Founding ELO member Mike Edwards killed in freak accident

September 6, 2010 | by | 0 Comments

Mike Edwards, a former member of the band the Electric Light Orchestra, was killed after his van was crushed by a hay bale, police said yesterday.

Mike was a founding member of ELO and played cello with the group from heir first live gig in 1972 until he departed in January 1975.

He he quit to become a Buddhist and later changed his name to Deva Pramada because of his religious convictions.

Mike’s eccentric cello playing – including plucking the strings with an orange or grapefruit – and bizarre costumes were a major ingredient of ELO.

He played cello on albums ELO II, On the Third Day, The Night The Light Went On (In Long Beach) and Eldorado.

Mike died instantly in the accident on the A381 in Halwell, Devon, on Friday.

Police believe a 600kg hay bale fell from a tractor on nearby farmland before rolling on to the road.

Steve Walker of the Devon and Cornwall police traffic unit said they were trying to contact his family.

He said: ”This was a tragic accident and we have now identified the victim as Michael Edwards, a founder member of ELO.

”We have used photographs and YouTube footage to identify him but now we need help contacting his family.

”We don’t believe he was ever married and we have identified an ex girlfriend but she is currently aboard.

”We think he may have a brother called David in the Yorkshire area and we obviously need to contact him.

”Michael has no immediate family but we believe he may have taught some cello in the area and would ask his students to contact us if they know of any relations.”

After he left ELO, Mike was replaced as cellist by Melvyn Gale.

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