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Cellist Mike Edwards, a founding member of Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) was killed by a giant bale

by Dan
September 6, 2010 at 7:00 am

On September 3, cellist Mike Edwards was killed in a terrible accident with a giant runaway bale of hay.

The founding member of rock band Electric Light Orchestra died instantly after the 1,320-pound bale came tumbling down a steep hill and onto the van he was driving through Devon, England. The bale is believed to have fallen from a tractor working nearby.

Edwards swerved into another vehicle as he was struck but the other driver was uninjured in the crash. Now authorities are reaching out to the 62 year old’s relatives to help with their investigation and formally identify the musician.

“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 we now need help contacting his family for formal identification,” said Sergeant Steve Walker of the Devon and Cornwall police.

Edwards, who was playing cello, quit the band at the height of its fame in 1975 to become a Buddhist.

A tribute to Edwards was today posted on the Face The Music website, described as an ‘official information service for ELO and related artists’.

It said the cellist attracted fans with a unique solo turn – playing his instrument with a grapefruit.

The tribute said: “He played in ELO’s first ever live concert (Croydon, 16 April 1972) and over the next three years toured with them as the band strove to develop and establish their distinctive sound.”

“Mike quickly became a crowd favorite with his exploding cello and rather unique solo party piece that involved playing the cello with a grapefruit!”

“He will be sadly missed by all.”

Mike Edwards talks to Martin Kinch about his Baroque Cello and plays the prelude from the second suite by Johann Sebastian Bach

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