Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction

My 9th grade english teacher told me, way back when, that some day, The Moody Blues would be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  The band was still churning out the occasional new album back then, and it seemed more relevant.  I’ve visited the museum in the past and it really is a pretty cool place.  I was totally surprised that they were put on the list right around the same time as the 50th anniversary of DoFP, but I was so much more surprised when they were listed as an inductee.  I’m happy for them, for everyone, and that’s one more off the future lists of “why on earth aren’t they in the Hall?”  With luck, I’ll be there to see it happen, mostly because the whole thing sounds like a fun experience and won’t really conflict in my mind with what I think was my last Moodies concert in 2017.  This isn’t a Moodies concert, it’s something else.

But I don’t believe it’s actually fair in the end to omit Patrick Moraz from the inducted lineup.  It made sense to me when Denny was not initially listed.  The Hall had selected a particular lineup, and if one had to select just one lineup, they had the obvious one.  Including Denny, however, means a broader view of who made the Moodies the Moodies.  I’m all for it, don’t get me wrong.  I think it’s right to include Denny.  But I also think it would then be right to include Patrick.  He had a lot to do with their sound from Long Distance Voyager through Keys.  In particular the sound of the band that “relaunched” them (for the second, third, time?) both in LDV  and The Other Side of Life.  If you don’t think he was a big influence I encourage you to listen to his solo works prior to joining the band.  You’ll hear it, all the way down to specific synth types.  I suppose one could argue that Denny helped to set up the lineup that they selected, and the Hall is ignoring the work after Seventh Sojourn.   (I’m doubting you say yes to Octave if you’re the Hall but not LDV).  Or, maybe it’s the nasty lawsuit.  Of course, Mike has sued as well but it didn’t seem to have the same animosity from the outside.  I would hope the Hall would actually sit outside the politics of any band, though.  So I’m guessing it’s the former and not the later.  Which I think neglects not just a large portion of the band’s output, but some of it’s most famous and endearing, depending upon your age.

Denny Laine In Concert 5/4/17

Just over a month ago, I saw a post that Denny Laine would be performing in my hometown of Pittsburgh.  I was super excited, and also maybe a bit hesitant.   I knew for sure I wanted to see him perform.  I knew certainly enough that I was standing in an airport in New Orleans when I booked my tickets on my phone as they went on sale to reserve a table at the Hard Rock.

But was I just collecting?  Denny is the last living Moody Blue I’d never seen live.  (I was born in 1978 and as far as I can tell never had a chance to see Clink Warwick play).  I like a lot about the “Mark 1” Moody Blues (Denny/Clint/Mike/Ray/Graeme).  The first (45) records are mostly covers as they found their way.  But what I think many pass over are the fantastic songs the Mark 1 Moodies made towards the end of that period, before Denny and Clint left.  I have ALWAYS liked This Is My House and Boulevard de la Madeleine.  When I finally got a copy of the French EP with People Gotta Go (before it ever saw a CD release) I loved that song even more.  Denny and Mike were writing some great songs.  Even though Denny left, the band was starting to find its songwriting talent, (as was Denny), and that carried into the “Mark 2” Moodies as they recorded about a half dozen songs before Days of Future Passed.

I have more than a few of Denny’s solo albums (and I admit, only two Wings albums on vinyl).  I can’t explain why, but his Reborn album always stuck with me as a favorite.  That’s sometimes the thing about music; it finds you at the right time in your life.

So why was I hesitant?   I wondered what the show would be like.  Plain and simple.  I don’t think I’ve heard even a recording of Denny in the last 10 years.  Well – I am so glad to have been there I can hardly express it.

Denny and his band (after an opening act) began by playing Band On The Run in it entirety, and in a casual bar setting, it was perfect.  Lots of joining in was encouraged by the band, and plenty of fun banter from the stage.  It really had an energy I wasn’t expecting.  Denny joked at one point that he had written two parts of a song, Paul had written the in between, so of course, it’s credited to “Lennon/McCartney” most of the time.  “Get it right!”  He told the story behind Picasso’s Last Words starting with “Paul had a Picasso on the wall…. because when you’re a Beatle, you have a Picasso on the wall…”  I really can’t say enough about how great the performance was.  His harmonica on Bye Bye Bird was I think as good as I’ve ever seen on videos from the 60s.  My date had a real blast with this one!

If you get to see this show, don’t miss it for anything.  Sir Paul won’t give you the entire album.  And of course if you’re a Moodies fan like me, you’ll never hear The Original Singer perform FOUR of the songs from “Moodies #1”.  Deep in my soul I’d loved to have heard one of his co-compositions with Pinder, but now I’m really hoping beyond hope!

The other two Moodies songs they performed were Go Now and Can’t Nobody Love You

After the show, Denny came out to do a signing.  Apparently this is common knowledge and people showed up with LPs.  I didn’t know, and I didn’t know what the Hard Rock would let me walk in with, so I came with a 45 and a CD tucked into my jacket.

Denny was so friendly and chatted with people as they went by.  I put down my Moodies EP (People Gotta Go) which he happily signed, then, the CD of Reborn.  He was suddenly excited “I haven’t seen this in so long!”  He took the sleeve from me and showed his girlfriend how he appeared in two ways on each page, once as “modern” and once as a ghost – I asked him “Is that you, too, in costume?” and he said “Yes!  As an old composer, you know?  Reborn?”  He signed that as well.

And here is my People Gotta Go EP.  Being signed.  Is this for authenticity?  No.  This will never be for sale!

Mike Pinder Interview

When I was in high school, I was fortunate enough to meet Mike Pinder and spend about an hour with him doing an interview for our local cable station.  I’m going to look into posting the video shortly, even though I find it hard to watch!
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Two days later, he did a signing at a local Borders book store and I was able to hang out with Mike and Tara over the course of the evening.

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Moody Blues / Strange Times Meet and Greet 1999

This was a charity auction win via the OFC.  The only time I’ve really met the band where you could say a few words.

John Lodge / Natural Avenue Signing

Signing his Natural Avenue vinyl reissue for those who attended a Moodies show that year and already had one.

The Moody Blues / Photo Op 2014

VIP tickets that let you get a photo with the band and check out the view onstage (that part was unexpectedly cool!)