May 21, 2024

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ELO Keyboardist Richard Tandy Passes Away at 76

2 min read
Electric Light Orchestra keyboardist Richard Tandy has passed away at the age of 76. We celebrate his life and musical legacy - a pioneer of orchestral rock with hits like "Livin' Thing" and "Don't Bring Me Down."
ELO Keyboardist

ELO Keyboardist Richard Tandy Passes Away at 76

Music fans everywhere woke up to some sad news this morning. Richard Tandy, the longtime keyboardist for the Electric Light Orchestra (ELO), passed away on Wednesday, May 1st, 2024, at the age of 76.

The news was announced by ELO frontman Jeff Lynne in a heartfelt social media post. “It is with great sadness that I share the news of the passing of my long-time collaborator and dear friend Richard Tandy,” Lynne wrote. “He was a remarkable musician & friend and I’ll cherish the lifetime of memories we had together. Sending all my love to Shiela & the Tandy Family.”

Tandy’s keyboard work was a cornerstone of the ELO sound. His mastery of instruments like the Minimoog, Clavinet, Mellotron, and piano helped create the band’s signature blend of rock, pop, and classical influences. Hits like “Livin’ Thing,” “Don’t Bring Me Down,” and “Telephone Line” all bear the mark of Tandy’s inventive and tasteful playing.

A Legacy of Orchestral Rock

Born in Birmingham, England in 1948, Tandy’s musical journey began early. He was classmates with Bev Bevan, who would later become ELO’s drummer. Their paths first crossed professionally when Tandy played harpsichord on The Move’s 1968 single “Blackberry Way.” In 1970, Bevan and Roy Wood would join forces to create ELO, recruiting Jeff Lynne shortly thereafter. Tandy would come on board a few years later, solidifying the lineup that would propel ELO to superstardom.

Tandy’s contributions to ELO went beyond the keyboard. He co-wrote several of the band’s songs, including the fan favorite “Can’t Get It Out of My Head.” His quiet demeanor and self-effacing stage presence belied a deep well of talent that helped shape ELO’s music for decades.

A Fond Farewell to a Musical Icon

Tandy’s death is a significant loss for the music world. His keyboard wizardry and collaborative spirit were instrumental in ELO’s enduring success. Fans around the globe will mourn his passing, but his music will continue to inspire and entertain for generations to come.

Rest in peace, Richard Tandy.


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