I just learned today that the Mellotron was first introduced in Birmingham. So I Googled "Mellotron and ELO" and up came this terrific interview (likely it's been posted before). The article bounces around, but the part I enjoyed most was Jeff talking about his early days. And sure enough - Jeff had a Mellotron in the front room of his parents home.
GM: What instruments did you have in your makeshift studio in your parent’s front room at your house in Birmingham?
JL: It was a primitive set up. I had an acoustic and electric guitar, a piano, a Mellotron. I got a bass by then, one of those Hofner Beatle basses. So in ’68, I could make complete records in my front room, even in those days, with bass, drums, guitar, piano, vocal, harmonies. The sound might not have been top-of-the line studio quality, but you could still hear the ideas. I was also learning a lot about mic placement. For example, to get this great snare drum on the piano stool, I’d have to put the mic in a certain place. I realized it sounded much bigger if you placed it the wrong way, so you were getting the sound reflection off the wall. It sounded like, “WHACK!” It would be a revelation to me. And then, for the bass drum, I’d put a mic with some foam rubber over it and punch it for the bass drum sound. It was a really powerful bass drum sound. So that was all a great education for me. I was teaching myself everything without leaving the front room of my mom and dad’s house (laughs.) And it was brilliant learning how to construct a song and make it so you could play it for somebody.
I hadn't read that Goldmine article before, from 2013. I especially like this section of the interview where he is asked about Balance Of Power:
GM: Before ELO took a long break and resumed with 2001’s “Zoom,” the band’s last album was 1986’s “Balance of Power,” which remains a strong record with stellar songs like “Getting to the Point,” “Heaven Only Knows” and “So Serious.” There’s a somber and resigned tone to much of the material. Did you know going in this would be band’s swan song?
JL: Yes. I agree. I love that album. To me, “Balance of Power” is one of my favorite ELO albums. It was supposed to be the last ELO album at that point. It was the end of a series of albums I had to do to fulfill my contract. That album didn’t break through like it should, because of politics with the record company not promoting it, thinking “Let’s cut our losses.”
I noticed P Hux used a Mellotron on his latest album and today there's a story about how the Mellotron is making a comeback. I'll have to read through my FOON booklet to see if there's any mention of one.
elophile: OH, Yes! Will you take a little sip when no one is looking?
Jun 23, 2020 20:10:41 GMT
Horacewimp: I’ll check and see if he takes sugar ::smileys-thumbs-951446::
Jun 23, 2020 20:47:50 GMT
elophile: I bet he takes honey... good for the vocal chords!
Jun 26, 2020 0:41:49 GMT
elophile: And no milk. You don't want to get all phlegmy...
Jun 26, 2020 0:42:37 GMT
Grroosss: Well. I discovered r/ELOcirclejerk and the ELO Discord yesterday. Lots to offer (and fans my age!) but too much chaos to take in all at once... Feels good to be back home ::animated-smileys-hug-008::
Jun 30, 2020 22:06:28 GMT
BSJ: Circlejerk is waaaaaay out there!
Jun 30, 2020 22:53:00 GMT
Helmut83: Is there an ELO Discord? Good data, Grroosss! Gotta check it out, I've been a regular at discord since about two months ago when quarentine boredom drove me there.
Jul 5, 2020 3:12:01 GMT
Helmut83: I couldn't find it though. Maybe you got mixed up with Reddit?
Jul 5, 2020 3:18:29 GMT
orioles70: hope all good forum members saved some fireworks to set off tonight for 50th anniversary festivities, I personally arranged for a comet to arrive right on schedule, try to Zoom in with your telescope and see the bright orange and blue streamers
Jul 14, 2020 1:58:56 GMT
BIuebird: Hello forum friends! I apologize for my long absence, we've had quite a bit of stressful stuff going on.
Jul 14, 2020 13:49:08 GMT
Horacewimp: Hey BIuebird great to see you back hope you are keeping well ::c0112::
Jul 14, 2020 14:16:05 GMT
BSJ: Hi BIuebird! Happy to see you! ::t31232::
Jul 14, 2020 18:05:14 GMT