Jeffrey “Jeff” Lynne (born 30 December 1947) is an English songwriter, composer, arranger, singer, multi-instrumentalist and record producer who gained fame in the 1970s as the leader and sole constant member of Electric Light Orchestra. In 1988, under the pseudonyms Otis Wilbury and Clayton Wilbury, he co-founded the supergroup Traveling Wilburys with George Harrison, Bob Dylan, Roy Orbison and Tom Petty.
After ELO’s original disbandment in 1986, Lynne released two solo albums: Armchair Theatre (1990) and Long Wave (2012). In addition, he began producing various artists, with his songwriting and production collaborations with ex-Beatles leading him to co-produce their mid-1990s reunion singles “Free as a Bird” (1995) and “Real Love” (1996).
Lynne grew up in Shard End, Birmingham, where he attended Alderlea Boys’ Secondary School. His first guitar, an acoustic instrument, was bought for him by his father, for £2. He was still playing it in 2012. In 1963 he formed a group with Robert Reader and David Walsh using little more than Spanish guitars and cheap electrical instruments. They were originally named the Rockin’ Hellcats, then the Handicaps and finally the Andicaps. They practised at Shard End Community Centre and performed weekly. However, in 1964, Robert Reader and David Walsh left the band and Lynne brought in replacements. At the end of 1964, Lynne decided to leave the band to replace Mick Adkins of the local band “the Chads”.
Some time in or after 1965, he acquired his first item of studio recording equipment, a Bang & Olufsen ‘Beocord 2000 De Luxe’ stereo reel-to-reel tape recorder, which allowed multi-tracking between left and right channels. He says it “taught me how to be a producer”. In 1966, Lynne joined the line-up of the Nightriders as guitarist. The band would soon change their name to the Idle Race. Despite recording two critically acclaimed albums with the band and producing the second, success eluded him. In 1970, Lynne accepted an offer from friend Roy Wood to join the line-up of the more successful band the Move.
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