Some Time On Earth (Or Something Like Earth)

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Why I'm annoyed:

1.)That an excellent band such as The Orchestra is now acting like weasels by promoting themselves as Electric Light Orchestra Part II (Former Members) instead of proudly promoting themselves as The Orchestra. This is not some argument based on semantics or principle ("well, we are former members of ELO Part II", "Gordon never was a member." "Oh... er... well we are!"); this nothing more than an exhibit of a failure of confidence in their ability to draw under their own name and downright short sighted greediness. Yes, a lot of people want to see The Orchestra perform in UK and a lot more people want to see ELO (with Jeff Lynne) perform in UK, but The Orchestra performing as ELO in the UK (excuse me, ELO Pt II, Former Members) is just borderline dishonest or over the line weaselnomics. I like the music, I can't stand the dishonesty promoting the music.
2.)Jeff Lynne's public reticence or caginess about performing or recording as ELO again or not. The name ELO is Jeff's and he is free to do with the name ELO as he pleases. Jeff has been busy working on innumerable projects and I am grateful for all the stuff so far. Heck, overjoyed would be an understatement. But after "The Disappointment" of 2001, there has not been any clue or word to what is happening with ELO. I do not mean re-issues or remasters. I mean newly recorded ELO albums with new never been released until now ELO songs. An ELO tour. At least an ELO rehearsal.
3.)After the surprise success of AOTW compilation in the UK, Europe and Australia and New Zealand, a forthcoming Jeff Lynne or ELO tour in those territories on the heels of that release would have looked like a sure fire success. No lasers, no space ships, just a sensible, simple, play the music and get off on the crowds, good feeling tour. For his own good reasons, that has not been Jeff's choice or desire at the moment. So I am not surprised that The Orchestra and their management (which has been chomping at the bit to tour the UK for six years) decided to take advantage of the current upsurge in the popularity of ELO 's music in the UK. But not as The Orchestra. As a sneaky ersatz ELO reunion tour. And so far not a peep from Jeff's management (or lawyers) concerning this turn of affairs.
4.)Kelly's vague hope that somehow Jeff Lynne will reconcile with him someday. This sounds very touching and all, but I'm growing suspect now of that this public display of wistfulness is any attempt at rapprochement but merely public relations. I'm sure if Kelly really wanted at least some kind of detente between himself and Jeff Lynne, he would distance himself from this band and not pursue any ersatz ELO type projects. (You have to hand it to Roy Wood, when he left the ELO in 1972, he didn't form a competing ELO type band, he created something that was totally unlike ELO. The relationship between him and Bev and Jeff was somewhat strained afterwards but they manged to patch things up and remain friendly in a relatively short time afters)

Wouldn't it be reasonable if Jeff licensed the name ELO and Electric Light Orchestra to this group of performers (who ARE very good musicians and entertainers and who want to perform his music very very much and don't disgrace the music at all), take his cut, and record and perform as a solo artist, in the manner of Brian Wilson's latter day career, performing his old ELO songs alongside any of his newer songs? I'm sure the audience/fans would support both artists.

All that being said and off the chest, I am grateful for all the music and entertainment from all parties concerned over the years. I just find it so annoying and sometimes disheartening about all the shenanigans that goes on concerning ELO. Good gracious, I know I'm going to fall off my chair and froth at the mouth, if one day Bev Bevan decides to hang up his drumsticks again and the remaining members of the current lineup hire a replacement and continue performing as Used To Be Bev Bevan's Move (UTB3M?), and then Bev hooks up with Denny Laine after forty years and starts the Diplomats all over again!


At 12:02 PM, Blogger Jim said...

I agree across the board. The Orchestra are a pretty decent group, but they need to stand and fall on their own.

And Jeff needs to get back into the recording studio and get us some new material ASAP.

I think he owes us that much, don't you?

At 4:00 PM, Blogger lastangelman said...

Jeff really didn't owe his legion fans anything until he promulgated that ELO was back on track in 2001. Granted that train was derailed by poor promotion of ZOOM by Sony Music in USA, Jeff's management booking ELO in large capacity arenas that for the most part couldn't sell enough tickets to justify the engagements, instead of starting out at smaller venues and working their way up, committments to finish producing Brainwashed for George Harrison, etcetera. He could have regularly updated the fans via FTM website and the Showdown mailing list what was on the cards for ELO as a recording entity and performance group. But that is all water under the bridge.

Jeff has been in the studio and has been doing tons of stuff, but it's not been about any new ELO album. It's mainly been producing other people's material and remastering previous ELO recordings. AOTW's chart success took many people (pleasantly) by surprise, especially Jeff, but Jeff has not indicated whether he saw this as an opportunity to get ELO back on track. The Orchestra's management saw AOTW as a golden opportunity and struck while the iron was hot. Many fans in UK were initially delighted at the prospect of The Orchestra performing on their turf for the first time in six years, but were very dismayed at the gambit the band, its management and the concert promoters used to promulgate the shows and sell tickets.What's losing a little goodwill and selling your soul if you can put a little extra filthy lucre in your pocket?


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