Out Of The Blue Comes The Electric Light Orchestra

Posted: August 14, 2013 by generationgbooks in Music


The year was 1977. I was four at the time. The Electric Light Orchestra did not enter my awareness zone until much, much later.  I harbor an unconfirmed suspicion that my mom was a fan. There’s no way that I knew what the words to “Evil Woman” were right off the bat when I heard it played by Stanky Steven, unless it had been leaked into my subconscious at a young age by my mom.  I never saw any ELO albums or 8- tracks in her collection, but considering that she burned or gave away most of her possessions before she passed, there’s a possibility that there may have been some lodging in her collection. Another thing I will never know, unfortunately.

As I have said in several other blog postings, SS was good for a few things during our “relationship”. One of them was that he helped me find my inner classic rock child. Through him, I rediscovered the joys of Steve Winwood and Traffic, Eric Clapton, The Animals, Elton John (my obsession with Funeral For a Friend (Love Lies Bleeding) was his doing), among others. He had the cheap ELO greatest compilation with the gold epaulette on the cover. “Evil Woman” was the first song he played for me. “You made a fool out of me, but them broken dreams have got to end.” Oddly enough, not only did I immediately think to myself that it was a great opening lyric, but that it was also the universe delivering me another signal to run from the hell I had gotten myself into with SS. Anyway, that was the beginning of my love of The Electric Light Orchestra.

At this time, I was still stuck in grief, I was stuck in a job as a pizza place manager, and I was now stuck in a co-dependent abusive relationship. Certainly not the way anyone imagines their 24th year. As throughout my life, music was my salvation. I used to go browsing with Mark Serafin, my friend from LCP, for records at Beautiful Day in Lagrange. Many times, since neither Mark nor I drove (still the case!),  our mutual friend Bryon Czaja, got drafted to take us. There were many days where I grabbed handfuls of CD’s and albums, and took them over there and sold them. SS was not only an emotional tailspin, he was a financial fiscal downturn. The number of wonderful music that I had to let go, due to someone who loved me draining me out of what I had, sickens me to this day. Word to the wise; if they think nothing of your hard earned money paying for their good times, it won’t last.

Regardless, one day when Mark and I were there, he pulled out a vinyl copy of ELO’s Out of the Blue. Out of the Blue is 2 vinyls. Jeff Lynne & Co. put 4 songs on each side. The cover is the one with the ELO mothership featured prominently on the cover. It’s the same mothership from their previous record A New World Record. The vinyl came with a cardboard insert of the space station, and a poster of ELO. It was gatefold, so it also folded out. To say it is awesome in person is an understatement. It truly is an awesome vinyl presentation, especially as this was 1977, and the disco revolution was spinning its Rose Royce wheels in the gravel driveways of almost all. Mark was well familiar with ELO, and a huge fan. I would have to say that he seriously had more of an effect on me with ELO than SS did.  A fight did ensue over the album, but I had more dinero on me, so I got the album. Mark settled, not happily, with The Alan Parsons Project album Tales of Mystery and Imagination. 

This record doesn’t contain “Evil Woman”although it my favorite ELO song. It does, however, contain, “Night In The City”, which is easily my 2nd favorite ELO song.  Also, “Turn To Stone” and “Mr. Blue Sky”I wasn’t overly familiar with most of the rest of the material on the record sleeve, but it didn’t matter. I had to have it.

The album immediately got placement in my room. On top of the aforementioned nuclear record player. Mark, since he was practically also living in my house at the time, thought I was mocking him. It sat there for months. The first and last thing I saw was the ELO ship. Until SS took it down one day and packed it away in my record crate, and replaced it with a Britney Spears album. As you can guess, one more death knell to the relationship. NO ONE takes my motherfucking records down. NO ONE. Even now, no one takes my records, or touches my records. I am incredibly fierce with vinyl, and the Spaceship continues on with me to this day. SS does not.


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