Wilf Gibson


Wilf Gibson was born on 28th February, 1945 in Dilston, Northumberland and was ELO's violinist from February 1972 to July 1973. He was educated at the Royal Grammar School in Newcastle and the Royal College Of Music. He made his musical debut at a concert, aged eight, and did his first professional appearance at social clubs when he was about 14. Then he stayed four years with symphony orchestras. Apart from violin he could also play the piano and was an arranger and wrote a lot of songs and a TV jingle. Wilf is married to Turid from Norway and has two children: Johnathan (born 1969) and Melanie (born 1973).

Wilf Gibson, who was a session musician, was recruited by The Electric Light Orchestra mainly because he was the only one to reply to their ads for a violinist. The reason why they weren't so enthusiastic about him was because he had one big disadvantage: He was a session musician and wanted to get a fixed salary of 15 per day. Furthermore, he claimed to get his taxes payed by the band, for which he got the nickname Wilf "V.A.T." Gibson.

Before joining ELO he played with the jazz-rock band Centipede on their album "Septober Energy", released in 1971 on Neon. After leaving ELO he played violin on Adrienne Johnston's country album "Adrienne Johnston Of The Johnstons" on most of those tracks (released 1975). In the same year, Wilf also played on the track "Sad City Woman" on LENNIE MAC DONALD's "Hard Road" album which had been recorded during April and May. In 1976 Wilf did the string arrangement and conducting on Maxine Nightingale's "Right Back Where We Started From" album on the title track and "Gotta Be The One".

Through the years he might have worked for a living, but wasn't credited on album sleeves. During the early eighties Wilf was with the Royal Shakespeare Company and played the violin in the play "Much Ado About Nothing". The first performance was on April, 14th 1982.

In 1986 Wilf Gibson was back into pop music when he played his violin as part of a studio Orchestra for Marti Jones "Match Game" and Everything But The Girls "Baby The Stars Shine Bright" album. In the following few years Wilf was a very busy man, playing violin for various acts such as Swing Out Sister, Terence Trent D'Arby and The Beloved to name but a few.

In 1990, Wilf Gibson was reunited with his old ELO mates again: When ELO Part II recorded their first album in 1991, Wilf Gibson was playing again with the group as part of the session orchestra, although he wasn't credited on the album. Wilf re-appeared again in 1993 when he played along with his old mate Gavin Wright (1st violin), Bob Smissen (viola) and Anthony Pleeth (cello) as string quartet on "Your Time Is Your Own" from Sam Browns "43 Minutes ..." album. The song was a beautiful track with violin intro and very up to the front mixed strings. In 1994 Wilf was again quite busy playing strings within the London Session Orchestra, not only on the second ELO Part II album "Moment Of Truth", but also on two very successful albums by Joshua Kadison and Seal, who were both in the Top 20 of the German album charts. Further recording commitments included his work as part of the London Session Orchestra on the string laden hit single "Whatever" by Oasis and on "The Master Plan". He also appeared live on stage with Oasis at some shows and was featured in the video for "Whatever".

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

last modified: 26.02.2000