Sunday, September 05, 2010

Rockobit: Deva Pramada (Mike Edwards)

Mike Edwards, founder member of the Electric Light Orchestra, has died in an unusual accident. The van he was traveling was hit by a runaway round bale of hay.

The cellist was a member of ELO from their first live date in 1972, until he quit in 1975. It was at this time that he embraced Buddhism and changed his name to Deva Pramada.

Sadly, the man believed to be Edwards has yet to be formally identified - local police have used the internet to pull together an ID but are trying to trace a relative:

[Steve Walker of Devon And Cornwall Police 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 we now need help contacting his family for formal identification.

'We don't believe he was ever married and we have identified an ex-girlfriend but she is currently abroad.'

He continued: '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 Devon and would ask his students to contact us if they know of any relations."
Edwards' first experience on stage was playing a ragamuffin in a BBC version of Carmen while a child; he returned to staged musical events in his post-ELO career producing operas for Sadlers Wells and Covent Garden. In 1992, he released a double cassette as part of Tim Brophy & Deva Pramada.

Mike Edwards was 62.