Local boy makes good

Hailing frequencies open… Forums Media Music Mr. Blue Sky Local boy makes good

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    Official press release:


    The lad from Shard End, Birmingham who gained global fame as the frontman and co-founder of ELO (Electric Light Orchestra), Jeff Lynne, is to be honoured with a star on Birmingham’s Walk of Stars on Thursday 13th March 2014.

    The composer, music producer and Brummie rock hero will join fellow musicians Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi and Roy Wood, in having a star etched with his name on Broad Street, in the heart of the city’s convention and entertainment quarter.

    Last year he was awarded a star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame in recognition of a vast and illustrious career that has included a highly successful production and writing career, a solo career and the creative force behind the fifty million record-selling Electric Light Orchestra. After the undoubted success of ELO, between 1972 and 1986, Lynne wrote and produced 26 Top Forty hits in the United Kingdom, and 20 Top Forty hits in the United States.

    As a producer, Jeff Lynne has worked with some of the biggest names in music, including Roy Orbison, Del Shannon, George Harrison, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, and remarkably, even the Beatles themselves, as well as contemporaries like Tom Petty and Joe Walsh. Together with Harrison, Orbison, Petty and Bob Dylan, Lynne was, of course, a member of the Grammy award-winning Traveling Wilburys–a super group like no other.

    Last year Jeff Lynne released his first solo record in twenty years ‘Long Wave’ which went in at number 5 where it was quickly joined by the remastered ‘Mr. Blue Sky’ (debuting at 7) and ‘All Over The World – The Best Of ELO’ (debuting at 10) all in the same week! In 2014 Jeff Lynne is still working hard on his music and has written a new track for the Hollywood blockbuster, American Hustle, which was announced Winner in the best Motion Picture (Musical or Comedy) category at the Golden Globes on 12th January 2014.

    Lynne will be presented with a duplicate of the commemorative star by his good friend, comedian Jasper Carrott, himself a recipient of a star in 2007, at a private ceremony to be held at the city’s new Library of Birmingham.

    Jasper Carrott, chair of the Walk of Stars said “Jeff’s accomplishments in the field of music are almost too many to mention. As well as being responsible for some of the most classic pop songs of all time, he’s also an outstanding producer and multi-instrumentalist whose passion for music has never waned. We’re delighted that he’s found time to come home to Birmingham and take his rightful place on the Walk of Stars.”

    Jeff said: “I’m thrilled to be included on the Birmingham Walk of Stars! It’s great to have my work recognised in my own hometown!”

    Bloody hell, what took them this long?

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    Hey, at least he was still alive when they finally decided to honor him.


    And here’s the money shot [LINK]:

    It’s the photo the fans had been clamouring for – ELO legends Jeff Lynne and Roy Wood back together.

    The old pals were reunited for the first time in 20 years as Jeff received his star on Birmingham’s Broad Street Walk of Stars.

    There was a handshake, an awkward hug, and then the memories flowed.

    “Genius is an over-used word, but Roy is a real genius,” said Jeff afterwards. “It was Roy who came up with the idea of putting a cello on ELO’s first single, 10538 Overture. Before that there weren’t any strings. And that was despite the fact that he couldn’t really play the thing, and I can’t read music. But Roy has an amazing talent of being able to pick up any instrument, and to be able to play it straight away. It was Roy who invited me to join The Move all those years ago, and from that came the Electric Light Orchestra.”

    Woody was just as excited about the reunion.

    “It’s certainly been a long time,” he said.

    Roy also broke the news to his old pal that he’s just become a grandad for the first time, after daughter Holly gave birth in the US, where she lives.

    Will they work together again? The jury’s out.

    My reading of the situation is that the heart says yes, but the head says no. It’s been 20 years, and they’ve carved out separate lives and careers. Certainly, a full-blown reunion of the surviving ELO members seems out of the question. There’s been rather too much water under the bridge for that to happen.

    It’s more likely that Jeff – if he can be lured out of the studio – would play a few gigs with a bunch of his friends, with a setlist including songs drawn from his ELO, Traveling Wilburys and solo catalogues. But might Jeff and Roy collaborate on a song or two, even by transatlantic telephone line? They’ve promised to keep in touch. Hold on tight to that dream.

    Please tell me that Roy Wood’s daughter Holly goes by a married name. Otherwise that would mean her name is…

    And Jeff and Roy HAVE collaborated since ELO. Two songs were recorded circa 1990, never officially released though somehow they still made their way out into the napsterverse in embarrassing low-quality form, never to return to the genie bottle. One of the two songs, “Me and You“, is just sensational – any new collaboration between the two would be awesome, song title puns in the last paragraph aside. Roy Wood basically paid for his retirement by writing and recording “I Wish It Was Christmas Every Day”, so he’s set for life (and still plays live just because he wants to, not because he needs to); it’s sad that his solo career basically ended with a holiday novelty song though, however enduring it might be.

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    @Earl wrote:

    Please tell me that Roy Wood’s daughter Holly goes by a married name. Otherwise that would mean her name is…

    Better than “Moon Unit” or “Dweezil”.

    “All parts should go together without forcing. You must remember that the parts you are reassembling were disassembled by you. Therefore, if you can’t get them together again, there must be a reason. By all means, do not use a hammer.” —IBM Manual, 1925


    Better ask her brother Balsa* first.

    * purely conjectural.

    Steve W
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    Better than her other sister Morning.

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    Or Eye-got.


    Jeff Lynne got a star on the Hollywood walk of fame today. You can see video messages he got from Paul McCartney and Eric Idle at the [LINK]

    It’s not hard to find the irony when someone as private and reclusive as musician-producer Jeff Lynne is honored with a star on the Walk of Fame amongst one of the most tourist-populated streets in the world.

    “I think it is marvelous,” says Lynne, who now resides in a sprawling mansion in Beverly Hills, complete with a world-class recording studio. “I never could have imagined this chap from Birmingham, England, would have his name on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. I know it’s a real populist thing and all that stuff, and it’s not usually my style, but you can’t turn that down! I am thrilled.”

    But perhaps most importantly, he is set to release the band’s first album since 2001’s “Zoom.” Lynne will then take to the road starting in the fall. All the members in his ELO are new, except for original keyboardist Richard Tandy.

    “It’s going to be called Jeff Lynne’s ELO, which is how it will always be from now on,” he says, a reference to the long-touring band called the Orchestra, which other former ELO members continue to work with.

    That pretty much pegs this “Jeff Lynne’s ELO” album as a summer release at the latest. So I get a new ELO album and a new Star Wars movie this year? Oh, and a new season of Doctor Who? The hell is this, 1977?

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