Dave Scott-Morgan

Dave Scott-Morgan

Songsmith, Writer, Musician, Birmingham UK

So Serious

In America we got to do some shows miming to Jeff’s song ‘So Serious’ – the record company had released it as ELO’s new single. This included doing some videos and playing some TV show stages, some of which became an interlude of rock ‘n’ roll comedy for ELO and especially for me and Lou Clark: The idea was that Lou and I should sit on chairs and play cellos! Of course I had no idea how to play a cello and I was quite surprised to discover that Lou could not either. I had somehow assumed he would be a mini virtuoso of orchestral instruments due to his wide experience as ELO’s arranger. ‘Never mind that. You’re only mining’ some helpful promotions person said and promptly ordered a couple of the largest cellos available from the props … The voluptuous wooden beasts duly arrived from the prop department and almost immediately, Lou’s experience with orchestras came to the fore and he suggested that we needed to rehearse our stroking movements. ‘If we don’t get the arm swings right, our elbows could crash into each other!’ he explained.
So with all due diligence we rehearsed the dance of our arm movements for different parts of the song so that our arms went in a unison of direction. It all worked swimmingly well. Lou and I dressed in black leather jackets sitting at the back beside Bev the drummer, stroking our musical wardrobes with a nonchalant ineptitude as we mimed to the track. Everything was fine until the end of the track, which was of course, a fadeout…

The sound of a cello being played by someone who does not in fact, know how to play it – is a fearsome thing, somewhat akin to saucepan lids being sharpened on iron railings. In order to minimize this unfortunate side effect somebody had thoughtfully put chalk on the strings but as we rehearsed our parts over and over, the chalk began to wear off…
By the time we came to do the live run before an audience the once pristine dust had turned into a veneer of sweaty goo and our cellos were producing sounds that could set your teeth on edge. While the song was under away the awful racket that we were making was mercifully masked by the volume of the track, but when it came to the fadeout at the end the awful truth of our pubescent skills was revealed…
For a few seconds all that could be heard in the studio was a-rhythmic blood-curdling screeches as Lou and I pummelled away to the last dying beat of the track. We both shrank lower into our seats as the eyes of the studio audience fell accusingly our way… The studio manager had a momentary look of terror on his face before his hands shot up holding the card bearing the word: ‘applause’ – it could equally have said ‘help’ – and after a moment of pregnant silence, the sound of clapping arose like a magnificent warm cuddle and the threat of involuntary bowel movements was finally removed from us. Lou and I chuckled to each other like naughty school kids, which is what we had been for three whole minutes. It was all so serious.

Last Man Standing
Someone Like You
Someone Like You

2023 Album

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