Bolan Joins E.L.O / Jeff Lynne
Journalist Mike Beale, writing for ELO's local newspaper The Birmingham Mail, could barely contain the excitement of his headline (see original feature). Here were ELO, the local band and pride of Brum with a couple of Top 10 hits to their name, teaming up with Marc Bolan, the UK's most famous pop phenomenon since The Beatles. Many hoped some reflected superstardom would rub off on ELO, while others nodded wisely and pointed to a connection between Jeff Lynne and Bolan that went back to the sixties and Jeff's first band, The Idle Race. The friendship between the two musicians began when the Idle Race performed an electric, supercharged cover of Deborah. Marc witnessed this one night and according to the band, their version made such an impression on him it influenced his decision to change from performing acoustically to electric. An acetate recording of the live performance has recently been discovered and should appear on an Idle Race anthology later in 2003, so everyone will have the chance to judge for themselves. From that point on, Marc regularly dropped in on Idle Race recording sessions (though he just sat quietly and listened) and a mutual appreciation for each's songwriting skills developed. After Jeff left the Idle Race and joined The Move to develop ELO with Roy Wood during 1970 - 1972, the future ELO-leader also found time to play guitar on a T-Rex recording session.
The new remastered edition of ELO 2 contains a previously unreleased three-song session ELO recorded with Marc Bolan in 1973. Marc plays twin-lead guitar with Jeff on two songs and takes a lead guitar solo on a completely unknown and only recently discovered Jeff Lynne original ELO song entitled Everyone's Born To Die. Marc also lent Jeff his 1953 Gibson Firebird for hit single Showdown's guitar solo and just over a week later, joined ELO onstage at Watford Town Hall on Tuesday 10 April 1973. Their encore of Roll Over Beethoven was roared on by the audience and had to be extended to fifteen minutes to satisfy the screaming crowd.
**UPDATE ** I was able to get a clip of one of the songs Marc worked on with Jeff called "Mambo 4000" ...a small treat but you can- towards the end of clip - Here Marc's stamp on what is the rest of the track Marc & ELO