THE Moody Blues are at Newcastle City Hall next month. Entertainment Editor Gordon Barr catches up with bass player John Lodge.
The Moody Blues
THEY have had one of the biggest selling singles in the history of the charts.
Yet for a band that’s been around for more than four decades, they have only released a clutch of singles.
The Moody Blues are very much an album band, but will always be remembered most by the masses for their single Nights In White Satin which, 40 years on, is still a regular on the airwaves.
“We’ve only released about 16 singles in all these years,” says John Lodge.
“The Moody Blues have always been a long-form act. But over the last 10 to 15 years we have been making long-form DVDs of the concerts, which have done really well.”
Fans going to see the band at Newcastle City Hall on September 15 will see for themselves just why those concert DVDs have proved so popular.
“People have always seen us as an album and live band and we certainly don’t intend to disappoint,” comments John, 65.
“I’ll be honest, it really doesn’t seem that we have been together as long as we have.
“Why do we still do it? Because it’s our work, our craftsmanship, and it’s what we enjoy doing most.
“We’re doing something like 55 concerts this year alone, and you don’t do that unless you’re enjoying yourself.”
Next month the group will be going through its back catalogue. “We don’t really like to play new material before people have heard it on a CD first. We did it once before and it just didn’t work.”
The Moody Blues originated from Birmingham. Founding members Michael Pinder and Ray Thomas performed an initially rhythm and blues-based sound along with Graeme Edge and others, and were later joined by John Lodge and Justin Hayward as they inspired and evolved the progressive rock style.
Among their innovations was a fusion with classical music, most notably in their seminal 1967 album Days of Future Passed. It included the aforementioned Nights In White Satin and Tuesday Afternoon.
Nights In White Satin has, in fact, taken on a new life, courtesy of a theme park in America.
Hard Rock opened in Myrtle Beach two years ago, with the group christening a ride set to the song.
“I’m not really one who goes for rides in theme parks,” laughs John. “But I’ve done that one several times.
“I thought it was a great idea. I loved it. It’s something new.”
John admits times have changed since he first entered the business.
“It is not recognisable to when we started, but you have to grasp it.
“There are youngsters out there who access our music on the internet who would otherwise never have probably even heard of the Moody Blues.
“It also gives youngsters more of a chance of breaking through, I think.
“We can see it in our audiences. There are always new faces, even after all these years.
“Newcastle has always been a favourite place to play, and I mean that. I’m a northern lad. I think us northerners know how to enjoy ourselves like no others!”