Richard Tandy

Keyboards, Piano

Richard Tandy was born on March 26th, 1948 in Birmingham and was ELO's bass player from January to July 1972, then he switched over to keyboards and also played additional guitar until September 1986. Richard had been taught to play bass and guitar when he was a pupil at Moseley Grammar School, where he also met Bev Bevan for the first time. Richard had his first professional gig at the age of fifteen at Solihull Civic Hall and a year later, in 1964, was with The Chantelles, a group Jeff Lynne and Dave Morgan were in as well. After various commitments he founded the duo Stacks in 1968, together with Dave Morgan and recorded the Roy Wood composition "Vote For Me". As the whole thing didn't work out Richard helped out his old friends from The Move by playing harpsichord on their number one single "Blackberry Way". The Move had planned to add him to their line-up as keyboarder for a while, but when Trevor Burton had fractured his shoulder, Richard replaced him on the bass guitar for a few gigs and TV shows after which he joined The Uglys on keyboards, a group that also featured Dave Morgan. The Uglys changed into Balls, when Trevor Burton arrived from The Move. Just before Balls recorded their first single Richard left and played guitar for a group called Mongrel. In January 1972 Richard Tandy joined The Electric Light Orchestra as their bass player but later switched to keyboards.

Richard played all the keyboards on the 1982 "Kelly" Album for his ELO mate Kelly Groucutt. He also helped Jeff out on keyboards on his Dave Edmunds productions and his contributions to the "Electric Dreams" soundtrack.

Richard Tandy and Dave Morgan had already recorded demo songs for about the last 15 years and at the end of 1984 they had their first record released. They called themselves R And D (which is either "research and development" or Richard and Dave" - they are themselves not sure which) and released the single "Berlin". The end of 1985 saw the recordings of an album by Richard and Dave under the new name Tandy And Morgan for FM Records. The album "Earthrise", a spacey concept album of science fiction themes, was completely written by Dave Morgan, who again sang all the lead vocals, but Richard also brought in some of his ideas by arranging the keyboard parts.

By that time Richard was divorced from his first wife Carol, with whom he had lived for four years in a flat in Los Angles, USA. He now lives with his second wife Sheila, which he met after an ELO concert in May 1981 in Los Angeles for the first time, in a house which is situated about three miles south-east of Birmingham, England.

The finished album "Earthrise" was however not released until later. In between a lot of things happened. Richard and Dave founded a new group in early 1986 including Martin Smith. It was called The Tandy Morgan Band, in which all three could work together. The trio recorded a charity single "Action" under the production of Jeff Lynne. Composed and sung again by Dave Morgan, like the three other tracks, which were, except "Action (Instrumental)" produced by The Tandy Morgan Band themselves.

Between 1989 and 1992, Richard played on many Jeff Lynne productions, such as George Harrison's "Cheer Down", Julianna Raye's debut album "Something Peculiar", Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers' "Two Gunslingers" and Jeff Lynne's solo effort "Armchair Theatre". He was also featured with his first co-composition "Take Away The Sadness", this time together with Jim Horn on Jim Horn's album "Work It Out". He was introduced to Jim Horn by Jeff with whom Richard spent most of his free time, wilburying around. Richard could be seen on The Traveling Wilburys "She’s My Baby" promotion video clip, running near the car, talking with Jeff.

Richard Tandy composed the track "Down (In G)" for Martin Smith's solo album "Bitter Sun After Dark" which was released in 1990, and in 1992, he was featured on Dave Morgan's private MC-only album release "All God's Blessings", and his single "Bethlehem Town". In the same year Tandy Morgan Smith produced a "Face The Music"-exclusive CD "The B.C. Collection" with 17 unreleased tracks which had been recorded between 1985 and 1987, including the very first released Richard Tandy compositon "Enola Sad" from 1985.

In the spring of 1994, Richard Tandy found a new songwriting partner in the twenty-two year old Nadina Stravonina from Russia. They wrote seven songs together which have yet to see the light of day as they couldn't find any label interest.

In the meantime, Richard joined the Trevor Burton Band for their regular gigs in two Birmingham pubs. Richard: "I'm having a great time playing with Trevor. He mainly plays in the pubs around Birmingham, and at the moment uses two different line ups, depending on the venue. I play with him on Monday nights at the 'Railway Lounge' in Curzon Street, and on Wednesdays at 'The Adam and Eve' pub in Bradford Street.The music is mainly R & B, the atmosphere is very laid back, and nothing is preplanned". The group recorded a live cassette in June 1995 at the Adam & Eve in Birmingham under the line-up of Trevor Burton (guitar and vocals), Trevor Byrne (bass), Maz Mitrenko (guitar), Jim Simpson (drums) and Richard Tandy (piano) which is sold at the gigs.

Richard Tandy has got a personal web site.

Information compiled by Marc Haines, Patrik Guttenbacher and Alexander von Petersdorff.
Shortened excerpt taken from their book "Unexpected Messages"

last modified: 26.02.2000