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Condensed Biography :
DR. ROY WOOD HonD.Mus.
Born in Birmingham, England. Attended Moseley School Of Art during the early 60s. His first instrument was drums, which is the only instrument he has ever had any tuition on. At six years old he was allowed to play a number with a big band at his sister's wedding. Roy went to see the Shadows at the age of twelve at Birmingham Town Hall. Influenced by Hank Marvin's sound, he took up playing guitar, and formed a group called The Falcons at the age of fourteen. He then turned professional with Birmingham band Gerry Levene and the Avengers. After which he spent some time with Mike Sheridan and the Nightriders, who later became The Idle Race.
During this period Roy had been writing songs, and at seventeen he became founder of The Move, who went on to enjoy multiple chart successes with songs all written by Roy himself, including" Flowers In The Rain," which reached No. 2 in the chart, and was the first record to be played on BBC Radio One. Also " Night Of Fear ", " Fire Brigade " and " I Can Hear The Grass Grow " were all top five hit singles , and also a number one record in the British singles chart " Blackberry Way ."
In 1970, Roy teamed up with fellow Birmingham songwriter Jeff Lynne, who joined The Move for their final two albums. The final single recorded by The Move during this period was " California Man " , which reached the chart position of No. 10.
Roy had an ambition over a number of years, to form a classically based band featuring live strings instead of the conventional guitar line up. Together with Jeff, they formed The Electric Light Orchestra.
10538 was the first track they recorded. Originally an idea by Jeff to be included in a Move album. They were experimenting in the studio, and after the backing track had been recorded, Roy was just messing around on a cheap Chinese cello. He ended up recording lots of string parts on the track, which finally created the sound of E.L.O. ... 10538 Overture !
They managed to convince EMI that it was time to start this new project, and the first Electric Light Orchestra album came into being. This record mainly featured Jeff and Roy, who co wrote and co produced the album. After a few months of auditioning and rehearsing string players, they finally embarked on a few live tours, Roy unfortunately had political disagreements mainly with the management, and with true regret decided he had to leave the band.
He spent some time writing and adding new material to the collection of songs that he had got together for his solo album " Boulders " which was recorded at Abbey Road Studios.
Someone rang Roy on the off chance, to ask if he would be interested in taking part in a Rock n Roll extravaganza at Wembley Stadium later that year. This would be appearing with American rock n roll stars Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis, Bill Haley, Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley.
He of course agreed, not really taking into account that he would now require a band. He quickly formed a rock n roll style pop band which he called " Wizzard " , together with long time friend Rick Price bassist with The Move , and a bunch of buddies from Birmingham.
They started recording at Abbey Road Studios, the first of what would turn out to be a string of hit singles which was " Ball Park Incident " eventually reaching No. 4 in the chart.
The band was quite a strange line up comprising of two drummers two sax players and also two cellists who decided to move across from E.L.O. It was a big group who needed a big sound. After a fair amount of contemplation, and the fact that he had now written some rock n roll tracks, Roy thought " OK Phil Spector " ... The British " Wall Of Sound " was now underway !
The outlandish visual persona of Roy as Wizzard, was a multi coloured version of an image that he had already invented a few years previously to promote a record on T.V. by The Move , called " Brontosaurus " . He said " It would have been a shame to waste that, I just made it slightly more outrageous to fit with the name of the band. "
Considering that the Wembley concert was the first ever live performance by Wizzard, it was accepted quite well. Bo Diddley's manager then approached Roy to get a band together for recording the Bo Diddley London Sessions album, on which Roy played bass.
Wizzard went on to score seven major hit records, including two number one singles
" See My Baby Jive " and " Angel Fingers " . This was followed by one of the biggest Christmas anthems of all time , " I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day ".
Tune in to Pointless Celebrities this Saturday 12th April. On BBC 1 at 7 p.m. Roy has been allowed...
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