Bass player John Lodge was still in school when the Moody Blues took some songs they’d written to a festival in France. They were a secondary act, but when the main act dropped out just before the festival began, the call came for a band that could play live. The Moody Blues played three new songs, one a longer tune called “Night in White Satin.” It went to number one in France within a week and became one of the greatest seduction songs of all time.
John Lodge has been a vocalist, songwriter and bass player with the Moody Blues for more than 50 years. While the band is on hiatus, he is bringing his Classic Moody Blues tour to the United States with the 10,000 Light Years Band behind him. Lodge and the Blues have sold more than 70 million albums, including the groundbreaking Days of Future Passed, and has composed many of their greatest hits. The album, Seventh Sojourn was a Billboard number one for five weeks and Lodge wrote both singles from the album: the high-energy, “I’m Just a Singer (in a Rock and Roll Band)” and the lovely “Isn’t Life Strange.” He has also released solo albums including 10,000 Light Years Ago. A song from it, “In My Mind,” was nominated for Anthem of the Year. On this tour, he’ll also play songs from his new “best of” album, B Yond.
Lodge has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and received the Ivor Novello Award for Outstanding Contributions to Music. He has also been named one of the 10 most influential bass players. While proud of the honors, what remains uppermost is the music. “Music is my life and I can’t wait to get on the road with the 10,000 Light Years Band,” he said. “I am a ‘Moody Blue,’ I always will be, and the fans and I have traveled this road a long time. I hope they will continue with me as we keep the Moody Blues music alive. I hope new fans will discover and explore with us as we go ‘B Yond.’”
Joining Lodge on the tour are long-term collaborator Alan Hewitt, the music director and keyboard player; Billy Ashbaugh, from the Moody Blues touring band, on drums; Duffy King on guitar; and Jason Charbonneau on cello. Reviewers have noted the beautifully crafted songs, great energy and a sound that brings the audience to its feet. It’s a rare chance to see a rock legend up close and personal.
Long ago, Lodge was banned from music class because he didn’t know Beethoven’s birthday. He was forced to take woodworking instead and had no aptitude for it. Perhaps that’s why, to quote himself, he’s just a singer in a rock and roll band.
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