Balance Of Power Tour

 

Electric Light Orchestra -- Balance Of Power Tour

An in-depth look at the 1986 tour


Comments and Observations

This was the final tour of the original ELO, although in many respects, it's difficult to really define it as a tour as it was quite abrupt. It was a sad, rather meager ending to the original ELO. It consisted of one show in England and two shows in Germany, all as a support act for the English singer Rod Stewart. It was prefaced by Heartbeat 86, the charity show four months prior. The Heartbeat 86 show may not really be considered part of the tour, but is included here as part of the overall analysis due to the relationship between the shows.

Heartbeat 86 Comes Together: The Heartbeat 86 concert was a charity concert raising money to benefit Birmingham Children's Hospital. It was performed on Saturday, March 15, 1986 at the National Exhibition Centre. Inspired by other large charity concerts, such as Live Aid in July 1985, this charity concert was conceived and organized by Bev Bevan during 1985 with the help of unknown others although probably including comedian Jaspar Carrott; Jeff Lynne is not thought to have any direct involvement in organizing the event. Many well-known Birmingham bands and artists were brought together, including Steve Gibbons Band, UB40, Denny Laine, Roy Wood, Robert Plant and Moody Blues. The concert was compèred by Birmingham native Jasper Carrott and BBC DJ Peter Powell and ran as a massive nine hour show running from mid-day and into the evening. Roy Wood designed the crying-baby-playing guitar logo.

The actual name of the concert event was stylized many different ways: "Heartbeat", "Heartbeat 86", "Heartbeat '86", "Heart Beat 86" and "Heart Beat '86". The tour program uses all these variations at some point or another, depending on the author. The version used by Bev Bevan in the program is simply "Heartbeat" and most common there is "Heartbeat 86" so the latter is what is used here.

There was apparently a launch party for the fundraiser campaign at the Edwards No. 8 club in Birmingham with Bev, Jasper and many of the concert's acts in attendance. This was reported to happen in October 1985, about five months before the big concert. The fundraiser campaign started as simply a way to raise money for local charities and it evolved into the big concert, although Bev probably had such an idea from the start. There is also some indication that the concert event was intended to be the first of an ongoing series of such Heartbeat concerts (thus the "86" in the name), although more such concerts never happened. Tickets for the concert were £15.50 with £12 of that a "voluntary donation" (actually required) for the Birmingham Children's Hospital charity. By the end, the charity drive raised £700,000 for the Birmingham Children's Hospital with Heartbeat 86 alone raising about £200,000 that day; however, it seems that the goal was much higher-- perhaps as high as £1,000,000.

Heartbeat 86 title cardHeartbeat 86 Performances: The acts, in order of appearance, are the following: The Steve Gibbons Band, The Fortunes, Roy Wood, UB40 and Ruby Turner, Applejacks, Robert Plant and Big Town Playboys, The Rockin' Berries, Electric Light Orchestra, The Moody Blues, All-Star Jam Band. Reports were that The Move were going to have their first ever reunion, however that did not happen due to personality conflicts between the band members as well as scheduling conflicts. They even got a mention as one of the acts in the tour program, showing Roy Wood, Bev Bevan, Carl Wayne and Rick Price, which indicates that it was probably late in the process that the reunion was cancelled. The concert program states: "Today they have agreed to the very special 'one-off' show-- and, like all the other artists on the Heartbeat bill, are playing for free." Even at the concert itself it was thought that the reunion was going to happen, but Noddy Holder had to come on stage and let the audience know it was not going to happen. It's unclear which incarnation of the band was supposed to appear, although Ace Kefford did make an appearance in the all-star jam a the end of the show. Whatever incarnation, Carl Wayne and others required for the reunion simply didn't show up to the gig, which indicates they never even rehearsed and were planning to wing it for the night. Carl, who was always keen on having a reunion with the band, had a commitment elsewhere. Some reports are that Roy insisted the Rick Price play bass in the reunion, which would have replaced Ace Kefford. The band has never had a reunion and never will owing to the death of Carl Wayne in 2004 (although Bev Bevan did take a live line-up on the road as Bev Bevan's Move and featuring only Trevor Burton from the original band). The concert did include the rare reunion of The Applejacks.

Highlights include the Roy Wood set where he apparently killed his bagpipes at the end of Are You Ready To Rock? by jumping and stomping on them. Robert Plant debuted his first performance with Big Town Playboys, playing 1950s pop music. ELO was supposed to be the headliner, however unconfirmed reports are that the Moody Blues made it conditional to attend only if they were given the headliner slot at the end of the show; thus they were given that slot. Perhaps in the spirit of the Birmingham faithful and the fact that Bev organized the show, but some reports were that after the shortened ELO set, the crowd was chanting for more and many booed when The Moody Blues took the stage. The Denny Laine set apparently had several ongoing sound issues which marred the performance and enjoyment of the set. The all-star jam at the end included a performance of Little Richard's Lucille, Barrett Strong's Money (That's What I Want), and included most of the day's performers as well as Dave Edmunds on the guitar solo; lead vocals were taken by Noddy Holder, Roy Wood, Justin Hayward and John Lodge for Lucille and lead vocals are unknown for Money (That's What I Want). Finally, George Harrison came on stage in a surprise appearance for the very ending all-star performance of Chuck Berry's Johnny B. Goode with lead vocals by George Harrison, Denny Laine, and Robert Plant. For the all-star jams that closed the show, Jeff only played guitar and is mostly indistinguishable amongst all the other guitars on stage.

The setlists for each band were rather shortened, owing probably to the fact that it was part of the charity show where most of the acts performed shortened sets. Most bands are known to have played about an hour each at most, although some played less. ELO performed thirteen song altogether, counting the two medleys as one song.

This concert was also the premiere of bassist Martin Smith in the band. He replaced Kelly Groucutt on bass and backing vocals, who had left the band three years prior due to the legal issues he had brought. Martin was a friend of keyboardist, Richard Tandy, with whom they had collaborated around the same time for the Tandy and Morgan Earthrise project. Martin Smith was also present on the Tandy and Morgan Action single, which Jeff has produced. As the band was in need of a new bass player for the live shows and Jeff was sufficiently impressed with Martin's skills during the production of the single, he invited him to join the band for the charity show. Louis Clark and Dave Morgan returned for keyboard and sometimes guitar, as they had done for the Time tour four years before. And Mik Kaminski returned for violin.

Heartbeat 86 Releases: Select performances of all performers at the concert were later broadcast on BBC as a one hour and forty minute long show. The broadcast was on August 2, 1986, nearly six months after the original performance. The reason for the big delay is unclear. It was also rebroadcast in the USA on MTV, on November 12, 1986. For the broadcast, performances include only a subset of what was actually performed that day. The full concert was reported to have been filmed, but has remained in the vault or is lost to this day as it has remained unseen. ELO's portion of the broadcast only included the songs Telephone Line, Do Ya/Rockaria! (which was actually only part of a medley that also included Ma-Ma-Ma Belle that was not broadcast), Hold On Tight and Don't Bring Me Down. Also included in the BBC broadcast was the all-star performances of Johnny B. Goode. As broadcast, ELO and The Moody Blues sets were switched, effectively giving ELO the headliner role for the TV broadcast. There exists on the bootleg scene a video of the all-star performance of Lucille as well. The origins of this video are uncertain, but it is known that it was not part of the BBC broadcast and it appears to have been part of an edited MTV broadcast.

Action singleJust prior to the Heartbeat 86 show, a charity single was produced to also raise money for the Birmingham Children's Hospital and promote the Heartbeat 86 concert. The song was Action (sometimes stylized as Action!) by Tandy Morgan Band. This band comprised ELO keyboardist Richard Tandy, live only ELO member Dave Morgan, and new live only ELO bass player Martin Smith. The song was also produced by Jeff Lynne and recorded at The Old Smithy in Worcester as well as UB40's studio, 'The Abattoir', in Birmingham. The single's picture cover features signatures of many famous Birmingham artists, including nearly all performers at Heartbeat 86. The single was available as a 7" single (FM VHF 26) with Tequila Sunrise not produced by Jeff Lynne on the B-side; a 12" single (FM 12 VHF 26) which featured Tequila Sunrise, Paradise Garden (also not produced by Jeff Lynne, rather Richard Tandy and Dave Morgan) and an instrumental of Action; and also a special 7" double pack, that is two 7" singles that have the same songs as the 12" single. The song did not chart on the Official UK Singles Chart.

Jeff's Waning Interest: The concert came at a time when Jeff's interest in ELO was waning considerably. He was growing tired of the ELO machine, having difficulties with his relationship to Jet Records falling apart, the lawsuit issue with bassist Kelly Groucutt, frustration in getting the Balance Of Power album released, consideration of a producer-for-hire career, and even some marital problems.

George Harrison at Heartbeat 86George Harrison taking the stage for the finale was a sign of the early friendship between him and Jeff. Although this was the first public appearance of the two together, their connection actually goes back at least a year or more and was in part, thanks to Dave Edmunds (who was also on the Lucille and Johnny B. Goode finale performances). Dave had worked with Jeff on the songs for his Riff Raff album some time in 1984 (possibly even late 1983) and the completed album was released in September 1984. Late in 1984, Dave began working with George on tracks for the Porky's Revenge soundtrack as well-- not a collaboration, but a coordination of their efforts at the very least. Jeff has often shared the story of being out to dinner with Dave one night, just as he was preparing to release his Riff Raff album and after dinner, as both were leaving the restaurant for their cars, Dave mentioned that George wanted to meet Jeff and talk about working together. As the Riff Raff album was released in September 1984, that would put the dinner about this time (nearly a year and a half before the Heartbeat 86 show). At some point after, Jeff and Dave visited Friar Park (George's home) and Jeff met George for the first time, although the timing of this first meeting is unclear if it was before or after the Heartbeat 86 concert. George invited Jeff to do some remixing on his song That's The Way It Goes (originally from his Gone Troppo album in 1982) as a test, of sorts, to see if Jeff really had the skills that George wanted. (Incidentally, this new mix by Jeff would eventually get released on the When We Was Fab single in early 1988.) The date of this remix is also somewhat uncertain if it was before or after the Heartbeat 86 show. Jeff was known to be working with George on the songs for the Shanghai Surprise soundtrack as early as May 1986, two months after Heartbeat 86. By the time of the Heartbeat 86 show, Dave and Jeff were friends and Dave and George were friends, but Jeff and George only had at best a working relationship and they were not good friends at the time. Jeff had invited Dave to perform at the Heartbeat 86 show, where he played only at the all-star finale. Dave had stated that he had invited George, but it was unknown if he would really show. Rumors were flying backstage and everyone was excited at the prospect, but it was really an unknown. So it was a pleasant surprise to all, performers and the audience, when George did show with guitar in hand and joined in with the big finale of Johnny B. Goode, even taking a lead vocal part. It's unclear if Johnny B. Goode was a planned part of the night or simply an impromptu performance done because of George's arrival. It was from here that George and Jeff really got to know each other and within a year, Jeff would have abandoned ELO and started his career as a full time producer with George's Cloud Nine album at the start of 1987.

It was clear that Jeff was losing interest in continuing ELO. He had refused to tour in support of the Secret Messages album and as a result, Bev Bevan had replaced Bill Ward on Black Sabbath's late-1983/early 1984 Born Again tour. Richard had been working on the Tandy Morgan Band project. Kelly was pretty much out of the band due to the lawsuit and moving toward the OrKestra project with Mik Kaminski. Louis Clark was keeping himself busy with the Hooked On Classics recordings. With the personal and business problems, as well as the prospect of becoming a producer for hire, Jeff was distracted. For the four months between the March Heartbeat 86 show and the brief Balance Of Power tour shows in July 1986, the band made a handful of promotional appearances, including mime only performance on BBC's Wogan (April 25), MTV On Location: Montreux Rock Festival (May), and Disneyland's Summer Vacation Party (May 23).

The Final Shows: In July of 1986, after rehearsals at the Nomis complex in London, several shows were planned with ELO opening for Rod Stewart. Opening for another artist, rather than headlining, must have been quite a blow considering that the band had been headlining sell-out arenas less than ten years earlier. It is believed, to some extent, the Jeff actually preferred the opening slot as it allowed him to keep the sets short and not have to deal with all the business arrangements of a headlining tour-- he was being lazy. The exact extent of the tour opening for Rod Steward is unclear, but it ended up only as three shows, one in London on July 5 at Wembley Stadium, and two in Germany-- Dortmund on July 12 and Stuttgart on July 13. At the very least, it is known that a July 9 show in Paris was scheduled, but ELO did not do the show for unknown reasons. Rod Stewart had a much more extensive tour of the UK and Europe during this period, but it remains unclear how many shows ELO was supposed to open but ended up cancelling. At the time, Stewart was being rather snarky about ELO (and others) opening his shows and severely annoying the other artists, so perhaps he had a hand in cancelling the shows. Thus, the Sunday, July 13 show in Stuttgart was the last ELO concert ever with any semblance of the original band (using the same lineup as Heartbeat 86) and would be the final show that Jeff and Bev Bevan did together. It was a rather sad and meager way to end the era.

The setlist for the show was slightly different from the Heartbeat 86 setlist. Both setlists opened and closed with the same songs, but tracks in the middle of the show were changed or rearranged. Gone was the lengthy hits medley and mostly full songs were performed. Curiously, the only song from the Balance Of Power album was Calling America, thus poorly promoting the new album. In addition, Jeff really must have had an I-don't-give-a-shit attitude because in the bootleg recordings of the two Germany shows, for Evil Woman he sings the "you better get your face on board the very next train" as "you better get your asshole on board the very next train" instead. Perhaps he didn't think the German audiences would catch the altered lyric as English was not their native language. In any case, the sloppy lyric, the lack of Balance Of Power songs in the setlist, Jeff's distraction of his problems and friendship with George Harrison, and the problems with Rod Stewart are clear examples of how Jeff's heart was really not into the performances.

Thus, after 14 years of Electric Light Orchestra, the band ended. They were not officially broken up, but they just sort of stopped. There are unconfirmed reports of a newspaper announcement from Jeff in 1988 stating that the band was no more, but the other members, without Jeff, would attempt to carry on without him under the name Electric Light Orchestra Part II, only after careful contract negotiations.

Band and crew members

The band and crew on this tour were:

Jeff Lynne: vocals, guitar
Bev Bevan: drums
Richard Tandy: keyboards
Mik Kaminski: violin, keyboards
Lou Clark: keyboards
Dave Morgan: guitar, backing vocals, vocoder
Martin Smith: bass, backing vocals

Tour Dates

Other than the March 1986 Heartbeat 86 show, the tour consisted of three shows only in July 1986.

Date City, Country Venue Opening Act(s) Comments
March 15, 1986 Birmingham, UK National Exhibition Centre The Steve Gibbons Band, The Fortunes, Roy Wood, UB40 and Ruby Turner, Applejacks, Robert Plant and Big Town Playboys, The Rockin' Berries, The Moody Blues, George Harrison and Friends This is the Heartbeat 86 charity concert.
July 5, 1986 London, UK Wembley Stadium Rod Stewart (headliner), Feargal Sharkey, Blow Monkeys
July 9, 1986 Paris, France (CANCELLED) Hippodrome de Vincennes Rod Stewart (headliner)
July 12, 1986 Dortmund, Germany Westfalenhalle Rod Stewart (headliner)
July 13, 1986 Stuttgart, Germany Hanns-Martin-Schleyer-Halle Rod Stewart (headliner)

Setlist

Based upon limited bootleg material only (there are no official releases from this tour and the Heartbeat 86 TV broadcast was edited), the setlist shown below is the most consistently known setlist, although variations did occur between the Heartbeat 86 show and the remaining shows. No recording of the London show is known to exist, therefore it is assumed to be the same as the two Germany shows.

The setlist was shorter than usual, running only an hour and hitting mostly only the big hits or the rocking crowd pleasers. Gone was the lengthy hits medley and two much shorter medleys were used. The Rocker Medley, consisting of the heavy hitters Ma-Ma-Ma Belle, Do Ya and Rockaria!, was played at all shows. Another medley of 10538 Overture, Showdown, Sweet Talkin' Woman and Confusion was used at the Heartbeat 86 show, but this was reduced to a medley of just the latter two songs for the later shows.

For the Heartbeat 86 show, on every song before any guitar or keyboard solo, Jeff excited shouted "solo!" before it was played.

Heartbeat 86 Setlist
London/Germany Setlist
Song Title Arrangement Song comments
Twilight This is similar to the Time album version, but it completely cuts the "you brought me here..." bridge and final verse and chorus. Curiously, Jeff slurs the words at the end of the second verse ("night is day and twilight's gone away"), having forgotten the words. He also flubs the second line of the fourth verse singing "once was day and now is night" rather than "that now is day and once was night" as on the original studio recording.
Evil Woman This is the same basic arrangement as the original Face The Music album but without the orchestral intro and a non-fading end. On all known performances except the Heartbeat 86 concert, Jeff changed the lyric "but you better get your face on board the very next train" to "but you better get your asshole on board the very next train.
Livin' Thing This is the same basic arrangement as the original A New World Record album but with a non-fading end.
Hits Medley: 10538 Overture/Showdown/Sweet Talkin' Woman/Confusion This is a medley of songs linked together. 10538 Overture is the same arrangement of the album/single version, up to the end of the first verse where it blends into Showdown. In turn Showdown, compared to the original single version, has a shorter guitar intro and is the first verse and chorus, followed by the guitar solo and the "rainin' all over the world" bridge before merging into Sweet Talkin' Woman, which is the same as the Out Of The Blue album version to the end of the first chorus until Confusion. Finally, Confusion is a shortened version of the Discovery album version, cutting the first chorus and second verse, then having a non-fading end.
Telephone Line This is the same basic arrangement as the original A New World Record album but with a non-fading end.
Rocker Medley: Ma-Ma-Ma Belle/Do Ya/Rockaria! This medley starts with Ma-Ma-Ma Belle and plays through like the On The Third Day album version for the first two verses and choruses, as well as the first guitar riff following the second chorus where it connects into the opening riff of Do Ya. Do Ya plays through like the A New World Record album version, but completely cuts the bridge ("in the country where the sky touches down...") and the third verse and just before the final closing guitar of the song, it connects to the opening riff of Rockaria!. The version of Rockaria! is the same as the A New World Record album version but much of opera singer bits are missing and the third and fourth verses are replaced with guitar and piano solos; the brief opera singer bit heard at the end is sung by Dave Morgan. Note that for the Heartbeat 86 performance, the piano solo follows the guitar solo on Rockaria!, but for the tour performances, they were switched with the piano solo coming first.
Pop Medley: Sweet Talkin' Woman/Confusion This is the same as the Out Of The Blue album version to the end of the second chorus until Confusion, which is is a shortened version of the Discovery album version, cutting the first chorus and second verse, and having a non-fading end. It is nearly the same as the end of the Hits Medley performed at Heartbeat 86 but an additional verse and chorus for Sweet Talkin' Woman are included.
Turn To Stone This performance is adapted from the Out Of The Blue version. It's mostly the same version, but it cuts everything between the second half of the second verse and the first half of the third verse (thus connecting "still glow upon the world so bright" with the "through all I sit here and I wait" lines and cutting the fast vocal bridge), as well as inserting a guitar solo just before the final chorus.
Rock 'n' Roll Is King This is the same basic arrangement as the original single version. For the London/Germany shows, Calling America preceded Rock 'n' Roll Is King.
Calling America This is the same basic arrangement as the original Balance Of Power album but with a non-fading end.
Mr. Blue Sky This is the same basic arrangement as the original Out Of The Blue album but cutting the "Concerto For A Rainy Day" coda.
Hold On Tight This is the same basic arrangement as the original Time album.
Don't Bring Me Down This arrangement is the Discovery album version, but with several significant changes. It uses a longdrum intro to get the crowd worked up. Verse four was replaced with a guitar solo. Verse five was followed with three "I'll tell you once more before I get off the floor, don't bring me down" lines before ending the song and completely cutting the short piano bridge sections. In addition, Dave Morgan and Martin Smith sing harmony vocals throughout the song. The band interrupts the song for an audience participation section. For this section, Jeff stops singing on the last part of verse five ("no, no..." to "don't bring me down"), allowing the audience to sing it. Following this last part, Jeff tries to get the audience to sing it louder and they play it again. Claiming he was not satisfied with the audience's performance, Jeff again tries to get the audience to sing even louder and the band plays the part again. Satisfied, the song continues with verse five's "no no no no no no no no no no" line.
Roll Over Beethoven This performance is generally the ELO 2 UK album version but without the mellotron intro and the second half of Beethoven's Fifth symphony cut from the intro, which was played on keyboard only. During the instrumental jam session, a short passage from the song Telstar was performed on keyboard by Richard Tandy as well. In a strange mixup of lyrics, Jeff began singing the line "my soul keeps a-singin' the blues" from the second verse with the line "sittin' down by the rhythm review" from the third verse of the Beatles version of the song.
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Lucille The arrangement is generally the original Little Richard arrangement with an extended guitar jam at the end of the song. Curiously, everyone mangles the last line of each verse singing it incorrectly as "there ain't no doubt about it, I love you still."
Money (That's What I Want) Unknown arrangement-- this track was never broadcast and is not known to have been bootlegged.
Johnny B. Goode The arrangement is generally the original Chuck Berry arrangement, but with an extended guitar jam and additional choruses at the end of the song. George Harrison, who sings the first verse, flubs the last two lines and generally just mumbles his way through. Denny Laine, who sings the second verse ("He used to carry his guitar in a gunny sack"), totally messes up and sings the third verse instead ("His mother told him, 'Someday you will be a man...'). Robert Plant sings the third verse, and he sings it perfectly.

Releases

No performance from this tour has seen official release. Full bootlegs of all performances except the London show exist. All are poor quality audience recordings, with good quality portions of the Heartbeat 86 show available from the TV broadcasts. And portions of a rare videotape recording are also available for the Dortmund show.

The known bootlegs are:

Date Location Source Quality Comments
March 15, 1986 Birmingham, UK Audience/Sound Board Poor/Very Good
SEE IT ON
See it on YouTube.
SEE IT ON
See it on YouTube.
There are two sources of this bootleg. First there is an audience recording of the full ELO set, which is mostly complete (missing the beginning of Mr. Blue Sky) but of poor quality. Then there are bootlegs taken from the edited TV broadcast that only includes the songs Telephone Line, Do Ya and Rockaria! from the Rocker Medley (cutting Ma-Ma-Ma Belle from the beginning), Hold On Tight and Don't Bring Me Down. The TV broadcasts are also the source of the all-star performaces of Lucille and Johnny B. Goode.
July 12, 1986 Dortmund, Germany Audience Poor
SEE IT ON
See it on YouTube.
SEE IT ON
See it on YouTube.
SEE IT ON
See it on YouTube.
SEE IT ON
See it on YouTube.
The audio bootleg is complete. There also exists a rare audience video recording that is partially complete, including only Twilight, Living Thing, the complete Rocker Medley and Roll Over Beethoven.
July 13, 1986 Stuttgart, Germany Audience Poor
Opening Acts

For the tour (not counting Heartbeat 86), ELO were not the headliner and instead were themselves the opening for Rod Stewart. The reason they were an opener instead of a headliner is open to debate. Some saying that ELO no longer had the pull to fill a concert hall like they did in the 1970s; others say that Jeff wasn't interested in the pressures and responsibilities of headlining a tour and wanted to let someone else (in this case, Rod Stewart) handle most of it and ELO could be more flexible about whether to play or not.

Opening bands for the London show included Feargal Sharkey and the Blow Monkeys. It is unclear if they also opened any other shows on Rod Stewart's tour, including the two Germany shows that ELO opened.

Rod Stewart at the time proved to be rather self important and slagged on ELO and the other opening acts, considering them beneath him.

Promotions

Heartbeat 86 promoThe BBC presented a short promo (there may have been more, but this one survives) to promote the Heartbeat 86 concert. What survives is a 10 second clip showing a few scenes from the concert, followed by a listing of the shows to be played that night (showing that the concert was broadcast at 11:05 in the evening). This clip can be seen HERE.

As more information becomes available, it will be added here.

Photos

Ticket for March 15, 1986 Heartbeat 86 show
Ticket for March 15, 1986 Heartbeat 86 show

Ticket for March 15, 1986 Heartbeat 86 show
Ticket for March 15, 1986 Heartbeat 86 show
T-shirts for March 15, 1986 Heartbeat 86 show
T-shirts for March 15, 1986 Heartbeat 86 show
Radio Times TV listing for for March 15, 1986 Heartbeat 86 show
Radio Times TV listing for for March 15, 1986 Heartbeat 86 show
Magazine ad for July 5, 1986
Magazine ad for July 5, 1986
Ticket for July 5, 1986
Ticket for July 5, 1986
Ticket for March 15, 1986 Heartbeat 86 show T-shirts for March 15, 1986 Heartbeat 86 show Radio Times TV listing for for March 15, 1986 Heartbeat 86 show Magazine ad for July 5, 1986 show Ticket for July 5, 1986 show
Ticket for July 9, 1986 show which ELO cancelled
Ticket for July 9, 1986 show which ELO cancelled
Ticket for July 12, 1986 show
Ticket for July 12, 1986 show
Ticket for July 12, 1986 show
Ticket for July 12, 1986 show
Ticket for July 12, 1986 show
Ticket for July 12, 1986 show
Ticket for July 9, 1986 show which ELO cancelled Tickets for July 12, 1986 show
Heartbeat 86 program front cover UK tour program inside fornt cover and page 1 UK tour program page 2 & 3 UK tour program page 4 & 5
UK tour program page 6 & 7 UK tour program page 8 & 9 UK tour program page 10 & 11 UK tour program page 12 & 13
UK tour program page 14 & 15 UK tour program page 16 & 17 UK tour program page 18 & 19 UK tour program page 20 & 21
UK tour program page 22 & 23 UK tour program page 24 & 25 UK tour program page 26 & 27 UK tour program page 28 & 29
UK tour program page 30 & 31 UK tour program page 32 & 33 UK tour program page 34 & 35 UK tour program inside back cover and page 36 Heartbeat 86 program bacl cover
Heartbeat 86 program - Front cover / All pages / Back cover
No other photos from this tour are currently available. If you have any to share, please contact me at the email address at the bottom of this page.

Fan Comments

Enter comments only about this tour. (Inappropriate comments will be removed.)

Song Comments

Twilight (Heartbeat 86, March 15 1986)

Evil Woman (Heartbeat 86, March 15 1986)

Livin' Thing (Heartbeat 86, March 15 1986)

Telephone Line (Heartbeat 86, March 15 1986)

Rocker Medley: Ma-Ma-Ma Belle/Do Ya/Rockaria! (Heartbeat 86, March 15 1986)

Pop Medley: Sweet Talkin' Woman/Confusion (Heartbeat 86, March 15 1986)

Turn To Stone (Heartbeat 86, March 15 1986)
"At the 'Heartbeat '86' show they performed Turn To Stone with a great instrumental break, instead of 10538 Overture / Showdown..."
Patrik Guttenbacher, Marc Haines, & Alexander von Petersdorff (1996 Unexpected Messages)

Rock 'n' Roll Is King (Heartbeat 86, March 15 1986)

Calling America (Heartbeat 86, March 15 1986)
"Calling America was performed live first in Birmingham at the NEC Heartbeat [sic] show, then Wembley Stadium, then at two dates in Germany in Dortmund and Stuttgart."
Rob Caiger (July 31, 2006 - Showdown mailing list)

Mr. Blue Sky (Heartbeat 86, March 15 1986)

Hold On Tight (Heartbeat 86, March 15 1986)

Don't Bring Me Down (Heartbeat 86, March 15 1986)

Roll Over Beethoven (Heartbeat 86, March 15 1986)

Lucille (Heartbeat 86, March 15 1986)

Money (That's What I Want) (Heartbeat 86, March 15 1986)

Johnny B. Goode (Heartbeat 86, March 15 1986)
"Eight hours of glorious rock were crowned by George Harrison making a surprise appearance on stage to join in on the free-for-all finale of Johnny B. Goode."
Unknown (August 1986 - Radio Times)

"AK: In about 1979, we were asked to regroup for a charity concert at the Birmingham Locarno. I was all right that night, kept myself sober. In the end, after a lot of hanging about, it was just Roy, Bev and me — with a borrowed bass — and a guitarist called Mike Hopkins. We worked out I Can Hear The Grass Grow, California Man, which I never played on, and I sang Watch Your Step. It sounded terrible, but was a lot of fun. It was the first time I'd seen Roy and Bev for years. Bev reckoned that after I'd left, the Move had gone down the tubes. Some of the old animosities were still apparent, though — and were still there at another charity show, Heartbeat '86. Carl phoned me after the media had announced that the original Move were reforming for the gig, but it never happened. The problem was Roy, cheeky sod, who wanted Rick Price from Wizzard on bass. I hope this doesn't sound big-headed, but I think he was scared of being upstaged, even in all his Wizzard gear. All I did in the end was bash a tambourine in the finale with Robert Plant, Denny Laine, George Harrison, Jeff Lynne, you name 'em. "
Ace Kefford (July 1994 - Record Collector)

"I think George Harrison was the nicest Beatle. He was such a lovely man. It was fantastic that I played with him. It was such as surprise for the crowd, for 4,000 people and when the comedian Jasper Carrott said 'We have a big surprise' and when he announced George Harrison, all people went mad."
Bev Bevan (March 5, 2014 - Hit Channel website interview)

"Marty McFly’s got nothin’ on this version of Johnny B. Goode. In 1986, Bev Bevan (drummer for Electric Light Orchestra) organized the 'Heart Beat' concert to raise money for Birmingham Children’s Hospital. The concert took place on March 15th at the National Exhibition Centre near Birmingham England, and it lasted from 3:00 PM until late in the evening. [There was an impressive several bands.] And then, out of nowhere, former Beatle George Harrison joins the entire legendary lineup on stage for a Johnny B. Goode jam session. Unless you’re lacking in the soul department, the video of the performance above is guaranteed to make you smile. Especially the part where Robert Plant’s rarely-seen hammer skills come out for his lead vocal takeover! The coolest part about the finale, is that no one suspected George to get on that stage, not even the musicians. When Birmingham Mail asked concert organizer Bev Bevin how George’s appearance came about, he responded with 'That was down to Jeff Lynne (of ELO). George and Jeff were pals. There hadn’t been any whispers beforehand so it was a complete surprise for the audience.' Can you imagine being in the crowd for that bomb? How about being on stage?! According to Beven, the surprise applied to everyone: 'Even we (the musicians) didn’t know he was going to be there. Jeff had said that was a slight possibility he might be able to get George to appear but that’s all it ever was.' With no appearance at rehearsal or sound check, and with George not arriving to the theatre until about 9:00 PM, no one had a clue that he would be there. We can only hope that no one left the concert early. Can you imagine?!"
Alisha Jackson (March 15, 2015 - 100.7 WZLX website)

Twilight (Balance Of Power Tour)

Evil Woman (Balance Of Power Tour)

Livin' Thing (Balance Of Power Tour)

Hits Medley: 10538 Overture/Showdown/Sweet Talkin' Woman/Confusion (Balance Of Power Tour)

Telephone Line (Balance Of Power Tour)

Rocker Medley: Ma-Ma-Ma Belle/Do Ya/Rockaria! (Balance Of Power Tour)
"Rockaria! (with Dave Morgan singing the opera vocals)..."
Patrik Guttenbacher, Marc Haines, & Alexander von Petersdorff (1996 Unexpected Messages)

Calling America (Balance Of Power Tour)
"Calling America was performed live first in Birmingham at the NEC Heartbeat [sic] show, then Wembley Stadium, then at two dates in Germany in Dortmund and Stuttgart."
Rob Caiger (July 31, 2006 - Showdown mailing list)

Rock 'n' Roll Is King (Balance Of Power Tour)

Mr. Blue Sky (Balance Of Power Tour)

Hold On Tight (Balance Of Power Tour)

Don't Bring Me Down (Balance Of Power Tour)

Roll Over Beethoven (Balance Of Power Tour)
"The '5th Symphony Intro' of Roll Over Beethoven was played on a string synthesizer and the song got a new solo part, this time from Richard [Tandy] playing the main theme of Telstar by The Tornados, a guitar group from around 1962, on his synthesizer, with the whole song being performed in a different version with Duanne [sic] Eddy-like guitar riffs from Jeff."
Patrik Guttenbacher, Marc Haines, & Alexander von Petersdorff (1996 Unexpected Messages)

"For Wembley and the German dates that followed [Heartbeat 86], we had rehearsed in a seedy music bordello called the Nomis complex, in north London. It was built like a nuclear command bunker, with long concrete passageways flanked by oversize metal doors behind which the decibels pounded like tormented prisoners hammering to get out. Walking along the corridors into which this combined din exuded was like being privy to the cacophony of hell. We were there for eight days, gathered together in one half of an enormous practise room. One day a brand new string synthesiser arrived for Lou Clark to use. Helped by the roadies, Lou quickly ripped into the packaging, and then surrounded by Styrofoam and cardboard, set up the new instrument to begin investigating its potential. He was wide-eyed like a kid with a Christmas present. Soon he had discovered a rich string ensemble sound and as if demonstrating it to a customer, began playing Beethoven's Ninth (the piece that introduces ELO's version of Roll over Beethoven). Jeff's antenna was immediately raised and he rushed across to Lou: 'Hey, that sounds great! Why don't you play that on stage and then we can dump that tape we've been using. That sounds miles better.' 'Oh no Jeff' said Lou, 'I couldn't do that.' 'Why not, you just did!' 'Yeah I know, I can play it now, but at night - on a show, you know after I've had a drink... I don't know.. I might mess it up....' 'Oh,' said Jeff, understanding Lou's dilemma with a look of disappointment. It was quite a nifty piece to play... Jeff orbited around the room for awhile lost in deliberation and then wheeled back: 'But hang on Lou, hasn't that thing got a sequencer built into it?' 'Yeah, I think it has' said Lou, reaching for the handbook. 'Well in that case, you can record it. That will work. Then, all you'll have to do is play back the sequence and we can have that sound instead of the tape. That'll be much better!' Lou spent the next three hours programming Beethoven's Ninth into the new string synthesiser using headphones while we were all practising other things. Finally he announced it was done and we all gathered around for the first rendition: 'Ready?' said Lou grinning. 'Yeah' we all chorused back, 'go for it!' Lou theatrically presented a finger for us all to see and then pointing it at the keyboard, stabbed the play button. The music burst into life while he stood by, sporting a proud grin and pretending to play it. We partook of this swish performance and gave a warm round of applause. 'That's great Lou,' said Jeff and it was quickly agreed, that is what we would use for the show instead of the taped introduction. All went well until one night in Germany. Jeff announced we would be doing one more song: 'Roll over Beethoven.' The auditorium roared with applause and then the lights went down and the noise melted away to zero. It was pitch black. An eery silence descended and absolutely nothing else happened. Just silence..... Thousand of people normally make some noise even when they're not trying to, but that night they must have all been holding their breath because it was so quiet you could have heard a pin drop. Seconds ticked by while we all held our breath too. I could hear Jeff whisper in the blackness as clear as day: 'Lou, hurry up will yer!' It was so quiet in that hall I think everybody heard it. Nothing happened... just blackness and silence. We stood cringing while that awful, evermore embarrassing silence grew and grew.... In the darkness I looked over in the direction of Lou's rostrum and saw tiny beams of pencil torches jostling about in a staccato hubbub of feverish activity, while I heard Jeff's whisper bark again, this time more frantic: 'Come on Lou - What yer playing at?' He might as well have shouted it. Suddenly the music struck up. Phew! We were reprieved. The crowd roared as if suddenly reincarnated. The lights went up and Hallelujah, Ludwig was away, galloping at full throttle. Brakes off, rotate - take-off! 'What on earth happened to you at the start of the last song?' Jeff asked the sixty-four thousand dollar question as we fell into the dressing room afterwards. Lou smiled the smile of the lampoon character who had trodden on a rake left lying in the garden while he rendered his plea of defence: 'I couldn't find the start button. It was too dark!' he said, 'I had to get a roadie to come and shine his flashlight on the panel of the keyboard!' We all doubled up in laughter."
David Scott-Morgan (2011 December - Patterns In The Chaos)


This page is intended to be a complete record of information on the Electric Light Orchestra Balance Of Power tour. If you notice any errors or omissions (which there are many), please contact me at jefflynnesongs@gmail.com and let me know. I strive for accuracy.

Robert Porter
April 2017