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08-Jun-11
The Moody Blues: Still Rocking Today

By Tiffany Broden
High Plains Reader

The Moody BluesThere’s a generation of rock and roll unlike any other. The one that inspired, influenced and made rock and roll what it is today. It’s the first generation rock and roll, born in the 60s. No, this isn’t another article about the Beatles. It’s about the Moody Blues, a band that’s still rocking today with one original member from the beginning, Graeme Edge.

“It was high wind back then. We used to party hard,” said Edge, describing the scene. “It was a jeans and t-shirt [party scene] and you couldn’t trust anyone over 30.”

But it was before the booze, sex and drugs when drummer Graeme Edge found his calling to be in a rock and roll band. “I used to be in a church boys group called the Boys Brigade. We used to walk around the streets in marching bands for an hour and a half. Of course this was back when traffic was so low 25 people could march around without interrupting traffic. I played the snare drum and I was just always interested in it. When I was 12, I got a snare bass and cymbal. Then one day 10 Little Indians by Bill Haley came on the radio. And I thought, Whoa! I likey! And that set the path for the rest of my life.”

It was in 1967 when the Moodies released one of their biggest hits, “Nights in White Satin,” an almost magical song with beautiful, desperate poetry and lovely melodies. It hit both the UK and USA charts in the 60s and 70s, and reappeared on the UK Singles Chart last year.

“It’s absolutely crazy to have a song like that reappear on the charts.” Edge chuckled with an almost raspy voice. It’s clear he’s lived a very fulfilling rock and roll lifestyle. And it’s a huge accomplishment for a band to have a single hit the charts 40 years after it was first released.

If you listen carefully you can hear the Moodies’ influences. “One that surprised me, Gordan Marshall (a second drummer for the Moody Blues) showed me Thriller, a show about Michael Jackson.” Edge said. “So many of his songs have recognizable parts of the Moodies. Not copies, but they could be influences. Everyone is just a subtitle of their influence. Unique people are considered insane.”

But after all these years, and all the fans and artists touched, the Moodies are still touring around the globe to millions – with a few different fan bases. “We have the fans that were with us in the 60s and 70s. And then with our single in 1985, we gained a new fan base. Lately we’ve been catching a lot of younger people and random ages around 23-25.” Edge said. “We’ve hit the mid-tour slump.” Edge said. “It’s the part of a tour where you can see the end of it. And I can’t wait to go back to my own bed.”

But before Edge gets to sleep in his own bed, they will be playing in Moorhead at the Center for The Arts on June 8. It’s really a show of a lifetime and one that shouldn’t be passed up. It’s a chance to see the first rock and roll music, or relive the days of the old, which ever you may have.

Just to get a grip of how big they are, the Moody Blues have sold in excess of 70 million albums worldwide and have been awarded an astonishing 14 platinum and gold discs.  Their incredible roster of hits include:  “Nights In White Satin,” “Tuesday Afternoon,” “Ride My See Saw,” “The Story In Your Eyes,” “Isn’t Life Strange,” “Question,” “I’m Just A Singer (In A Rock And Roll Band),” “Your Wildest Dreams,” and “I Know You’re Out There Somewhere,” to name a few.  The Moody Blues’ No. 1, Top 5, Top 10, Top 20, Top 40, Multi-Platinum, Platinum and Gold albums and singles, have generated sold-out tours on a consistent basis over the course of several decades, making them one of the top-grossing album and touring bands in existence.

And even after all these years, songs and awards, the Moodies are about to release one more album. A new greatest hits with the title “ICON” under Universal Music Enterprises. Keep your eyes open for it on July 19.

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