Birthplace: Birmingham, England
Race or Ethnicity: White
Executive summary: ELO and Wizzard
Roy Wood began playing with Birmingham-based bands as a teenager, touring around the UK and making the occasional venture over to Germany. In 1966 he gathered together some of the more notable Birmingham players to form The Move, a band which brought together a wide variety of musical styles under one banner. This eclectic style, combined with over-the-top stage theatrics, quickly established the band as one of the top performing acts in the UK.
Eager to explore musical ideas that didn't fit into the context of The Move, Roy founded The Electric Light Orchestra in 1971 with recent Move recruit Jeff Lynne. Both bands operated concurrently for a while, but ultimately The Move was abandoned in favor of the newer project. ELO combined classical themes and electrified orchestral instruments into a rock band format, and its popularity quickly surpassed that of its well-received forebearer. After only one record, however, a clash of personalities between Lynne and Wood led Wood to abandon ELO in 1972.
After his departure, Wood immediately set about creating yet another band. Wizzard combined aspects of both previous bands, culling from a variety of musical styles and crowning it all with violently colorful stage theatrics. Fresh out of the gate, Wizzard matched the popularity of Wood's previous bands; but eventually the records strayed too far into idiosyncratic territory, and by 1975 Wizzard had ground to a halt.
In subsequent years, Roy Wood would work both solo and with various new projects he would put together, such as the brass-heavy Wizzo Band and the touring band Helicopters. A guest appearance playing saxophone was even made on The Beach Boys's record 15 Big Ones. However, none of his work during the 80s and 90s would earn for him the attention he received from his early projects.
The Move Guitarist/Vocalist (1966-1971)
The Electric Light Orchestra Guitarist/Vocalist (1970-72)
Wizzard Guitarist/Vocalist (1972-75)
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