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26-Apr-10
Justin Hayward Answers Fans Questions for MBT.com!

Justin Hayward answers your questions!  In a recent Q&A for MoodyBluesToday.com, Justin answers some fan-submitted questions:

1. What inspires you to write music?
Pressure to come up with a song, and a time limit to do it in is often the best inspiration. After that it’s a question of staying up till it’s done.  Something about songwriting is like a waking dream and I love that. Most times a song comes out of playing my guitar or my keyboards, and a powerful emotion is evoked, or a memory or someone, or a new chord change and a rhythm that feels great to play suggests a phrase or a line. That’s the exciting and beautiful start. After that, it’s about devoting the time and effort into doing the song justice, and finding a deeper meaning. Occasionally it takes weeks or even years, but so what! It’s magic.

2. How do you think The Moody Blues have affected society?
Very few artists have actually affected society – The Beatles, Elvis? Yes, they did.  From where I am, on the inside of this group, the answer is “I don’t know” but I’m just glad that we are part of the story. What is curious is how some expressions and phrases enter the language. Nights In White Satin is one of those titles that pop up in all sorts of places that are used to describe anything from underwear collections to cities by moonlight. I was surprised to find Russians in Moscow and Chinese in Asia who knew the title and quoted it to me – sometimes without knowing the song.

3. Could you please tell us about the different instruments played either in the studio or on tour - like the sitar?
I’m only certain in speaking for myself, and I think I have only played guitars and keyboards on stage (sitar on one gig), but the question got me thinking about what I played on the recording sessions – so - here we go: All the synth keyboards worth playing, and every kind of guitar I have ever been aware of, bass, cello, double bass, mandolin, tambourine, Celeste, drums, full pipe organ (on Watching and Waiting), Farfisa organ, electric piano, piano, Hammond organ, harmonica, autoharp, dital harp, fender Rhodes, harpsichord, sitar, tambour (I think that’s what it’s called, the drone thing that looks like a sitar), Tablas, congas, maracas, bongos, harmonium, squeeze box, stylophone, cowbell, and I’ll think of some more just before I go to sleep tonight!

4. Could you please tell us a bit more about some of the clubs in London where you’ve played?
I don’t have many recollections of the London clubs we played at regularly because it was all a bit frantic - the dressing rooms were often non-existent, and trying to get the mellotron in was always difficult. The 100 Club in Oxford Street was good to us, and for us, and I enjoyed that one.  I remember very well the clubs we used to go to after the gigs! The Bag Of Nails was brilliant – and The Speakeasy (we played there a couple of times too) – and The Revolution.

5. What would you be doing if you weren't playing music?
Wondering why on earth I wasn’t playing music!

6. Of the unperformed-live songs, "You and Me" is the most fan-requested song to be heard live. Is there a particular reason for excluding this particular song from the set-list? And if so, what?
I had no idea there was a fan–requested list, and nothing is deliberately excluded.   I would love to do the song though – but what should we drop to make room?  Oh, lets just play all night.

7. What’s your favourite food to eat when you’re not on tour?
Anything cooked by Alberto’s mother, at his studio in Italy.

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