“Veeble festeraahht bloot. Wamp blatt borfft, bizzt Chakunkding: CRUGAZUNCH! Faroolana Frugga dugga dugga Gashklitz jugarumm.
Baraam spa da blunkum, kitoon splukaw gazoont blam blam. Paff toong et shnorkle zzzzt snorreh--snorry--sssor--eh, ssoorry, sorry.
Ok, I apologize, I did not have my translator on, please forgive me. If you are receiving this transmission your beloved earth is now 67% uninhabitable and I am currently en route back to my home planet of Beetlegeuse.
You know me as Jeff Lynne, lead singer and prime architect of the wildly successful orchestral rock and pop band ELO, or Electric Light Orchestra. But my true identity has been hidden from you earthlings for over 50 years. My real name is inconsequential and unpronounceable, but loosely translated to your primitive earth-language it means, ‘Fuzzy Explorer’.
In your earth year of 1946 a team of Russian government scientists sent a ‘satellite’ (dubbed ‘Leonid) into space, a few years before Sputnik started the space race to the moon with the United States. You’ll please forgive me, but I find this funny every time I speak of it. *snort snort*
The REAL story is that the Russian government sent Leonid into deep space, forty thousand light years PAST the moon, where it landed fortuitously on my home planet of Beetlegeuse. One other fact that needs to be addressed is that the satellite was manned. Yes, this so called Leonid pod contained 4 Russian explorers. Their names were Boris, Olga, Vladimir and Jakkoff. As they landed, the occupants of Leonid huddled before the massive Astro-View-Screen and watched, fascinated, as the camera panned the horizon of my home. Beetlegeuse remains a lush and abundant landscape, but not by your standards. Our landscape is aural, not visual. Beetleguesians are blind, you see. We have two sets of “ears” to compensate; two on the sides of our brain shell (similar to earthlings) and two where your visual globes are located. The two located in front are used to navigate our surroundings, using sound waves as a guide.
We are not unlike you humans in our physical form, however. As a matter of fact, other than the two sets of ears we are extremely similar.
Anyway, back to the astronauts. I observed from a distance as a shapeless mass of dough like protoplasm we call “dglefrtsqq” approached the explorers, devouring everything in it’s path. After years of co-existence with these creatures we have learned that the only way we can repel them is to emit a high pitched squeal of sorts, a sound only our vocal cords can create. These creatures move very fast, and thusly the Russians did not have a chance and were devoured within a matter of seconds.
Our elders, who were observing this scene as it was occurring from their underground lairs, called me and one other to them. This “other” was named Vootle Dst, but you may know him by his earth name of Phil Spector.
The elders debated for hours, finally deciding that it would be a wonderful opportunity for us to observe a pre-historic alien world and perhaps learn a thing or two about ourselves, and decided to send myself and Phil to earth using the Russian space pod so as to avoid arousing suspicion.
We landed in the summer of 1947 in the area known as 51, in the Nevada desert, where we were picked up by the American government who had a military base nearby.
They took us deep into the base, down an elevator underneath Hanger 18 (see above) where we finally arrived at a door labeled “Interrogation Room 187”. Knowing what was coming Phil, who was always a violent sort, pulled out his weapon and killed all seven of the soldiers. We quickly donned our invisibility cloaks, made our way back to the surface and escaped. I thought it would be a good idea for us to separate at this point, and so we did; Phil deciding to stay in America and me going to the United Kingdom to complete our observation terms of duty.
Our superior aural abilities made it a natural for us to enter earth society through the burgeoning rock music scene. Phil had more initial success than I with his “Wall Of Sound” production techniques, but his tendency towards violence would eventually prove to be his downfall. But that is another story.
I met a man named Bev Bevan in 1965 and we formed the rock band The Move, which found moderate success with the British people. Musically speaking it was a very primitive style of music by my own design, as to not arouse suspicion. If I was to utilize my futuristic and alien sounds capes in a public forum I might have been exposed! My hubris would soon get the better of me though, as I saw musicians with far inferior talents getting the recognition and accolades I so richly deserved.
I succumbed to my ego in the fall of 1970. I informed Bev of my intent to create a much more sophisticated brand of Rock and Roll utilizing elements of classical music. Although Bev was a little reticent, he agreed to step back and let me ’orchestrate’*snort snort* our future. I christened our new band E.L.O., or the Electric Light Orchestra.
10538 Overture (side note: 10538 is the calendar year Phil and I left Beetleguise) was a rousing success. ELO performed at the 1972 Reading Festival and 'stole the show' thanks to the innovation of the Barcus Berry pickups now sported by our bands string playing trio, allowing them to dance on stage with their instruments not unlike the bards of King Arthur‘s day.
Our second album, ELO II, was another success with the single Roll Over Beethoven as it’s centerpiece. It’s success led to me hiring a 30 piece orchestra I dubbed the
Neo-Pagens. The success was massive, but I craved more. I was succumbing to the human emotion greed, and I liked it!
From our album Face The Music, the instrumental “Fire On High” with its mix of strings elegantly played by the Neo-Pagens and blazing acoustic guitars, saw heavy exposure as background music on CBS Sports Spectacular montages in The United States, though most viewers had no idea of our song's origins, the fact that the song features a deliberate backward message, where a mysterious deep voice reverses to 'The music is reversible, but time is not, turn back! Turn back! Turn back!' — ostensibly our sardonic response at answering the hysteria following completely unfounded allegations of satanic messages which were leveled against our song “Eldorado” by the fundamentalist Christian collective called The Lucians Of Samosata.
Out Of The Blue, an “in-joke” of a title to be sure, was to be my Magnum Opus. It contained many of my now classic compositions such as Turn To Stone, Sweet Talkin’ Woman, Mr. Blue Sky, among many others. It was at this point in our story that I reconnected with my fellow Beetlegeusian Phil Spector, who had developed a benign version of his laser weapon as a visual aid for the shows. I was cocky in my belief that I was now fully accepted as a human born of your earth, and I started using iconography from my native world as a backdrop for my shows, album artwork and various paraphernalia.
But, alas, all good things must come to an end.
In 1980 I was asked to write the soundtrack to a film entitled Xanadu, which stared the Australian songbird Olivia Newton John. Even though it performed well, yielding hit singles in the title track and Magic, it would eventually put in effect a series of events that would eventually lead to the partial destruction of earth as I alluded to earlier in my story.
The premise of the story, which deals with the rise and fall of Kublai Khan’s Mongol empire, incensed the Muslim faithful and they decided to retaliate. After over two decades of planning, they attacked the World Trade Center in New York in September 2001 as well as the Pentagon. The newly elected President Of The United States decided that this would be a good excuse to start a “war for oil” in the guise of a “war on terrorism”, and he subsequently launched a strike on the east that would last over four decades, leading to the financial and moral bankruptcy of the USA.
In early March of 2041, Bill Gates (who had recently purchased Pakistan) launched an all out nuclear assault on North America. Canada, whose “loonie” had risen to almost 400% over the US dollar by that time and who had a formidable arsenal
(home base: Newfoundland) as well, launched their own strike. But someone miscalculated and sent the rockets straight up in the air, sending them hurtling down and annihilating their own country. I decided that my time on earth was at an end, so I busted Phil out of jail and we headed for Stonehenge, where we hid our spacecraft in the guise of one of the Trilithons.
So, as I leave this place in our spacecraft and I glance through the viewer at the smoldering globe that was once earth I cannot help feeling a little responsible, and if I had eyes I would sob at the sight. The lessons I learned will help my planet in ways I can not as of yet calculate.
So, if you are hearing this transmission and are one of the few left alive, do not think poorly of me. Let my musical legacy be my epitaph.
(to be continued…)
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