The Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) were always one of my favorite bands, and in the midst of one of their most creative periods I welcomed drummer and co-founder Bev Bevan to the studio on December 5, 1977.
Although Jeff Lynne would eventually emerge as the group’s de facto leader, it was Bev who was the band’s spokesman. We discussed their origins as The Move and how they transitioned into ELO, breaking new ground with orchestral rock. I asked how he felt about being compared to The Beatles and he unknowingly referenced a comment John Lennon had made about them on my show just a few years earlier. Bev explained the process behind their graphics and album covers including A New World Record which featured the very colorful ELO logo floating above the New York skyline at night. It was the perfect opportunity to share the story of how I just happened to be playing that very album only a few months before at the very moment that New York City plunged into darkness with a major summer blackout.
It was ELO that was spinning on the turntable during my show just a few months earlier on July 13, 1977 when a major blackout crippled the New York area. Here’s how it sounded at WNEW-FM when Scott Muni and I returned to the airwaves the following day.