ELO’s Dave Scott-Morgan is still writing love songs
Dave Scott-Morgan, the singer-songwriter and one-time musician with the world famous Electric Light Orchestra (ELO), now writes love songs about God rather than girls. Mike Wiltshire reports.
Dave told a Norwich audience recently that fame and fortune with the group - which sold 50 million records in 13 years - could not shake off a deep sense of disappointment in his life, until he came to personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Dave had written hit songs and film scores and had performed on some of the world’s biggest stages, but it was from the platform of a small church in Birmingham that “he heard the words that saved his life.”
The only reason he was there was because his widowed mum, confined to a wheelchair, asked Dave to take her to the local church.
When the pastor, David Woodfield, stood up and said he would speak on the answer to disappointments in life, Dave felt the service was planned just for him - “I knew the message was for me.”
Dave had lost his Christian dad at the age of 13 through illness. This added to Dave’s deep sense of disappointment because he had “blamed God for taking his dad away”.
Later, after years in the heady world of pop music, Dave’s faith was awakened after hearing about the unconditional love of God at the worship service in Birmingham.
“Strangely, I felt right at home in that worship service,” he recalls. “There was something so different about these people. I even wondered, ‘What are they on?’ Yet I was struck by the authentic joyfulness and reality of their faith.”
After hearing the pastor’s words on the way out of disappointment, Dave later prayed: “God, if you’re really there, then come and sort me out, ‘cos I can’t.”
The change in Dave’s life was dramatic in more ways than one – he even met Mandy at the meeting, the lady who would later become his wife. Mandy, a Christian, had felt that one day she would marry a minister, not a rock-musician.
As Mandy prayed about it, she felt very strongly through a message in a Christian book that Dave was the man for her.
The couple were married in 1996 and so great was the change in Dave’s life that he felt God was calling him to Christian ministry and church leadership.
Today, Dave and Mandy share the story of their faith-journey in a musical presentation called Rhythm and Joy at venues across the world in the UK, Europe and North America.
Dave’s story is told in his autobiography, Patterns in the Chaos. He said: “Nowadays I write love songs about God... where before I tended to write songs about girls.”
Dave and Mandy also have a pastoral ministry – and Dave is a qualified pilot and flying instructor.
He was speaking at a recent dinner meeting of the Norwich FGB at Mile Cross.
Pictured above, Dave and Mandy Scott-Morgan.