Eldorado Tour

 

Electric Light Orchestra -- Eldorado Tour

An in-depth look at the 1974/1975 tour


Comments and Observations

The tour in support of the Eldorado album ran from November of 1974 to July 1975, with time off for the band May and June.  It started in the USA, moved to the UK for 10 shows, and was followed by various shows throughout continental Europe (with some unexplained cancellations late in the tour). After a break during which the band recorded the Face The Music album and rested, the band returned for a month of USA shows.  There are still a lot of unknown details about the tour, making it difficult to give a complete analysis.  Given the information available, the tour appears to be brief when compared to the schedule of other tours.  However, this brevity is probably just due to timing only as work was begun on the Face The Music album in May of 1975.

It was during this tour that the most well known Electric Light Orchestra lineup would come together.  These seven members would see the band grow to the pinnacle of their popularity over the next four years.  In particular, this tour marks the first appearance of bassist Kelly Groucutt and cellist Melvyn Gale in the band.

For personal reasons, bass player Michael De Albuquerque left the band shortly after the recording of the Eldorado album and as a result, a new bass player had to be quickly recruited for the tour.  In late 1974, Kelly, then known as Michael Groucutt, was seen by members the band performing with a band called Barefoot in a Birmingham nightclub.  They were impressed enough that they asked him on the spot if he'd join the band and he agreed.  Whether it was meant as a joke or seriously, Jeff said that the band had too many "Michaels" already, so Michael Groucutt used the stage name Kelly, a nickname his mother had given to him as a child.  The Eldorado tour was Kelly's trial-by-fire, however, he would go on to give his distinctive bass playing, backing vocals and occasionally lead vocals to the Electric Light Orchestra sound during the peak of their popularity.

The tour also marks the last appearance of cellist Mike Edwards.  He left the band halfway through the tour, during the break after the North American leg of the tour. He is said to have left to seek Zen Buddhist religious goals and changed his name to Deva Pramada in the process.  He had such a wacky sense of humor that this stories of him become a postman may have been only a joke, but that remains unconfirmed. Due to this departure, cellist Melvyn Gale, who had been playing in orchestras and schools in England, was quickly recruited to fill his spot in the band.

During previous tours, Mike Edwards had quickly become known as the wacky frontman of ELO by wearing strange outfits and acting the clown on stage.  On some Eldorado performances, he performed his famous "exploding cello" bit where he would mime Le Cygne (popularly known as The Dying Swan) by Camille Saint-Saëns on stage (with cellist Hugh McDowell playing the actual tune offstage) by running various citrus fruit along the cello strings.  At the end of the performance and with the press of a button, the cello would explode.  This zany visual spectacle thrilled audiences, even if sometimes the exploding mechanism failed to operate properly and Mike had to take bows for a performance he didn't give.  Unfortunately, no known visual or audio record of this performance, bootleg or otherwise, is known to exist. The performance, although popular with the audiences, was eventually removed from the show. Various reasons are given for the band no longer doing it, including that Mike Edwards simply didn't like the device exploding between his legs, the unreliability of the trick cello, and the blast too often triggering the venue's alarm systems.

Due to Mike Edward's departure, Hugh McDowell began performing his own cello solo as part of the show. His performance, only known from bootleg recordings, is a self-written and unnamed solo piece which merged with Rimsky-Korsakov's Flight Of The Bumblebee where bass and drums joined in. Violinist Mik Kaminski also performed a violin solo on stage that was prefaced by a largely improvised solo which merged with Orange Blossom Special when the drums, bass and keyboards joined in. Although Mik's violin solo part was improvised at each performance, Hugh's cello solo was not improvised and was always the same performance.

This tour was the last time the band covered The Beatles' Daytripper and Jerry Lee Lewis' Great Balls Of Fire on stage. The version of Daytripper is the same classically tinged version performed during the On The Third Day tour, but it cut much of the extended Daytripper ending. The band also covered the Rolling Stones' Brown Sugar at some of their European shows (specifically confirmed at the the Madrid show), but unfortunately none of the shows featuring this performance have been released or bootlegged. No audio evidence of the band performing this song is known to exist.

At the start of the tour, there were apparently plans for ELO to give a few big concerts in the USA using a full orchestra and closer matching the sound of the album, but this idea was abandoned at the time due to budgetary constraints.

It is a performance during this tour that Roy Wood often cites having seen and proclaiming that the Electric Light Orchestra finally achieved the goal that he and Jeff had set out to do with the Eldorado album and stage performances.

The single Can't Get It Out Of My Head was released in the USA at the start of the tour, but it didn't peak on the Billboard charts until well after the band and left and were touring Europe.  Despite touring during the UK release of the single and the band's sell out shows, this popularity failed to translate to single sales and the Can't Get It Out Of My Head single failed to chart at all in the UK.

ELO opened many shows for Deep Purple during this tour. Jeff Lynne was talking with members of Deep Purple about the difficulties they had had recording the Eldorado album at De Lane Lea Studios in England. It was Deep Purple that suggested they try Musicland Studios in Munich Germany (run by engineer Mack). The next album, Face The Music, would be recorded there and ELO would use this studio throughout their most commercially successful years.

Band and crew members

The band and crew on this tour were:

Jeff Lynne: vocals, guitar
Bev Bevan: drums
Richard Tandy: keyboards
Kelly Groucutt: bass, vocals
Mik Kaminski: violin
Hugh McDowell: cello
Mike Edwards: cello (November and December 1974)
Melvyn Gale: cello (January to April 1975)
Tony Beard: Road manager Don Arden: Business and personal management
Dave Arden: Business and personal management

Other crew is uncertain, although probably Jake Commander, Brian Jones and Phil Copestake were involved as engineers or technicians as they were known to be good friends with the band and involved in most of their tours.

Tour Dates

This tour ran in from November 1974 to July 1975, with a short break at the end of December 1974, a set of cancelled gigs in March of 1975, a break in May and June 1975 to record the Face The Music album and give the band a rest. It is known that the band performed some shows in January of 1975, but details of where and when are unclear. These dates are approximate only, based upon limited information. It is known that the band had completed recording of the Eldorado album by August of 1974 and began work on the Face The Music, the follow up album, in May of 1975. Also the Face The Music album was released in September of 1975, so those dates appear generally accurate.

Date City, Country Venue Headliner/Opening Act(s) Comments
North American Tour
November 1, 1974 Detroit, Michigan, USA Michigan Palace Unknown
November 2, 1974 Wayne, New Jersey, USA William Patterson College Unknown
November 3, 1974 Canton, New York, USA State University of NY at Canton Unknown
November 6, 1974 Upper Darby (Philadelphia), Pennsylvania, USA Tower Theatre UFO
November 7, 1974 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA Mike Douglas TV Show Taping N/A Technically this is not a tour performance.
November 8, 1974 New York, New York, USA Avery Fisher Hall Unknown
November 9, 1974 Paramus, New Jersey, USA Bergen Community College Unknown
November 10, 1974 Toronto, Ontario, Canada Massey Hall Unknown
November 11, 1974 London, Ontario, Canada University of Western Ontario Unknown
November 13, 1974 San Francisco, California, USA Cow Palace Deep Purple (headliner), Elf The exploding cello bit was performed at this show.
November 15, 1974 Portland, Oregon, USA Memorial Coliseum Deep Purple (headliner), Elf
November 16, 1974 Seattle, Washington, USA Seattle Center Arena Deep Purple (headliner), Elf The exploding cello bit was performed at this show.
November 17, 1974 Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada Pacific Coliseum Deep Purple (headliner), Elf
November 20, 1974 Los Angeles, California, USA Long Beach Arena Deep Purple (headliner), Elf
November 21, 1974 Fresno, California, USA Selland Arena Deep Purple (headliner)
November 23, 1974 Phoenix, Arizona, USA Celebrity Theatre Unknown
November 24, 1974 Tucson, Arizona, USA Community Center Exhibit Hall Canned Heat
November 26, 1974 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA Mike Douglas TV show taping N/A Technically this is not a tour performance. The band mimed to the album recordings of Can't Get It Out Of My Head and Poor Boy (The Greenwood).
November 27, 1974 Los Angeles, California, USA Shrine Auditorium Canned Heat
November 29, 1974 Detroit, Michigan, USA Cobo Arena Deep Purple (headliner), Elf
December 1, 1974 Cincinnati, Ohio, USA Cincinatti Gardens Deep Purple (headliner), Elf
December 2, 1974 Indianapolis, Indiana, USA Market Square Arena Deep Purple (headliner), Elf
December 3, 1974 St. Louis, Missouri, USA Kiel Auditorium Deep Purple (headliner), Elf
December 5, 1974 Chicago, Illinois, USA International Amphitheater Deep Purple (headliner), Elf
December 6, 1974 Cleveland, Ohio, USA The Coliseum Deep Purple (headliner), Elf
December 7, 1974 Providence, Rhode Island, USA Palace Theater Unknown
December 9, 1974 Bloomington, Minnesota, USA Met Center Deep Purple (headliner), Elf
December 11, 1974 Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA MECCA Arena Deep Purple (headliner) The exploding cello bit was supposedly at performed at this show, although a bootleg recording reportedly from this show doesn't feature it.
December 14, 1974 Jacksonville, Florida, USA Veterans Memorial Coliseum Deep Purple (headliner), Elf
December 17, 1974 Norfolk, Virginia, USA Scope Coliseum Deep Purple (headliner), Elf
December 18, 1974 Baltimore, Maryland, USA Baltimore Civic Center Deep Purple (headliner), Elf
UK Tour
February 14, 1975 Newcastle, UK Newcastle Polytechnic Chopyn
February 15, 1975 York, UK York University Chopyn
February 16, 1975 London, UK Theatre Royal, Drury Lane Chopyn
February 17, 1975 Bristol, UK Colston Hall Chopyn
February 18, 1975 Brighton, UK Sussex University Chopyn
February 20, 1975 Sheffield, UK Sheffield City Hall Chopyn
February 21, 1975 Salford, UK Salford University Chopyn
February 22, 1975 Leeds, UK Leeds University Chopyn
February 24, 1975 Birmginham, UK Birmingham Town Hall Chopyn Jasper Carrott, comedian and friend of the band, reportedly came on stage during this show, but what he did while there is currently unknown.
February 25, 1975 Wolverhampton, UK Wolverhampton Civic Hall Chopyn
February 28, 1975 Exeter, UK Exeter University Chopyn, Chick Corea
European Tour
March 7, 1975 Tübingen, Germany Erlangen Stadthalle Barclay James Harvest
March 8, 1975 Erlangen, Germany Tübingen Mensa Uni Barclay James Harvest
March 9, 1975 Stuttgart, Germany Stuttgart Gustav-Siegle-Haus Barclay James Harvest
March 11, 1975 Berlin, Germany Freiburg Paulussaal Barclay James Harvest
March 12, 1975 Hannover, Germany Offenbach Stadthalle Barclay James Harvest ELO was the headliner at this show.
March 13, 1975 Hamburg, Germany Hamburg Musikhalle Barclay James Harvest Some sources indicate that ELO may have been cancelled this show and Barclay James Harvest played the gig alone. Assuming ELO did play, then ELO was the headliner at this show.
March 14, 1975 Köln, Germany (CANCELLED) Köln Satorius Saal Barclay James Harvest
March 15, 1975 Saarbrücken, Germany (CANCELLED) Aula der Uni Barclay James Harvest
March 16, 1975 Heidelberg, Germany (CANCELLED) Heidelberg Stadthalle Barclay James Harvest
March 17, 1975 Munich, Germany (CANCELLED) München Theater an der Brienner Straße Barclay James Harvest
March 20, 1975 Liège, Belgium (CANCELLED) Emulation(?) Barclay James Harvest
March 21, 1975 Veendam, Netherlands (CANCELLED) Veendam Veenlust(?) Barclay James Harvest
March 22, 1975 Amsterdam, Netherlands (CANCELLED) Paradiso Barclay James Harvest
April 2, 1975 Barcelona, Spain Palacio Municipal de Deportes Mike Nesmith
April 4, 1975 Madrid, Spain Teatro Monumental Mike Nesmith
April 5, 1975 Bilbao, Spain Palacio Deportes Mike Nesmith
April 19, 1975 Arnhem, Netherlands Musis Sacrum Kayak
April 20, 1975 Breda, Netherlands Turfschip Breda Kayak
April 21, 1975 Groningen, Netherlands De Oosterpoort Chopyn
April 23, 1975 Amsterdam, Netherlands Theater Carré Kayak
Face The Music recording sessions
May and June, 1975 Munich, Germany Musicland Studios N/A Note that some additional recording of female backing vocals was done in New York City in August and possibly September.
North American Tour
June 27, 1975 Hempstead, New York, USA Calderone Concert Hall Pavlov's Dog
June 29, 1975 Dayton, Ohio, USA Hara Arena Unknown
July 1, 1975 Clarkston, Michigan, USA Pine Knob Music Theater Pavlov's Dog
July 2, 1975 Portland, Maine, USA Unknown Unknown
July 3, 1975 Montreal, Quebec, Canada Place des Nations Pavlov's Dog
July 4, 1975 Ottawa, Ontario, Canada Civic Centre Unknown
July 5, 1975 Asbury Park, New Jersey, USA Convention Hall Pavlov's Dog, Triumvirat
July 6, 1975 Wildwood, New Jersey, USA Wildwood Convention Hall Pavlov's Dog, Triumvirat, J. Michael
July 8, 1975 Upper Darby (Philadelphia), Pennsylvania, USA Tower Theatre Pavlov's Dog
July 10, 1975 Asheville, North Carolina, USA Asheville Civic Center Pavlov's Dog
July 11, 1975 Charlotte, North Carolina, USA Unknown Pavlov's Dog
July 12, 1975 Fayetteville, North Carolina, USA Cumberland County Memorial Auditorium Pavlov's Dog, Triumvirat
July 13, 1975 Washington, DC, USA Unknown Pavlov's Dog
July 14, 1975 Knoxville, Tennessee, USA Knoxville Civic Coliseum Pavlov's Dog, Slade
July 15, 1975 Johnson City, Tennessee, USA Freedom Hall Civic Center Slade, Pavlov's Dog
July 17, 1975 Houston, Texas, USA Music Hall Pavlov's Dog, Triumvirat
July 18, 1975 Fort Worth, Texas, USA Panther Hall Pavlov's Dog, Triumvirat
July 19, 1975 Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA Unknown Unknown
July 20, 1975 Kansas City, Kansas, USA Memorial Hall Unknown
July 22, 1975 Atlanta, Georgia, USA Municipal Auditorium Pavlov's Dog
July 23, 1975 Chicago, Illinois, USA Unknown Unknown
July 23, 1975 Hammond, Indiana, USA Unknown Unknown
July 25, 1975 Allendale, Michigan, USA Grand Valley State College Pavlov's Dog, Triumvirat
July 26, 1975 Madison, Wisconsin, USA Dane County Coliseum Pavlov's Dog, Triumvirat
July 28, 1975 St. Louis, Missouri, USA The Ambassador Triumvirat
August 1, 1975 El Paso, Texas, USA Civic Center El Chicano
August 3, 1975 Las Vegas, Nevada, USA Stardust Resort & Casino Unknown
Face The Music recording sessions
August and/or September, 1975 New York City, USA The Record Plant N/A Note that this is a recording of the female backing vocals and final mixing only.

Setlist

Based upon limited bootleg material only (there are no official releases from this tour), the setlist shown below is the most consistently known setlist, although variations did occur. There is known to be some fluctuation in the setlist for each show, with some songs being omitted or rearranged. In particular, there were typically a clump of songs in the middle of the show from the Eldorado album. Although Eldorado Overture and Can't Get It Out Of My Head were apparently performed at all shows, the following Eldorado songs were typically mixed up in the order they were performed or some songs were omitted altogether. These songs include Larado Tornado, Poor Boy (The Greenwood), Illusions In G Major, Eldorado and Eldorado Finale.

It also appears (from the available information) that the early tour performances featured the song Daytripper after the cello solo earlier in the show and the song Ma-Ma-Ma Belle after the violin solo later in the show. However, at the later shows, these songs in the line up were switched. Early tour performances also included the song In The Hall Of The Mountain King immediately before Great Balls Of Fire (in a sort of medley) as they were performed on the On The Third Day tour, but later tour performances dropped In The Hall Of The Mountain King and used Great Balls Of Fire alone. In fact, Daytripper was shortened in these later shows and played immediately before Great Balls Of Fire as if they were a medley together.

It is reported that Mike Edwards performed his exploding cello and citrus-fruit rendition of Le Cygne (with Hugh playing the actual tune backstage) during his last years with the band, particularly at the start of the Eldorado tour. Unfortunately no audio or video evidence of this performance exists. It is assumed that it was replaced during the second have of the tour with Hugh's Hugh's Cello Solo/Flight Of The Bumblebee solo. In truth, there is no supporting evidence that it was actually performed during the Eldorado tour and it may have only been used at select shows on the prior On The Third Day tour.

In addition, fans and a Spanish newspaper article have reported that the band performed the Rolling Stones' Brown Sugar before Daytripper at some of the European shows, but again, no audio evidence of the band performing this song is known to exist. It is assumed that it was one of the encores, coming before the final Roll Over Beethoven and possibly replacing Daytripper in the setlist, but that remains uncomfirmed.

Song Title Arrangement Song comments
Daybreaker This is the On The Third Day album arrangement, but there is a long keyboard and string intro and the ending is slightly extended, adding the same keyboard part from the beginning of the song and a new finish.
Showdown This is the standard single arrangement except everything after the "Y'know I need you child" is cut and replaced with a guitar outro.
On The Third Day Suite This is basically side 1 of the On The Third Day album with a different arrangement. Jeff Lynne typically introduces the song on stage as simply "On the Third Day" only.
*
Ocean Breakup/King Of The Universe Based upon the On The Third Day album version, this one is quite different. Kelly Groucutt sings most vocal parts with Jeff adding harmony, except the last verse which Jeff sings alone. The humming parts are cut altogether. And the string plucking ending is greatly extended with a violin taking over most of the string plucking part before moving into a unique solo part.
*
Oh No Not Susan (Part 1) Only a short section of Oh No Not Susan, the guitar and moog part from the song's end, is played.
*
Bluebird Is Dead Almost the same as the On The Third Day album version, this arrangement includes Kelly Groucutt on backing vocals and a more prominent piano part at the end of the instrumental bridge.
*
Oh No Not Susan (Part 2) A repeat of the short guitar and moog part is included after Bluebird Is Dead.
*
New World Rising/Ocean Breakup Reprise This song is the same arrangement as the On The Third Day album version, but with a slightly extended ending to allow for a bigger finish to the song and the entire suite of On The Third Day songs.
Le Cygne N/A No known recording of this performance is known to exist. It was (supposedly) only played in the early part of the tour when Mike Edwards was still with the band.
Hugh's Cello Solo/Flight Of The Bumblebee N/A The performance starts with a long cello solo by Hugh alone, but near the end it morphs into Flight Of The Bumblebee with Bev, Kelly and Jeff joining in on drums, bass and guitar respectively. Unlike Mik's violin solo, the cello solo was not improvised and was the same melody at each performance.
Daytripper N/A This is a classically tinged version including the following bits in order: Daytripper, an excerpt of Handel's Arrival Of The Queen Of Sheba (Sinfonia Of Act 3 From Solomon), more of Daytripper, a short guitar riff from the Rolling Stones' Satisfaction, an excerpt of Mozart's Piano Sonota In C-Major (First Subject), and finally long Daytripper jam ending. This song was later switched with Ma-Ma-Ma Belle in the setlist running order. When it was moved to later in the show, effectively replacing In The Hall Of The Mountain King, the long Daytripper jam was replaced with a short rock 'n' roll bit and allowed it to segue into Great Balls Of Fire.
Eldorado Overture Eldorado album version This is a taped intro from the Eldorado album, with the band joining in shortly after the spoken part.
Can't Get It Out Of My Head This is the Eldorado album arrangement except the keyboard is different on the bridge.
Illusions In G Major This is the Eldorado album arrangement except it has a slightly different and harder guitar on the intro and end. Kelly Groucutt sings lead on the second verse (and possibly the first verse-- it's difficult to know with the poor quality bootleg that is available) and adds harmony vocals throughout. Additionally, the song is played slightly faster than the album version. This song was not performed at all shows.
Laredo Tornado This is the Eldorado album arrangement except it cuts the second verse. This song was not performed at all shows.
Poor Boy (The Greenwood) This is the Eldorado album arrangement except there is an additional string riff at the song's start. Additionally Kelly Groucutt sings lead on all choruses and the first two lines of the first two verses. This song was not performed at all shows.
Eldorado This is the basic Eldorado album arrangement but it cuts the third verse ("Say goodbye, the city's heroes sing...") and the second chorus. Also, Kelly Groucutt sings lead on the choruses. This song was not performed at all shows.
Eldorado Finale Eldorado arrangement, but cuts the vocal line at song's end. This song was not performed at all shows.
Mik's Violin Solo/Orange Blossom Special N/A This is an unnamed solo piece written by Mik that merge's with Orange Blossom Special when the drums, bass and keyboards join in. The violin solo part is improvised by Mik and varied from show to show.
Brown Sugar N/A No known recording of this performance is known to exist, bootleg or otherwise.
Ma-Ma-Ma Belle This is the Ma-Ma-Ma Belle single arrangement with added piano throughout; Kelly Groucutt sings lead on the second verse and the "ma-ma-ma belle" parts on the choruses with Jeff singing the "or I will get you" (and similar) parts on the choruses; the end has an additional chorus and a lengthy instrumental part running slightly over a minute before a big ending. This song was later switched with Daytripper in the setlist running order.
In The Hall Of The Mountain King This is the On The Third Day album arrangement except it ends before the slow down part, has a unique ending that merges with the start of Great Balls Of Fire. This song was apparently dropped from later shows on the tour.
Great Balls Of Fire N/A This is the heavy cello riff version.
Roll Over Beethoven This is the ELO 2 UK album arrangement, but cuts the mellotron intro; also, the third and fourth verses and second chorus are cut, replaced by a long instrumental jam and picks up at the repeated "Roll Over Beethoven" part; the ending is extended, drawing out the last notes in a long jam. All performances also include a special intro that inserts a short section of Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata (First Movement) between the opening notes of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony and the rock 'n' roll guitar intro.

Releases

No performance from this tour has seen official release. Three performances from this concert tour are known to have been bootlegged, with the December 7th performance being of exceptional quality (although missing several songs from the Eldorado album). No known bootlegs feature the Mike Edwards and his exploding cello performance or the Brown Sugar encore performance at all.

The known bootlegs are:

Date Location Source Quality Comments
December 7, 1974 Providence, Rhode Island, USA Audience Excellent The bootleg includes Eldorado Overture, Can't Get It Out Of My Head and Laredo Tornado, however unknown songs from the Eldorado album are missing between the performances of Can't Get It Out Of My Head and Laredo Tornado. These songs may include Illusions In G Major and Poor Boy (The Greenwood).
December 11, 1974 Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA Audience Good The bootleg does not include the On The Third Day suite, Illusions In G Major, Poor Boy (The Greenwood), Eldorado or Eldorado Finale. It's unclear if these songs were not performed at this show or they were not recorded for the bootleg. Some reports state that the exploding cello bit was included at this show, but the bootleg only contains the regular Hugh solo of Flight Of The Bumblebee.
February 24, 1975 Birmingham, UK Audience Poor
April 5, 1975 Bilbao, Spain Audience Poor Performances from the On The Third Day suite and Ma-Ma-Ma Belle are incomplete. Performances of Laredo Tornado, Eldorado and Eldorado Finale are missing and do not appear to have been performed at this show.
A clever fan made a bootleg for the Bilbao concert, entitled 25 años antes... (25 Years Before...). It is so titled because there is an accompanying bootleg entitled 25 años despues... (25 Years Later...) featuring ELO Part II (sans Jeff Lynne) performing in Madrid, Spain almost exactly 25 years later on July 21, 2000. The only performers at both concerts were Kelly Groucutt and Mik Kaminski.

Headlining/Opening Acts

There is currently incomplete information on headlining or opening acts for this tour. It is known that ELO was the opening act for Deep Purple (for whom they were openers on the On The Third Day tour as well) on some shows as they had not quite reached superstar status by this tour. However, they were known to be the headliner at several shows, with opening acts for them including UFO, Chopyn (who probably opened all UK shows in February 1975), Sugarloaf, Jo Jo Gunne, Pavlov's Dog and Triumvirat. Barclay James Harvest also opened several shows on the March 1975 continental Europe part of the tour. In mid-March, for unknown reasons ELO cancelled their appearances at these shows Barclay James Harvest went on to headline the rest of these shows themselves.

Promotions

This section is TBD as more information becomes available.

Photos

ELO on the Eldorado tour (Rhode Island - December 1974)
ELO on the Eldorado tour (Rhode Island - December 1974)
ELO in concert
ELO in concert
ELO in concert
ELO in concert
ELO in concert
ELO in concert
ELO on the Eldorado tour (Kansas City, Kansas - July 20, 1975)
ELO on the Eldorado tour (Kansas City, Kansas - July 20, 1975)
ELO in concert on Eldorado tour - Rhode Island - December 1974 ELO in concert ELO in concert ELO in concert ELO in concert on Eldorado tour - Kansas City, Kansas - July 20, 1975
ELO on the Eldorado tour (Kansas City, Kansas - July 20, 1975)
ELO on the Eldorado tour (Kansas City, Kansas - July 20, 1975)
Newspaper clipping for tour announcement
Newspaper clipping for tour announcement
Eldorado ad showing UK tour dates
Eldorado ad showing UK tour dates
Poster for November 8th, 1974 New York concert
Poster for November 8th, 1974 New York concert
Newspaper review of December 11th, 1974 show
Newspaper review of December 11th, 1974 show
ELO in concert on Eldorado tour - Kansas City, Kansas - July 20, 1975 Newspaper ad clipping - from Deep Purple's Stormbringer remaster CD liner notes Magazine advertisement for Eldorado album showing UK tour dates
Image kindly provided by Graham Bennett
Poster for November 8th, 1974 New York concert Newspaper review of December 11th, 1974 show
Poster for Spain concerts
Poster for Spain concerts
Newspaper clipping for Spain concerts
Newspaper clipping for Spain concerts
Newspaper clipping for Spain concerts
Newspaper clipping for Spain concerts
Poster for Germany concerts
Poster for Germany concerts
Poster for Netherlands concerts
Poster for Netherlands concerts
Poster for Spain concerts
Image kindly provided by Raúl Monclús
Newspaper clipping for Spain concerts
Image kindly provided by Raúl Monclús
Newspaper clipping for Spain concerts
Image kindly provided by Raúl Monclús
Poster for Germany concerts Poster for Netherlands concerts
Image kindly provided by Raúl Monclús
Poster for July 25 Allendale concert
Poster for July 25 Allendale concert
Ticket stub for November 2, 1974 show
Ticket stub for November 2, 1974 show
Ticket stub for November 2, 1974 show
Ticket stub for November 2, 1974 show
Ticket stub for November 6, 1974 show
Ticket stub for November 6, 1974 show
Ticket stub for November 8, 1974 show
Ticket stub for November 8, 1974 show

Ticket stub for November 8, 1974 show
Ticket stub for November 8, 1974 show
Ticket stub for November 27, 1974 show
Ticket stub for November 27, 1974 show
Poster for July 25 Allendale concert Ticket stubs for November 2, 1975 show
First image kindly provided by Graham Bennett
Ticket stub for November 6, 1974 show Ticket stubs for November 8, 1974 show Ticket stub for November 27, 1974 show
Ticket stub for December 7, 1974 show
Ticket stub for December 7, 1974 show
Ticket stub for February 16, 1975 show
Ticket stub for February 16, 1975 show
Ticket stub for February 18, 1975 show
Ticket stub for February 18, 1975 show
Ticket stubs for March 16, 1975 show
Ticket stubs for March 16, 1975 show
Ticket stubs for April 2, 1975 show
Ticket stubs for April 2, 1975 show
Ticket stub for December 7, 1974 show Ticket stubs for February 16, 1975 show Ticket stub for February 18, 1975 show (Note the incorrect date printed on ticket and hand written correction)
Image kindly provided by Graham Bennett
Ticket stubs for March 16, 1975 show Ticket stubs for April 2, 1975 show
Image kindly provided by Raúl Monclús
Ticket stubs for July 1, 1975 show
Ticket stubs for July 1, 1975 show
Ticket stubs for July 8, 1975 show
Ticket stubs for July 8, 1975 show
Newspaper ad for July 14, 1975 show from unknown newspaper
Newspaper ad for July 14, 1975 show from unknown newspaper
Ticket stub for July 15, 1975 show
Ticket stub for July 15, 1975 show
Poster for July 17, 1975 Houston show
Poster for July 17, 1975 Houston show
Ticket stub for July 1, 1975 show Ticket stub for July 8, 1975 show Newspaper ad for July 14, 1975 show from unknown newspaper Ticket stub for July 15, 1975 show Poster for July 17, 1975 Houston show
Ticket stub for July 17, 1975 show
Ticket stub for July 17, 1975 show
Ticket stub for July 17, 1975 show
Ticket stub for July 17, 1975 show
Ticket stub for July 17, 1975 show
Ticket stub for July 17, 1975 show
Ticket stub for July 17, 1975 show
Ticket stub for July 17, 1975 show
Ticket stub for July 20, 1975 show
Ticket stub for July 20, 1975 show
Ticket stub for July 20, 1975 show
Ticket stub for July 20, 1975 show
July 22, 1975 show announcement from unknown newspaper
July 22, 1975 show announcement from unknown newspaper
Advertisement for July 22, 1975 from unknown newspaper
Advertisement for July 22, 1975 from unknown newspaper
Ticket stub for July 28, 1975 show
Ticket stub for July 28, 1975 show
Ticket stubs for July 17, 1975 show
Last image kindly provided by RockinHouston.com
Ticket stubs for July 20, 1975 show July 22, 1975 show announcement from unknown newspaper Advertisement for July 22, 1975 from unknown newspaper Ticket stub for July 28, 1975 show
UK tour program front cover UK tour program page 1 UK tour program page 2 UK tour program page 3 UK tour program page 4
UK tour program page 5 UK tour program page 6 UK tour program page 7 UK tour program page 8 UK tour program back cover
UK Tour 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.)


I was at the show at the Milwaukee Arena on December 11, 1974. It was my first rock concert and I was seventeen at the time. I hadn't heard of ELO but was familiar with their rendition of Roll Over Beathoven. They most definately performed the exploding bass at this show. I will never forget it.

November 13 1974, Cow Palace, I enter the realm of the Rock Concert World.
I went for Deep Purple, who didn't disappoint, and I became an instant ELO fan
on this night. I have told the exploding cello story many many times. If you don't go to those live shows you will never know what treats my occur. Support live music, if only for your own soul. I can't get it out of my head. And that's a good thing!

I was at the London concert which was one of my first, having previously only seen Medicine Head and the Pink Fairies (a poor substitute for Stackridge who cancelled). Pure chance really, I bought ELO 2 because I liked the string arrangement of Roll Over Beethoven and was completely hooked by the rest of the album, and later, by On the the Third Day when it was released. I purchased my imported copy of Eldorado (still in its plastic wrapping!) from Richard Branson when he operated from a small room above a shoe shop in Oxford Street!

I thought ELO would be good live but didn't imagine just how good live music could be. From the opening bars of Daytripper I thought this is it, what performance could be better? Over 1,000 gigs later, it's still in my top 5. I particularly enjoyed On the Third Day and the two string solos - and for me, the first experience of a laser show. Jeff commented when they played Laredo Tornado 'next time I want to do something really strange' - I guess that was Fire on High. I thought they played Boy Blue but I have never found a reference to that track being played live so have probably got that wrong. I do have to disagree with Ashley though because from where I was sitting, I could see a lot of empty seats.

I then travelled to Birmingham a few days later to to see it again at the Town Hall. I think that show had the edge on London - possibly the home crowd? I don't recall Jasper Carrot making an appearance but I did meet Roy Wood afterwards - what great ending! Still have my tickets and program - can anyone make sense of the cover?

Dave Lockyear - East Anglia


I was 18. I had seen Genesis, with Peter Gabriel the year before.
But on the American Holiday, in 1975, I was treated to an unbelievable show in Ottawa, Canada.
Blue violins, spinning cellos, loud rock music. I loved it !!!

Even though Ottawa is the capital of Canada, it was a small city, but conveniently situated between Montreal and Toronto.
Because of its proximity, to those major-league cities, we got to see many bands that would normally not visit a city of 300K.

In addition to the above-mentioned Genesis and ELO concerts, we were treated to David Bowie's Spiders concert, Rick Wakeman's Journey to the Centre concert, King Crimson's Larks Tongue concert, Bob Marley's last tour in 1979, as well as Peter Frampton opening for Carlos Santana, while recording his Frampton Comes Alive album, complete with vocoder.

Good times....

NOTE TO EDITOR: Thanks for listing all the material for this ELO Tour, I really appreciate it.
-Steve in Calgary, Alberta, Canada

I was at the July 8 shows in Philly, and they absolutely, positively opened with Fire on High, although Face the Music was not yet released, and I see no mention of it here. One of the best concert openings I've ever seen. Sure like some video of it but here is none to my knowledge. Too bad...
-Anonymous

Editor's Note: You may be right about Fire On High here. The band had just completed recording the basic tracks for the forthcoming Face The Music album, although I don't believe they'd completed the final mix. The album wouldn't be released for a couple more months (September 1975). Can anyone confirm any Face The Music tracks in the June/July 1975 shows?


I saw the Electric Light Orchestra with Pavlov's Dog on July 3rd 1975 at Place des Nations in Montreal which seems to be missing here.I'm guessing the Portland, Maine concert was in fact on July 2,1975 the evening before the Montreal gig.Amazing concert btw!
-Anonymous

I was at the ELO show Nov. 13, 1974 when they were middle bill for Deep Purple. The exploding cello happend at that show as well, totally crazy..... ELF with Ronnie James Dio opened the show. It was truely an amazing event.Thanks for the fine detail on your website.
Dave Tonner, San Francisco Ca.

jasper carrott came on stage during the Birmingham Town Hall gig, if my memory serves me correctly.
Martin Curley, Rugby Warwickshire,UK.

I wish I was there but I was only 2. Elo's music makes me want to fly in the heavens.

I was at the Vancouver concert in 1974 as a Deep Purple fan. Well, ELO just blew the doors off as the "warmup act" and Deep Purple fell flat with most of the audience. One of the most entertaining and musical performances I've ever seen.
-Anonymous

The exploding cello. On Nov 16th 1974 it blew up just fine! I was 19 and in the Army (aviation) at Ft Lewis Wa. I had gone to the concert to see Deep Purple and I guess Elo was not on my radar but when they started playing I was captured by them. Cellos in a rock band! I was only one year removed from having played them in high school and junior high. The memory of that cello exploding has been one image that I haven't lost of those days. As I recall Flight Of The Bumble Bee was what he was playing when he held it at arms length (it was white by the way) and it blew to pieces. With not a beat missed, it seemed, he was handed another one and carried on. I still have the Deep Purple T shirt, whats left of it, but I don't recall a thing about their set. I was watching the ELO Live DVD tonight and that set off my memory and the Google search for the "ELO Exploding Cello" Thanks
-Monty Thompson

What a great site and thank you for your hard work in putting this together. History will mark this band as one of the Greatest of all time!
-Anonymous

The support act for the Dutch concerts in may 1975 was Dutch band Kayak. There were 4 shows, but Kayak only joined ELO 3 times (according to the tour poster). And the official Kayak websiet even only mentions the concert in Arnhem (the first one)...
-Jeroen Kooistra, The Netherlands
kayakhistory.blogspot.com

I attended the July 28th 1975 show at the ambassador in St.Louis. I am certain the opening act was Triumvirat. It was an outstanding show. Played to a full house. Which at the amassador was about 2500. It had the best acoustics in town. My best friend and I had tickets in the front section of the left side balcony. I think we were about 6 rows back from the front of the balcony,but there wasn't a bad seat anywhere in the ambassador.
-Ron Brown

The venue for the 1 Dec 74 concert was Cincinnati Gardens (home of the Royals until they left town). I was at that concert...it evokes several images for me, and to this day ranks as the best overall concert memory I have. It was the first date of my wife of 33 years and I. She really liked and shared my enjoyment of ELO. That concert also featured the most effective and simplest opening song visual impact I have ever seen...Deep Purple's Smoke on the Water.
-Robert N. Marzig

I have been to my fair share of outstanding concerts/festivals (Frank Zappa playing with Pink Floyd in Belgium 1969, the Isle of Wight 1970 five day festival with Hendrix and The Doors) BUT the show that ELO put on inside the 3,119 capacity movie house built in 1927 WAS the absolutely the HIGH LIGHT of any that I have ever attended without a doubt! This was when they released and were supporting El Dorado which of course was being played on the radio station WMMR in Philly and I bought the LP immediately after the concert. I had never seen or heard any music as presented by ELO that night with the string ensemble playing with and jamming out with a rock band. They had the entire audience rockin' and jumpin' around as it was impossible to sit in the seats. It is something I will never forget and about the only other "concert" that has come remotely as jumpin' and a jivin' was a Queen concert at the Mississippi Coast Coliseum in Biloxi, Mississippi on August 19, 1982. The funny thing about the ELO concert is I paid maybe ten dollars at the most for the ticket and when concert tickets started to cost more than that is when I stopped going to concerts.
-Paul Strauser

I was actually at the London gig at The Theatre Royal Drury Lane on Sunday 16th february 1975 and as i remember, the place was packed, which kind of bucks the misconception that ELO weren't so popular in the UK at the time. The support act were a band called Chopyn. You'll find a set of scans of the program that i sent to the Mr. Blue Sky list a few years ago, they are still up on the pictures files, here's the link - http://groups.yahoo.com/group/mr-blue-sky/photos/album/0/list I can re-scan them for you if needed, I've also still got two ticket stubs £1.00 each in the upper circle, good value eh ? Your set list as far as i remember is spot on. The first few bars of Daybreaker before the lights came up at the beginning of the show are etched in my mind, indeed the sound of the Moog tuning up during the break before ELO came on was a hairs on the back of the neck moment. Roll Over Beethoven was the encore which just went on and on, in fact we nearly missed the last train out of Kings Cross because of it, Sunday service in those days meant just that, a skeleton service. I was 16 and had my girlfriend with me, running for that train was a hairy moment, her dad was a farmer and i didn't want any part of my anatomy nailed to a barn door !
-Ashley Cox

Song Comments

Daybreaker (Eldorado Tour)
On the Eldorado tour, Daybreaker had a lengthy taped intro while the band came on stage and joined in.

Showdown (Eldorado Tour)

Ocean Breakup/King Of The Universe (Eldorado Tour)

Bluebird Is Dead (Eldorado Tour)

New World Rising/Ocean Breakup Reprise (Eldorado Tour)
Bass player Kelly Groucutt sings some of the lead vocals on New World Rising during the Eldorado tour.

Le Cygne (Eldorado Tour)
This song, popularly known as The Dying Swan, was used for the infamous exploding cello performance. Cellist Mike Edwards played the song on stage by rubbing various citrus fruit across the bows. In reality, Hugh McDowell was backstage playing the real song so Mike was simply miming the song. At the end of the solo, Mike would press a button and the cello would explode. (Unfortunately, the explosion device didn't always work and Mike had to take bows for a cello played by Hugh!). The band no longer performed this song after Mike Edwards left the band in December of 1974. Unfortunately, no known recording of the exploding cello is known to exist, bootleg or otherwise.

The classical piece, Le Cygne (The Swan in English), is the thirteenth movement of Camille Saint-Saëns' The Carnival of the Animals. The cello and piano piece was used for an interpretive dance called The Dying Swan that is based upon a Tennyson poem of the same name. Because of this popular dance, Le Cygne is more popularly known as The Dying Swan.

"On stage [Mike Edwards] played The Dying Swan, by rolling an orange down the bridge of his cello. With his 'Exploding Cello' he also was sure of applause and attention. Mike played a feigned solo, for which Hugh McDowell was responsible backstage. When Mike pressed a button his cello exploded and fell apart. Sometimes however the impact was so strong, that Mike toppled from his chair and the rest of E.L.O. was really worried about Mike's health. On other occasions, the exploding cello didn't work at all. Mike kept pressing the button, but the cello didn't explode. So the fans finally gave Mike an applause for a solo played by Hugh McDowell."
Patrik Guttenbacher, Marc Haines, & Alexander von Petersdorff (1996 Unexpected Messages)

"Our cellist Mike Edwards has this idea for playing [French composer Charles-Camille Saint-Saën's] The Dying Swan while rolling an orange up and down the neck of the cello. Then he had a cello that exploded on stage. Mind you, sometimes it exploded, sometimes it didn't. It was good when it worked properly."
Jeff Lynne (December 2012 - Classic Rock magazine)

Hugh's Cello Solo/Flight Of The Bumblebee (Eldorado Tour)

Ma-Ma-Ma Belle (Eldorado Tour)

Eldorado Overture (Eldorado Tour)

Can't Get It Out Of My Head (Eldorado Tour)

Illusions In G Major (Eldorado Tour)

Laredo Tornado (Eldorado Tour)

Poor Boy (The Greenwood) (Eldorado Tour)
"[Jeff Lynne and I] used to share the lead [vocals in concert] on things like Poor Boy."
Kelly Groucutt (March 3, 2006 - Guitar & Bass magazine)

Eldorado (Eldorado Tour)

Eldorado Finale (Eldorado Tour)

Mik's Violin Solo/Orange Blossom Special (Eldorado Tour)

Brown Sugar (Eldorado Tour)
This is said to have been played on a few limited shows in Europe during the Eldorado tour.

Daytripper (Eldorado Tour)

Great Balls Of Fire (Eldorado Tour)

Roll Over Beethoven (Eldorado Tour)
"ELO did several songs from the recent El Dorado [sic] album and finished its set with Roll Over Beethoven, which alternates between Beethoven's Fifth Symphony and Chuck Berry's rock 'n' roll."
Peggy Mulloy Glad (December 12, 1974 - The Milwaukee Journal)

"On Roll Over Beethoven [in concert] we used to do verse and verse about; someone does a verse and gets a rest on the next one."
Kelly Groucutt (March 3, 2006 - Guitar & Bass magazine)


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

Robert Porter
March 2014