My name is Jeff Wayne and I’m the Composer, Producer and Conductor of the Musical Version of 'The War of The Worlds’. If you’re familiar with it, then welcome back and I hope that you’ll enjoy browsing our new website which is full of new information and archive ‘classics’, including about Martian Fighting and Handling Machines, Heat Rays, Red Weed and Cylinders from Mars.
If you are new to the Invasion, let me tell you a little about myself…
In 1975 I first read HG Wells’ dark Victorian tale ‘The War of The Worlds’, gifted to me by my father, Jerry, as he knew I’d been looking for a unique story that could inspire me as a composer. When I read HG Wells’ dark Victorian tale I was hooked after one read, I could already hear ‘sound’. I knew then I had to write a Musical Work based upon such a fantastic story.
Fortunately I wasn’t the only person who felt that a Musical work based upon HG Wells’ iconic novel had promise, and we managed to attract an incredible cast - Richard Burton one of the leading men of his day, played The Journalist. The rest of our cast were musically based - and what a diverse and special group they were. The Moody Blues’ Justin Hayward (The Sung Thoughts of The Journalist), David Essex (The young Artilleryman), Thin Lizzy’s Phil Lynott (Parson Nathaniel), Manfred Manns Earth Band’s Chris Thompson (The Voice of Humanity) and Julie Covington (Beth, Parson Nathaniel’s wife).
By 1978 the double album was released on CBS Records (now part of Sony Music). The success was instant, and the support received was totally unexpected. I won two Ivor Novello Awards, my double album went Top 10 in 22 countries and No.1 in 11 of them. My Musical Version since 2006 has sold out Arenas worldwide and in 2012 we re-imagined the 1978 double album with a modern twist. Liam Neeson taking the baton from Richard Burton and Take That’s Gary Barlow, Kaiser Chief’s Ricky Wilson, Joss Stone, Alex Clare and Maverick Sabre becoming the cast for a New Generation. I should also add that since we began touring in 2006, the role of Carrie, The Journalist’s fiancée has become very much part of the heart of the story. I’m very proud that role has been performed beautifully by my daughter, Anna-Marie.
And that’s how I and the Martians met and started working together - we remain very close, except when our show erupts and we’re arch enemies, although we always wind up in the pub with cast, musicians and crew, sharing a brew.