Mike Edwards, Member of ELO, dies of Freak Accident 62

Mike Edwards (May, 31 1948 – September, 3 2010), known as Swami Deva Pramada or simply Pramada, was an English cellist and music teacher. His wide-ranging career was most widely notable for his membership of the Electric Light Orchestra.

He played as a member of the Electric Light Orchestra  from their first live gig in 1972 until he departed in January 1975, of his own choosing. Previously he had had little interest in non-classical music, though he had played on recording sessions for Barclay James Harvest.

His eccentric cello playing (fingering the cello strings with an orange or grapefruit) and bizarre costumes were a major ingredient of the early ELO touring band. Edwards’ live "party piece" was The Dying Swan, where he would perform a cello solo and ultimately his cello would explode through the use of pyrotechnics. His cello playing contributed to the albums ELO II, On the Third Day, The Night The Light Went On (In Long Beach) and Eldorado. He was later replaced as cellist by Melvyn Gale.

Death of Mike Edwards
Mike Edwards was killed in Devon, England, between Harbertonford and Halwell.  A 1300 lbs hay bale (roll of hay) rolled down a hillside and collided with the van he was driving.  Mike Edwards was sixty two years old at the time of his death.

Related Story
ELO Bass Player Kelly Groucutt dies 63 (February 20, 2009) 

 Electric Light Orchestra – Eldorado Overture/Can’t Get It Out of My Head
Mike Edwards & Hugh McDowell on Cello, Mik Kaminski on Violin