Electric Light Orchestra Keyboardist Richard Tandy Dead at 76—Jeff Lynne, Fans Pay Tribute

While most notably known for being the keyboardist for the band Electric Light Orchestra (ELO), Richard Tandy was also proficient when it came to the guitar. But sticking with the keyboard, Tandy fashioned a career that landed him in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame back in 2017. Helping bring to life albums like A New World Record, Discovery, Time, and Out of the Blue, it appears that the famous musician sadly passed away on May 1 at 76 years old. 

Videos by American Songwriter

Sharing the news of Tandy’s passing, Jeff Lynne released a short statement about his death. “It is with great sadness that I share the news of the passing of my longtime collaborator and dear friend Richard Tandy. He was a remarkable musician and friend and I’ll cherish the lifetime of memories we had together. Sending all my love to Sheila and the Tandy family.”

[RELATED: Behind the Symphonic-Rock Band Name Electric Light Orchestra]

While forming ELO back in the 1970s, Lynne, Bev Bevan, and Roy Wood brought on Tandy to play bass. Eventually, Wood decided to leave the group. With a change in the lineup, Tandy found himself switched to the keyboard. And that sudden switch went on to define his career on stage. Speaking with the ELO fanzine Light!, he said, “At the start, I probably did most of the keyboards, but as recording techniques changed and synthesizers and electronics came into the picture, Jeff did more and more. By the time we got to Balance of Power, the usual way was to have a stack of keyboards in the control room, and me and Jeff playing along to a drum track, and Bev adding his things later.”

Fans React To Richard Tandy Passing Away

Online, fans reacted to the news of Tandy passing away with comments reading, “For me, Richard Tandy was always synonymous with everything Electric Light Orchestra, be it on album sleeves or production credits. It was an incredible thrill to meet up with RT back in 2014 during ELO’s resurgence. Sending my condolences to Sheila at this sad time …” Another person added, “To my eternal shame I never realised Richard Tandy was as bona fide a Brummie as Jeff or Bev. He even played with Steve Gibbons in The Ugly’s! The  Harpsichord on ‘Blackberry Way’ as well. With Mike Pinder, 2 Brum Beat keyboard legends have left us in a week… RIP.”

While speaking about the impact Tandy had on ELO, Beaven discussed not only his contributions to music but the friendship they shared over the years.

(Photo by Vivien Killilea/WireImage)

Leave a Reply

The Meaning Behind “She’s a Beauty” by The Tubes and the Real-Life Peep Show that Inspired It