Graeme Edge of the Moody Blues talked candidly to uDiscover Music in late 2017 about the challenges of playing in a rock ‘n’ roll band in the second half of your 70s, and about their induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
In part one of our interview, the drummer reflected on the 50th anniversary of the Moodies’ classic Days Of Future Passed album, and the US tour on which they played the entire LP. Today, he muses on the sheer longevity of the group which he co-founded in 1964.
“It’s bloody-minded persistence, that’s what I call it,” says the ever-jovial musician. “We forced our way to the top by having everybody else pack in before us! We never had any idea [how long we would last], of course when we first started, we couldn’t trust anybody over 30.
“What nobody considered at the time is that your fans do grow older with you, so you keep on going and we all of us love playing live. I’m 76 now and I don’t know how long I can carry on, but I want to carry on. It keeps you young.
“All the people I knew when I first passed about 50, when you speak to people who are retiring or retired, they all said ‘Don’t quit too early.” Asked what he does when he’s not on the road, Graeme replies: “Nothing can take the place of that, but I travel, I eat, I love fine wines.” He adds with a laugh: “Wine and song, I’ve still got…”
Reflecting on the Moody Blues’ Hall of Fame recognition, with the ceremony due in April, he says: “It’s about time. It’s satisfying to us to see that we’re up there. Maybe 20 years ago, we were in Washington DC, and John [Lodge] was going to play golf with one of the Secret Service men from the White House.” This was at a point when the group had been passed over for induction once again.
“Everybody has to be checked out, they checked him out and the Secret Service guy said ‘One thing we can safely say is if the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame burns down, it’ll be your fans that are responsible.’”
As we ask the drummer if he can believe that it’s 50 years since the release of Days Of Future Passed, he concludes in his good-humoured way: “I know, I don’t believe it. Then I try and stand up from my chair, and I do believe it.”
The 50th anniversary 2CD/DVD deluxe edition of Days Of Future Passed can be bought here.
Follow the Moody Blues Best Of playlist.