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Bev Bevan

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Bev Bevan
Bevan in 1977
Bevan in 1977
Background information
Birth nameBeverley Bevan
Born (1944-11-25) 25 November 1944 (age 79)
Birmingham, Warwickshire, England
Years active1966–present
Formerly of
WebsiteMusical career

Beverley Bevan (born 25 November 1944)[1][2] is an English rock musician who was the drummer and one of the original members of the Move and Electric Light Orchestra (ELO). After the end of ELO in 1986, he founded ELO Part II.

Bevan also was drummer for Black Sabbath during the Born Again Tour, and later played percussion on The Eternal Idol album in 1987. Bevan was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2017 as a member of Electric Light Orchestra.[3]

Early years and education[edit]

Bevan was born in South Yardley, Birmingham.[4] After attending Moseley Grammar School, where he gained two O level passes, he worked as a trainee buyer in a city centre department store called The Beehive with school friend Jasper Carrott (Robert Davis).


The Move[edit]

His professional music career started with a stint with Denny Laine in his group Denny Laine and the Diplomats, then with Carl Wayne & the Vikings, followed by the Move in 1966. The Move was known for being the boost to fame for Roy Wood. The Move highest selling songs were Fire Brigade and Blackberry Way.

The Move in 1967: from left to right, Carl Wayne, Roy Wood, Ace Kefford, Bev Bevan and Trevor Burton

Bevan has a deep singing voice. With the Move he sang lead on a remake of "Zing! Went the Strings of My Heart" and the country and western spoof, "Ben Crawley Steel Co". He composed one Move song: "Don't Mess Me Up", an Elvis Presley spoof from the album Message from the Country, which was also the B-side of the Move's single "Tonight". He is also credited with writing the rock-blues "Turkish Tram Conductor Blues" on Looking On; Roy Wood actually composed the song, but gave the songwriting credit to Bevan as reward for his promotional efforts on behalf of the band.[5]

They released their final single, "California Man", in 1972.

Bev Bevan's Move[edit]

After the death of Carl Wayne in 2004, the drummer formed Bev Bevan's Move[6] with Phil Tree and former ELO Part II colleagues Phil Bates and Neil Lockwood, to play a set comprising mostly Move classics on tour. Bates left in July 2007 to re-join ELO Part II, by then renamed to The Orchestra. Bevan was then joined by former Move guitarist Trevor Burton.

Electric Light Orchestra[edit]

The Move’s spinoff, Electric Light Orchestra, was formed by Bevan, Wood, and Jeff Lynne in 1970. They released their first album in 1971, by which time the Move existed only as a recording outfit.

On ELO records his voice can be heard most prominently on "Fire On High" and "Strange Magic", both from the album Face the Music (1975). Often called one of the most influential groups in music history, their songs "Mr. Blue Sky", "Sweet Talkin' Woman", "Livin' Thing" and "Don't Bring Me Down" left an impact on 1970s music, all written, composed and sung by Jeff Lynne.

He recorded a solo single in 1976, a cover of the Sandy Nelson instrumental "Let There Be Drums".[7] Bevan played on all Electric Light Orchestra and ELO Part II albums up to 1999. In 1980 he published a historical memoir of the Electric Light Orchestra.[8]

In 1988, Bevan and Jeff Lynne were planning on recording a new ELO album. Lynne stepped down from the project and would not allow Bev to use the Electric Light Orchestra name so Bevan managed to swerve around this by forming a new group called ELO Part II, a band he toured with from 1989 to 2000.

Black Sabbath[edit]

Bevan performing with Black Sabbath in 1983

In 1983, he replaced Bill Ward in Black Sabbath for the Born Again Tour. Bevan was known for his heavy powerhouse drumming during this tour. He also appeared in Sabbath's videos "Trashed" and "Zero the Hero". A headlining appearance at the 1983 Reading Festival – extracts of which appear on a reissue of Born Again – was only Bevan's second gig with the band. "It was just all over the shop", recalled guitarist Tony Iommi. "Bev didn't know [the songs] at all. He did try. As we went on the tour, he did get a lot better… We went to America and he done good. That particular stage, doing the Reading Festival, was a definite wrong for us."[9]

Bevan rejoined Black Sabbath briefly in 1987, recording percussion overdubs for the album The Eternal Idol, but was replaced by Terry Chimes after refusing to play shows in South Africa, which was at the time under apartheid rule.[10]

Later works[edit]

Bevan appeared on Paul Weller's 2010 album Wake Up The Nation and played drums on two songs: "Moonshine" and "Wake Up The Nation". Weller told him that he was his second choice; his first choice would have been Keith Moon.[11]

Bevan currently presents a radio show on BBC Radio West Midlands on Sunday afternoons. He also reviews records for the Midlands newspaper Sunday Mercury and has a blog on its website.[12] It was announced at the Best of Broad Street Awards on 17 January 2011 that Bevan would be honoured with a star on the Birmingham Walk of Stars.[13]

Bevan is also a patron of The Dorridge Music School (Knowle).[14] In 2012, Bevan narrated the audiobook version of Tony Iommi's biography Iron Man – My Journey Through Heaven and Hell.[15] Bevan's 2014 calendar contained no fewer than 102 gigs in 11 months,[16] some of which formed the final gigs for the Move, before Bevan and Burton went their separate ways again.

In 2014, Bevan joined Quill, a Birmingham-based band.[17]

As of 2022, the Bev Bevan Band had played gigs with Bev's former school mate Jasper Carrott under the name 'Stand up and Rock' since 2017.[18][19]

Personal life[edit]

He follows Wolverhampton Wanderers FC.[20][21]

Bevan's first marriage was to Valerie Taylor. Their son, Adrian, was born in 1981.[22][23] On 1 September 2022, Bev married Joy Brain (nee Strachan), his bandmate in Quill.[24]


  • Bevan, Bev (1980). Pearce, Garth (ed.). The Electric Light Orchestra Story. Mushroom Books. ISBN 0-907394-01-9.



  1. ^ Bevan, Bev (1980). The Electric Light Orchestra Story. Mushroom Publishing Ltd. p. 66. ISBN 0-907394-00-0.
  2. ^ "Bev Bevan | Biography & History". AllMusic. Archived from the original on 30 November 2021. Retrieved 3 February 2020.
  3. ^ "Inductees: Electric Light Orchestra (ELO)". Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Archived from the original on 1 August 2022. Retrieved 15 September 2022.
  4. ^ Strong, Martin C. (2000). The Great Rock Discography (5th ed.). Edinburgh: Mojo Books. pp. 673–75. ISBN 1-84195-017-3.
  5. ^ Greenwell, Ken. "Move Remaster Series – Looking On – Tracklisting". Ftmusic.com. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 4 November 2016.
  6. ^ "Move drummer Bev Bevan has joined forces with some old friends to form the Bev Bevan Band". Archived from the original on 3 May 2004. Retrieved 19 February 2004.
  7. ^ "Bev Bevan – Let There be Drums". Archived from the original on 18 February 2022.
  8. ^ Bevan, Bev (1980). The Electric Light Orchestra Story. Mushroom. ISBN 9780907394006.
  9. ^ Tommy Vance's Friday Rock Show, BBC Radio 1, 28 June 1992, transcribed in Sabbath fanzine Southern Cross #14, October 1994, p40
  10. ^ Sharpe-Young, Garry. "MusicMight :: Artists :: BLACK SABBATH". MusicMight. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 3 January 2019.
  11. ^ "Interview: Bev Bevan (The Move, ELO, Black Sabbath)". Hit-channel.com. 5 March 2014. Archived from the original on 10 February 2021. Retrieved 9 December 2016.
  12. ^ "Blogs.sundaymercury.net". Blogs.sundaymercury.net. Archived from the original on 4 October 2011. Retrieved 2 October 2011.
  13. ^ "Top drummer Bev Bevan on Birmingham Walk of Stars". BBC Online. 18 January 2011. Archived from the original on 11 February 2021. Retrieved 20 January 2011.
  14. ^ "Welcome to Dorridge Music School – Greville Court Knowle – West Midlands". Retrieved 9 April 2023.
  15. ^ "Iron Man Book | The Official Tony Iommi website". Iommi.com. 1 November 2011. Archived from the original on 16 November 2021. Retrieved 9 December 2016.
  16. ^ Cole, Paul (3 February 2014). "'I'll be beat after 102 gigs in 11 months' – Rock legend Bev Bevan". Birmingham Mail. Archived from the original on 21 April 2022.
  17. ^ Zimmerman, Lee (21 July 2015). "British Band Quill Is a Most Unlikely Ensemble". No Depression. Archived from the original on 18 May 2022. Retrieved 26 October 2022.
  18. ^ "Review: Jasper Carrott's Stand Up And Rock The Place, Telford | Jasper Carrott The Official Website". Jaspercarrott.com. Archived from the original on 10 August 2020. Retrieved 13 May 2020.
  19. ^ Heale, Jack (3 May 2022). "Story behind Jasper Carrott and Bev Bevan and 'Stand Up and Rock'". Warrington Guardian. Archived from the original on 1 June 2022. Retrieved 15 September 2022.
  20. ^ Bevan, Bev (4 June 2009), "Tony Iommi, the Troggs, the Wolves and Batley Variety Club", Sunday Mercury, Birmingham, archived from the original on 24 July 2011
  21. ^ "BOING: The rich and famous celebrities who support West Bromwich Albion FC". Baggies.com. 12 June 2005. Archived from the original on 28 September 2011. Retrieved 2 October 2011.
  22. ^ Hoffmann, Dirk. "Bev Bevan". Face The Music Germany. Archived from the original on 5 February 2022. Retrieved 15 September 2022.
  23. ^ Gibbons, Brett (29 April 2011). "Brummie music legend Bev Bevan celebrates Walk of Stars' award in style". Birmingham Mail. Archived from the original on 1 August 2016. Retrieved 15 September 2022.
  24. ^ "Bev Bevan". Facebook. 2 September 2022. Archived from the original on 15 September 2022. Retrieved 15 September 2022.