EXPIRED: 09/03/10 – Mike Edwards, 62, was a pioneer in ‘rock’ but it was the ‘roll’ that eventually killed him.

While driving on his the highway near his home in the English countryside a big round bale of hay weighing over 1300 pounds rolled down a hillside and smashed into his van.

He didn’t know what hit him.

A cellist focusing on classical music, Edwards was coaxed into becoming a founding member of Jeff Lynne’s groundbreaking British rock ensemble the Electric Light Orchestra.

He played as a member of the band from their 1st live gig in Croydon in 1972 and he was a major draw. What other band had a cello player? Better yet, what other band had a cellist who would play the instrument with an orange or grapefruit? His signature piece was the spastic cello solo that ended in the instrument exploding in an amazing display of fire and smoke during the song “The Dying Swan.”

Edwards contributed to their debut album as well as  ELO II, On the Third Day, The Night The Light Went On (In Long Beach) and Eldorado.

He quit in 1975 when the band’s success in America started to keep him away from his family too long.  He was later replaced as cellist by Melvyn Gale. When he returned to England he turned back to more classical endeavors and took a job teaching the cello to others.

Later in life he became a Zen-Buddist Swami known as Deva Pramada, or simply Pramada, and was known for composing music as a key member of Devon Baroque and the L’Ardito Baroque Trio, small musical groups based near his hometown of Totnes in Devon, England.

A bale of hay. I can’t get it out of my head…



One response to “RIP – MIKE EDWARDS

  1. I am absolutely devastated by the news. Had UK friends to visit and we spoke about this wonderful friend and incredibly talented, kind and patient cello teacher on Sunday night….
    I met Mike when he was rehearsing for the very first concert of the Devon Baroque at Foxhole, Dartington Hall…. I asked him if he would knew a teacher for myself, obviously he wouldn’t want to give lessons to me, as an accomplished player. He did… 🙂
    Mike was my much loved teacher while I lived in Torquay and I’ve never found another equally human, modest and yet talented genius to make me love my cello as much as I do since playing with him..
    I was SO looking forward to seeing him again next year and I cannot believe that he had already to return to his maker.
    I am very, very sad and I shall miss him and his quiet smile, his long pauses before he said something and his ‘heavy breathing’ when playing his lovely, warm and ‘living’ instrument.
    RIP dearest friend – may you form another orchestra with the angels in paradise!
    Kiki (TQ from 1997-2005)

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