Friday, 5 October 2012

Jeff Lynne playing a Veleno aluminium guitar with ELO in 1973 Speaking of aluminium guitars...

I saw this archive clip on television earlier this week: the Electric Light Orchestra playing "Showdown" from a 1973 edition of BBC1's Top Of The Pops. I was very interested to see that Jeff Lynne was playing a Veleno guitar. Veleno guitars were legendary for having been completely crafted from aluminium and for featuring a real ruby inset into the headstock.

Note how in typical Top Of The Pops fashion, when the song goes into the guitar solo, the camera focusses on the drums! When the camera DOES alight onto the guitar then they apply a colour synthesizer to the image. Frustrating for all us guitar spotters!

As well as having a new solo album of cover versions due to be released, Jeff Lynne has recently re-recorded 12 classic ELO songs playing all the instruments himself, which is being released as "Mr. Blue Sky - The Very Best of Electric Light Orchestra". You can read more about this project in this Music Radar interview.

G L Wilson

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  1. Check out Climax Blues Band and Grand Funk for more Velenos. And Todd Rundgren played a custom Veleno that was shaped like an ankh.

    I started playing in 1973. I used to watch as much music TV as possible back then (Midnight Special, Don Kirchner's Rock Concert, etc.). There was a definite camera style as pertains to music back then. As you've noted they never focused on the guitar enough (focusing too much on the singer, of course), and even on the rare occasions when they would shoot the guitar player doing a solo, they would always focus on the picking hand. Very frustrating when you're trying to pick up licks in the pre-internet days.

  2. Well it was all playback, and even when everybody knew it, it used to be too pathetic to see your idols acting like they were playing.
    So the most easy way to solve it, is connecting the camera looking to some girl´s arse in the "solo" moments.



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