Thursday, February 19, 2009

KELLY GROUCUTT


Former ELO bassist Kelly Groucutt has died of a heart attack at the age of 63.

News links: BBC

NME    antiMUSIC.com     Associated Press    

From Phil Bates    Bev Bevan     

Kelly Groucutt Official Website announcement.

While there will always be debate about how the ELO story plays out, there's not much debate on Kelly's popularity among fans.  He was outright the most accessible member of that band.  It was Kelly Groucutt who kept the ELO torch lit from the 1990s on and seemingly was the most passionate about it.  It was because of him that so many fans stayed passionate all these years... and still are.
Imagine how many shows ELO Part II played since the early 90s, how many fans wanted to meet the band members after concerts, and how many times he was gracious to let that happen... over and over again.  Think of how many records and CDs have his autograph because he always took enough time to sign everything.  Do you know how many pictures of him with fans are floating around out there?  Thousands, at least.  He had outright friendships with several fans I know personally.  Kelly gave so many fans a rare distinction others will never have.
All of the right and wrong aside, we all lost a very charismatic member of our family today.


28 comments:

Anonymous said...

I saw Kelly and Orchestra in Kansas. He invited a few of us out for drinks at a local pub near the hotel where they were staying.
I bought Kelly, Mik, Lou and Parth a drink (Eric was too focused on beating Parth at pool). So I lift a lonely glass of Guinness ale for you my dear old friend.

swarlock said...

He will be missed greatly. I plan on doing a tribute show in April.

Anonymous said...

I don't have the words to say that will show the world what a beautiful man Kelly was. from the age of 11 - my first concert - i knew this man was to be my hero and in later years my friend. He was the first person i told when anything good happened in my life and he always said 'just make sure you enjoy life' and that's what he did, enjoyed everthing...don't know what more i can say as tears take over. Kelly, my hero and my dear friend - my thoughts are with Anna and family, Kelly found someone just like him it's so sad it has to end here R.I.P hun, and 'Alright like Rach' will be forever with me xxx

Anonymous said...

The guy was such a trooper keeping the light shining despite much criticism from the Lynne worshippers, Where is Jeff Lynne Now? no statement? as usual a no show!

R.I.P Kelly

Jerry said...

I would not count on a statement from Jeff on this one.

Anonymous said...

First of all I am sincerely saddened by the far too soon passing of Kelly Groucutt. He was an important component of the band. But what's with all the Jeff Lynne bashing? Is it "worship" to understand that but for Jeff Lynne there would not have been an Electric Light Orchestra? He wrote and arranged every song they ever recorded AND invited Kelly into the band. Let's not use this as an opportunity to attack Jeff Lynne. I can assure you he had nothing to do with it. Despite their personal differences in more recent years I'm sure he's just as saddened by this great loss.

Jerry said...

I don't feel it's bashing Jeff at all, but I do think some fans were expecting even a short reaction from him. My hunch is there were just too many hard feelings between the two. Some fans held out hope for years, but Kelly's death closes the door on any possibility that band's heyday line-up will reunite.

Ronnie said...

While I am an avid fan and supporter of ELO and Jeff Lynne, I am hugely dissapointed its leader has publicly refused to comment on the death of Kelly Groucutt. Yes, JL produced, arranged, and composed the entire band catalogue during the classic era, but I never subscribed to the "Jeff is ELO...ELO is Jeff" that his "worshippers" are attached to. Yes, the band members should be grateful to have performed with such an extrordinaire talent...and could never come close to achieving this success without his presence. However, JL should be equally impressed with the talented musicians that surrounded him and added life to the band. Artists such as The Cure And Depeche Mode (w/sole songwriters) have endured successfully for nearly 30 years because their leaders put the band first. Since Secret Messages, JL put his ego first and success (except strictly as a producer for TW members from 87-91) has eluded him since.

Anonymous said...

I met Kelly once, and it was a memorable conversation (all 30 minutes of it). He spoke of his love for ELO and Formula 1 racing (though he was never at the Indianapolis race track). Got a great photo of us before an Orchestra gig. He was an integral part of the ELO sound and its tours. Jeff Lynne was always recognized by the other members as being the producer, writer, singer, etc., but it seems in the years since that he's had a very hard time acknowledging the importance of the rest of the band (except Richard, but then again, Richard never toured with Part 2 or Orchestra). I remember ELO in the 1970s, and if Don Arden tried to pass Jeff Lynne off as a solo act, it wouldn't have worked. It worked because 7 guys worked together to create memorable music. In fact, Jeff's public demeanor seems to suggest that once he started working with his "heroes," he was basically saying he moved up from the plebian musicians of ELO.

By my count, Jeff Lynne has maybe played 3 concerts in the United States since 1981. This should tell all of us something. I give Kelly, Bev, and the rest of the guys in Part 2 and the Orchestra credit for keeping the ELO music alive. At least they didn't have to cancel a tour because of a lack of ticket sales.

Serena said...

Ah, Jerry, bless you for this, short and very sweet. Kelly was a unique man in this business it seems, and the many outpourings of affection from all corners of the world in this past week confirm this. I first met him in 1988 as a very starstruck 21 year old as I'd been a fan since the age of 13. I was probably terrifying but he was very sweet and very gracious and made me feel like an old friend. His last words to me were "drive safely, please" (he always said this to me after gigs). Well wherever he is now, I hope he's following his own advice. RIP Kelly and thank you again Jerry.

movejefflynnelo said...

I think many of us have forgotten how many loved ones and friends Jeff Lynne has lost over the years. His parents, Del Shannon, Roy Orbison, George Harrison and who knows how many others. Jeff could be having a hard time and guilt over his falling out with Kelly. He also may not want to bring attention to himself when we should be thinking of Kelly. Perhaps at another time Jeff will feel comfortable enough to express his condolences on the loss of Kelly Groucutt. It is not our place to judge or criticize how another human being handles their grief. Sometimes we forget as fans (short for fanatic) that we don't have right to impose our wishes and desires onto the people we idolize and worship. As human beings our idols or heroes have the right to live their own lives as they see fit.

Bob said...

I saw Kelly once with ELO and twice with Part II. It would have been more but Part II / The Orchestra have not played nearby since 1996.

I did not have the good fortune to meet Kelly, but judging from the comments of many fans who did meet him, he was a genuinely nice guy. My sympathies especially to those fans who got to know him personally.

I'm disappointed that some people are using Kelly's passing as an opportunity to take shots at Jeff.

Ronnie writes: "I am hugely dissapointed its leader has publicly refused to comment on the death of Kelly Groucutt".

I don't recall Jeff being asked to comment and publicly refusing to do so. Jeff has not released a statement; that's a different thing than refusing to comment.

Ronnie again: "Since Secret Messages, JL put his ego first and success (except strictly as a producer for TW members from 87-91) has eluded him since."

If Jeff were putting his ego first in the last quarter century, he would not have spent the vast majority of his time producing other artists. And it's inconsistent to say "JL should be equally impressed with the talented musicians that surrounded him and added life to the band" and then describe Jeff as strictly a producer for TW members while ignoring his talented multi-instrumental musicianship that added life to the recordings.

"Anonymous" writes "Jeff's public demeanor seems to suggest that once he started working with his 'heroes,' he was basically saying he moved up from the plebian musicians of ELO."

What "public demeanor" are you referring to? How can a demeanor possibly suggest what you are implying? Jeff has produced Dave Morgan, Miss B Haven and Julianna Raye since he started producing his heroes. That hardly suggests elitism or snobbishness.

"By my count, Jeff Lynne has maybe played 3 concerts in the United States since 1981. This should tell all of us something."

It should tell us he prefers being in the recording studio to performing live. So what?

"I give Kelly, Bev, and the rest of the guys in Part 2 and the Orchestra credit for keeping the ELO music alive."

They did a great job entertaining the fans who went to their concerts, and good for them for giving enjoyment to the fans, but ELO music would hardly have died without them. Do you give credit to Elvis impersonators for keeping his music alive?

"At least they didn't have to cancel a tour because of a lack of ticket sales."

Given the fact that tickets for 11 of the 25 concerts on the Zoom tour never went on sale, and 3 others had been on sale for only 2 days when the tour was cancelled, Jeff didn't have a tour cancelled for that reason either. It's apples and oranges anyway since Part II played in the USA at much smaller venues and ribfests, not the arenas that the Zoom tour had booked.

Very nice words, Serena. I'm glad you were able to enjoy Kelly's talents so often over the years. Best wishes to you and all of Kelly's fans who are hurting right now.

Anonymous said...

I hail from Ireland and have been an ELO fanatic for a long time.I was deeply shocked to hear about Kelly's death.What a waste.Anyhow,I feel that in regard to the ELO sound,all members contributed to it and when I listen to their music I don't just think of Jeff Lynne,but all of them.THEY were the ELO sound!Fantastic music and simply out of this world!

Anonymous said...

I became fascinated with the band in 1976, at the age of 11, when my brother brought home an ELO album "A New World Record." We then went out and purchased "Eldorado" too, then the rest of the collection etc...At that young age I didn't think of ELO as Jeff Lynne's band. I thought of the collection of the group, however Lynnes style was second to none and "the sound" of the band. In the begining it seemed the band wanted to create an orchestral rock n roll sound. They did it! I have been a fan for a long time, never met the band members. Saw the "Time" tour in 1981. I was ecsatatic when Lynne would work with other groups/acts. Tom Petty was also a favorite. I am sad about the loss of Kelly Groucutt. He was a unique and important part of ELO. Don't battle with Lynne's lack of public statements, he has always been that way. We can't change history, only appreciate the gifts that Kelly and ELO brought to this world.

Anonymous said...

We all know how we can become somewhat personally attached to performers as if we know them. While some actually have been so lucky, it is overshadowed by those who haven't been as fortunate. That said, I'm sure Jeff Lynne has had his own, private thoughts regarding Kelly's passing. As far as people making harsh judgment of JL, consider this: Have any of those people watched the video of Paul McCartney's solicited reaction of John Lennon's passing? I don't want to be too judgmental myself, but I believe he mentioned somewhere in his reaction, how it was "a drag." Now, I know some people tend to use certain terms in their own way; but to me this is a modern day "that sucks." I love the Beatles -- each and every one for different reasons. And, I know there was quite the fallout there. But even though Paul may have been somewhat in shock, and didn't want to have too much of a spotlight on him at the time, but all I can think to his reaction, is "wow." Maybe I haven't read some blog out there, lambasting Paul for what seemed like a fairly cold reaction, to what most people where shocked and saddened; but I feel there are some real JL haters out there, who just can't let go.

Anonymous said...

It's nonsense to criticize Jeff at this time.
Jeff was never the most extrovert guy.
It's time to say goodbye to Kelly, an integral part of the most successful ELO, that of 1975-1983, and a very funny and energetic musicien on stage as I saw when attending a concert two days ago in Madrid.
I was really concerned when I heard about his lost

graham said...

i met kelly at a scout hut in coseley (i live in bilston)when they were promoting the discovery album. i was only a kid but he took the time to say hi and let us all ask questions individually. he was in no rush 2 get out of there as some stars wouldve been and he signed my 12" dont bring me down single which i still have. i'm now 44yrs old but still remember that day like yesterday and always will. thanx kelly. ur were a true gent and are sadly missed.

mreloo said...

this is my thought 2 years later Kelly was my fav elo member I say there is no elo with out Kelly and yes without Jeff L. but Kelly did something special for elo. And even if Jeff treated his bands mates as employees that's cool what ever works but even a employer when he is successful will share some of the wealth with his employees (or at least they should)Now even if what Jeff did to Kelly is only 50% true which is... after elo goes to the stratosphere in record sales..concert attendance...Jeff's got 40 million in the bank (payed Kelly 85,000/year) ends elo and can't write his "employee" a check for 1 or 2 million for helping get elo to the top.. NOOOOO he makes him beg and sue for 500,000 Jeff Lynne is a big JERK end of story.

Anonymous said...

What is all this digging at Jeff Lynne.So what if he's got 40 million in the bank,jeff didn't receive this amount by playing for ELO.And i'm sure that JL didn't have that amount at the time of Secret Messages.Jeff's only (if it's true)got this amount because of the work he has done for ELO and after i.e working with the various artist' since about 1984 plus copyright's he would have received when the music he has written has been used in film's etc.And the money Kelly received when sueing was agreed on all parties.JL has earned his financies through the hard work he has put in over the years and is a repected producer in the music industry.Don't get me wrong i have nothing against Kelly, he was a gentlman,showman and a professional musican.If JL never commented on The death of a wonderful and enchanted person such as Kelly,then there are reason's for it.If there was any disagreement's with them,then it was between them and them alone,who are we to judge,is there anyone you don't see eye to eye with?,what if they died,what would you say?'Oh sorry to hear that'.Come on let's get real about this.What ever happened,happened,and not for anyone to abuse someone's name.Let's remember Kelly for who he was and not drag up something that happen some 28 years ago.They have let sleeping dog's lie,so should we.

Anonymous said...

JUST WANT TO SAY HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO DEAR KELLY, AND HOPE HE IS SINGING
IN HEAVEN AND SHINING AS THE BRIGHTEST STAR TONIGHT.

mreloo said...

I don't care if Jeff commented on Kelly's death or not, what bothered me is why Jeff Lynne after becoming successful with ELO could not...give his band mate (employee) the guy who helped sell records and make elo popular.. could not have given his (employee) a parting bonus, nooo he makes him beg and sue and he tells him to read his contract, Jeff Lynne is a jackass.. also Jeff L. was my fav person in all of music till he showed his true color's

Anonymous said...

Jeff Lynne did turn out to be a jackass.

Scott Bowling said...

Jeff thanked everyone in E.L.O. in the box set Flashback, and that meant Kelly too.

Unknown said...

Well you know how geniuses can be - moody and weird are just two of the adjectives to describe them - but I also think Jeff gets pissed off easily when he feels used and just reacts accordingly. I want to know who came up with the name "Electric Light Orchestra". Was is Jeff or Roy Wood?

Carlo Evangelisti said...

Without JF no ELO so shut the fuck up with bashing on HIM...clear???

Scott Bowling said...

J.F.? I think you mean J.L.! get your facts right, and stop swearing! this is supposed to be user friendly. I do appreciate you standing up for jeff though. he's the mastermind of the e.l.o. concept. people need to respect the decisions he makes. he doesn't care if you don't support him. if you do, that's great.

Anonymous said...

For some strange reason I was googling the ELO members a came across Kelly's passing. My heart sank. My first album that I bought with my own money was "a new world record." I HAVE never thought of JL as ELO. One look at the album sleeve and you see all seven of those guys and Kelly with that wicked awesome handle bar mustache. We are all getting older and nothing reminds us more of our own mortality than the passing of a friend or hero no matter the circumstances of that relationship. RIP Kelly. We will all see you again in are own time.

Anonymous said...

Just watching ELO at Glastonbury- Kelly would have loved being on stage in front of those thousands of fans