I Am The Walrus" - where I have to admit I have never seen a BBBV audience so animated, engaged and excited. It seemed to naturally right to be hearing the song that inspired Jeff Lynne and Roy Wood to launch the Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) being performed at the Beatles birthplace by musicians closely associated with ELO. It was a fantastic night!
L-R: Tina McBain, Phil Bates, KJS, Mik Kaminski
We really should support in numbers these talented musicians as they ply their trade and bring us ELOThe Beatles, Blues and a Blue Violin live! You can find out what The Beatles Blues and Blue Violin Project (BBBV) are up to by clicking on either of these links thus:

ELO Beatles Forever (ELOBF) recommends The Beatles Blues and Blue Violin Project (BBBV) to those enlightened folks who enjoy the music of ELO/Jeff LynneRoy WoodThe MoveThe Idle Race'Brum Beat'The Beatles and related artistes.

Until next "Time" in the ELO (and related) Universe ... KJS ... 11-Sep-2011

Friday, 9 September 2011

Here Is The News #6

242: Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! In the absence of a new original ELO/Jeff Lynne release and with many thanx both to Chris 'Surrender' Evans and Jerry Palovick's fantastic A Jeff Lynne And Related BlogELO Beatles Forever (ELOBF) has news of  a couple of new SonyBMG/Epic Legacy releases both in the US and here in the UK.

In the United States, an eleven (11) album ELO CD combo (from "No Answer" to "Balance Of Power" - but excluding "Xanadu") entitled "The Classic Albums Collection" is being released on Tuesday 13th September and is available from Pop Market at £49.99 or $79.99 (includes a $20 reduction) and hopefully other reputable retail outlets:

In the United Kingdom, a new 37 track, 2CD compilation entitled "The Essential Electric Light Orchestra" featuring nearly all of the ELO UK single releases from "10538 Overture" to "Latitude 88 North" (including "Do Ya", "It's Over" and "Surrender" but not "Here Is The News" or "Getting To The Point") is to be released on Monday 10th October. It is priced at just £6.77 from and hopefully other reputable retail outlets:

Until next "Time" in the ELO (and related) universe ... KJS ... 09-Sep-2011

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Get Back: BBBV @ The Cavern

#243: Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! This weekend is promising to be a very special one for me. At long last, Yours Truly KJS will be travelling up to Merseyside (with Chris 'Daytripper' Evans) for one night only to catch The Beatles Blues and Blue Violin Project (BBBV) featuring Phil BatesMik Kaminski and Tina McBain playing a much anticipated gig at The Cavern "Down Home Town" in Liverpool (not the original venue but good enough for this purpose) on Saturday 10th September, as part of their current UK tour.

For this writer to see this class act perform their interpretations of not only Beatles but ELO songs in or near the birthplace of The Beatles - who are the progenitors of ELOremember that now famous John Lennon quote that ELO were the "son of Beatles"? - will be another addition to my Musical Milestones list! So why not catch BBBV on their present Autumn 2011 tour? Full details of the tour can be found on the BBBVPhil Bates and Tina McBain web site Tours pages here:

ELO Beatles Forever (ELOBF) recommends The Beatles Blues and Blues Violin Project to those enlightened folks who enjoy the music of ELO/Jeff Lynne, Roy Wood, The Move, Wizzard, The Idle Race, 'Brum Beat', The Beatles and related artistes.

Until next "Time" in the ELO (and related) Universe ... KJS ... 08-Sep-2011

Monday, 5 September 2011

Remembering Steve Midgley

#241: One of the benefits of social media is having the opportunity to 'meet' and dialogue with people who normally would never cross your path for a variety of reasons. Back in 2010 - via a mutual Facebook 'friend' - and as a result of our shared interests in the song construction and compositions of Jeff Lynne (ELO) and our mutual respect for Kelly Groucutt as well as an appreciation of several music genres - Yours Truly KJS connected with musical maestro and virtuoso Steve Midgley.

Steve Midgley: 27th December 1979 to 5th September 2011

Throughout the last year we have 'chatted' and dialogued on his musical history; his current musical projects and life in general. Steve - a self-avowed 'wiccan' - was a humorous and enigmatic person with his fair share of issues. Although we had differing world views; we shared a mutual catalogue of bad jokes and puns w.r.t. Cliff Richard and often discussed other thorny topics.
Steve (above left) was a producer and multi-instrumentalist who - besides being a solo and group artiste in The Lounge LIZZards - had recorded some ELO related material both individually ("Sweet Talkin' Woman") - Please check out the above ELOBF 'YouTube' tribute, with Sean Mack Page ("Oh No Not Susan") and Andy Wood (above centre)("Between Good Friends") amongst others.

He had a great desire to reinterpret some of those ELO classics that he loved. He asked me a few times to help him find a cellist or violinist! But after all that time we spent 'talking' on Facebook chat and the ensuing email correspondence, I now regret that I didn't pick up the telephone to talk to or meet up with him. We had more than one common thread. 

I was so very deeply saddened and indeed shocked to learn today that Steve passed away this morning at the age of just 31 years. It is my personal belief that a fitting tribute to Steve would be to remember his own musical craft; his wit; willingness to share his gifting as well as his love of the Electric Light Orchestra. My condolences and sympathies are extended to Steve, his family and many, many friends.

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... Monday 05-Sep-2011