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13-May-11
Moody Blues not ready to go now

MyDesert.com

Graeme Edge of The Moody BluesIf he still lived in Birmingham, England, and hadn't been one of the original members of the Moody Blues, drummer Graeme Edge would be living out his days on the dole (think Social Security).

“Yeah, I was thinkin' about that just the other day,” Edge said from a hotel room in Denver. “I'd still have a little band and play the local pubs on the weekends. It's in my blood.”

The self-proclaimed “lotus- eater” who loves living in the sun in Sarasota, Fla., isn't ready for a rocking chair.

“Hell, no! It's not like I'm really working,” he said. “This is my hobby; you can't retire from your hobby, can you?”

Last year, the Moody Blues toured the East Coast, Edge said. “Now it's the West's turn.”

The band returns to the desert Saturday for an 8 p.m. concert at The Show at Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa in Rancho Mirage.

Edge is the only original member of the group whose first hit — 1964's “Go Now” — was a nice bit of British Invasion rock. Unfortunately, it's not on the set list these days. “It's a shame, really,” said Edge. “That was a nice little rocker, but the lead singer (Denny Laine) isn't with us and it would be the same.”

After “Go Now,” the Moody Blues found it difficult to match their initial success. By 1967, the band — now featuring Edge, singer-guitarist Justin Hayward and bassist John Lodge — was offered a chance to record a demo for Decca Records' Deramic Stereo. The project was supposed to showcase the company's new technology, but it ended up saving the band.

“We were supposed to record a rock version of (Anton) Dvorák's ‘New World Symphony,'” Edge recalled. Luckily, Peter Knight, conductor/arranger for the London Festival Orchestra, liked the original ideas the band, producer Tony Knight and engineer Derek Varnals had in mind for the disc.

“We'd record a song in the morning and give it to Peter, he'd write the bridge and charts for the orchestra and they'd record their part that night,” said Edge. “And it just went on just that way.”

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