Moody Blues bassist John Lodge keeps his music alive in Ocean C
The Moody Blues are no longer touring, but John Lodge, the legendary bassist, vocalist and songwriter of the iconic rock band, performs his classic Moody Blues show at the Ocean City Music Pier on Monday, July 25, as part of their summer concert series.
I need to speak with him on a “Tuesday afternoon,” daily.
Why did the band stop touring?
Lodge: “I really don’t know. We had a fantastic show, we recorded a live version of ‘Days Of Future Passed’ and we only played on stage for one tour and that was it, really. I really don’t know. But, you know, I’m one of those people that I don’t investigate, why or what or whatever, you know?”
Why do you feel the need to keep playing The Moody Blues?
Lodge“I’ve been a Moody Blue all my life, and I’ll always be a Moody Blue. You know, these songs that we’ve been doing on stage for all these years, they’re part of my life, my journey through my life and a journey through my musical life. You know, without those songs, without me writing them or playing them, they wouldn’t have existed. So I really wanted to keep something that we invented. That’s really what it is. I love the music, from day one, that we wrote, performed and recorded together.”
How did you come to write I’m just a singer in a rock and roll band?
Lodge“I wrote it at home in England, in what was just a music room at the time, a quiet space, I think. We had just finished touring America, and I came home me and there are plenty of people sort of camping in my front yard.
“So I said, ‘What are you doing?’ And they said, ‘Well, we’re waiting here for the spaceship.’ I said, ‘What do you mean?’ And they said, ‘Well, we know you’re going to fly it for us.’ I said, ‘You know, I don’t like to fly. So I’m not going to fly a spacecraft.’
“I realized that people give us things they shouldn’t give us. And we’re just like everyone else. We might write about what’s going on in the world, but we don’t know about other than everyone knows And I just wanted to say, ‘Hey, I’m just a singer in a rock and roll band playing my music.’ But I end on the last line saying, “We’re just singers in a rock and roll band. Let’s just be the person and enjoy the music and enjoy life.”
In the 1980s, the Moody Blues experienced a resurgence. It starts with “Gemini Dream”. Long time no see. What was the thought process behind “Gemini Dream” and the relaunch?
Lodge“Well, that was exactly it. We had made an album before called Octave, which wasn’t really the album that was going to revive Moody’s. For me, Octave was the last of the albums that we was going to record like this”
“The original working title of ‘Gemini Dream’ was ‘Back on the road in the USA’ or something… The album was a critical success and we decided we were going to go on the road, the promote and have a great time to really play music.”
“We hadn’t been on the road in so many years and it’s like, ‘OK, it’s been a long time.’ That was what it was all about. We haven’t seen you in ages. And it was ‘Gemini Dream’ really because we were on the road as musicians, but for five years before that, we were at home, doing what everybody does, you know, we weren’t on the road, we were maybe recording it. We weren’t on the road. It was the kind of Gemini Dream, who we were then.”
And then you get into ‘The Voice’, ‘I Know You’re Out There Somewhere’, Wildest Dreams.” How was approaching 80s music different from approaching 60s music ?
Lodge: “We were exploring all new ways to record. The equipment was changing. When we started, really, there was a Mellotron of flute, bass and guitar, central drums and harmonies. And during the 80s, you had the computers Apple and everything was coming in, and you could experiment with different ways of recording. We really enjoyed that, I think, you know, finding new ways to record in the studio. And that led to all the different types of music we were doing, I think probably in the 80s and early 90s.”
What’s your favorite Moody Blues song? What Moody Blues song does John Lodge have the most fun playing?
Lodge: “Oh, the most fun I have is in ‘Singer in a rock and roll band.’ Yeah, that’s the song that I love to play on stage. Not because of my performance, but because of the musicians in my band. And anyone who comes to the concert on the 25th will understand what I mean. The musicians manage this song brilliantly.
For tickets to see John Lodge perform The Moody Blues at Ocean City Music Pier, click here.
The views expressed in the above post are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Steve Trevelise only. Follow him on Twitter @realstevetrev.
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