Moody Blues Remember Sharing an Early Bill With the Beatles
A wise musician always pays attention to the other artists on the bill — you never know where you're going to hear them next, or when they might turn out to be the next biggest band in the world. Just ask Moody Blues drummer Graeme Edge, who still remembers watching the Beatles perform at a Liverpool gig where the Moodies were billed as "Birmingham's top band."
"They played a song called 'Long Tall Sally.'" Edge recalled during an hourlong Q&A session at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame held prior to the band's upcoming induction this weekend. "Well, at the time, that was dead in Birmingham, because we had no idea about sounding ethnic. ... So we're all there sitting in the back, having a beer and thinking these guys are going to, you know, bomb out because we were playing all the good stuff."
Needless to say, the Beatles' trajectory didn't turn out the way the Moodies envisioned that night — but as their pending Rock Hall induction can attest, Edge and his bandmates haven't done too badly for themselves either. Joined by frontman Justin Hayward and bassist John Lodge, he looked back on an impressively long-running career during the Q&A event, reflecting on everything from the Moody Blues' early struggles with label interference to their unlikely second act as Top 40 hitmakers during the mid-to-late '80s.
While they'll arguably always be best remembered for their early hits, Hayward admitted the band's success might have been a little more enjoyable later on.
"The first time, I was a bit distracted or my mind was elsewhere most of the time," Hayward told attendees. "But the second time around, I enjoyed every moment of it."