Band of Brothers

By Jim Newsom

Forty years after the group came together in Birmingham, England, drummer Graeme Edge is the only remaining original member of the Moody Blues. Did he ever imagine it would last so long?

"No, not for a moment,” he told me last week. “When we first started, you were too old for rock’n’roll at thirty. We didn't realize that everybody grew up with you.”

He was talking with me from a hotel room in Louisville, Kentucky, where the Moodies were kicking off an American tour that includes a stop at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in Virginia Beach next Wednesday, June 2nd. He had just flown in from England the day before and was “a little jet-lagged, but other than that, just fine.”

Edge was with the band back when it was a rhythm & blues/rock ‘n’roll outfit that produced one big hit, “Go Now,” a record that reached #1 in the U.K. and #2 in the States in April, 1965. That song, sung by Denny Laine atop Mike Pinder’s ringing piano chords, bore no resemblance to the symphonic psychedelia for which the band would ultimately make its lasting mark.

"The band I was in before this was called the R&B Preachers,” Edge remembers. “In the early Moody Blues with Denny Laine, we were singing about pickin' cotton and smokestack lightnin' and stuff like that until we suddenly realized, 'We don't know what the hell we're talking about.'"

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