Sep 6 2010 By Chris Longhurst
ELO cellist Mike Edwards (inset)
A FOUNDER member of the rock band Electric Light Orchestra who was killed in a freak accident was originally from Ealing.
Cellist Mike Edwards, who was 62, was born in the borough on May 31 1948 and educated at Ealing Grammar School and later the Royal Academy of Music.
His first gig with the group was in Croydon in April 1972 and he stayed with them until voluntarily departing in January 1975, claiming he wanted to try something different and even hinting at being a postman.
He became known for his unorthodox approach to music, including playing the cello with an orange or grapefruit and performing a party piece called The Dying Swan at the end of which his cello would explode.
He was killed on Friday (September 3) when while driving on a road in Devon, near his home in Totnes, a bale of hay rolled down the hillside and collided with the van he was in.
Before his death he had changed his name to Deva Pramada in line with his Zen-Buddist beliefs and was known for composing music for operas performed at Covent Garden and Saddlers Wells.