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Tuesday 12 March 2019

Interview: A Servants Of Science Tinkler Talks To Moody Blue Stalwart John Lodge About Music, Friendship & A Love Of Brighton

Moody Blue John Lodge, talks to Servants of Science founder, Stuart Avis, about a half-century career in music and his love for Brighton; ahead of an intimate and unique concert on the outskirts of the city, next month.
Credit EmilyLodge

When John Lodge and Justin Hayward joined The Moody Blues more than fifty years ago they brought to the table a fresh approach and their passports for world domination. 

Lodge, a lover of Brighton who often enjoys a stroll around The Laines, particularly the bookstores and antique shops, is bringing his solo tour to the outskirts of our fair city where he'll be performing at Trading Boundaries with an intimate and unique concert experience on 9th April 2019.

"There's something very special about Brighton, in the old days with Blue Jays, my American band, I'd say to them "come on we've got to have fish and chips, Brighton has the best fish and chips in the world!" they had no idea what I was talking about!" 


This will be John's first performance at Trading Boundaries, a venue that offers more than just a gig experience. Live performances are combined with fine dining enabling punters a full evening out in one location.

"Roger Dean who does the artwork for me is very involved there. I've been doing the 'Cruise To The Edge' cruises out of Florida down to Mexico and Roger is always on there because he has a gallery on the ship and we've been talking about it for ages. 

"He said "why don't you come and perform, we've got a lovely theatre down there where it's dinner and everything else, I think you'd really, really enjoy it". So, I've never been but I'm looking forward to it very much." 


Stuart Avis (SA): Does the dining experience present any challenges performance wise?

John Lodge: I'm just going to go in there and rock it out and see what happens. Every venue has got it's own idiosyncrasies whatever it is so over the years of being on stage you just sort of adapt, not change but adapt to how you do the show. We get there, have a look at how it's all set up and where everyone is. It's really important to have a technical rehearsal, that's what I like to do at every venue.

SA: Despite combining the roles of singing and playing bass at the same time Lodge always makes every effort to engage with his audience.

John Lodge: We're all part of the same experience, some people are listeners and some people are players. You can come unstuck sometimes because sometimes you're walking across the stage and still playing bass and then you realise 'this stage is bigger than the one yesterday and the microphone is just a bit too far away!' but we're all just singers in a rock and roll band as far as I'm concerned. 


SA: The show is set to be a career spanning event taking in elements from throughout Lodge's oeuvre and giving nod's to his past band mates.

John Lodge: I want to take the audience on a musical journey, not in linear time but songs that I think at the end of the evening they'll go away and have enjoyed the concert, that's the main thing, and hopefully something has happened to them. There are Moody Blues songs that I'm going to do that people wouldn't expect me to do, some deep cut songs we've never done as The Moody Blues and also a couple of tributes, one to Mike Pinder and one to my really good friend who unfortunately passed away - Ray Thomas. 

It's important to keep that music alive as well. I'm going to play "Legend of a Mind" because that is Ray Thomas. I met Ray when I was 15 and I want to keep his music alive, it's important for me and important for our friendship. When we were inducted into The Rock N Roll Hall of Fame Ray rang me up and said "Hey John, does this mean we're famous now?" so that lives with me and so does his music".

Although Pinder left the band over forty years ago, Lodge has maintained his friendship with the Moodies mellotron maestro.

"Mike was with us at The Rock N Roll Hall Of Fame, he lives in California so we e-mail and keep in touch. 

"It's important, we grew up together. On my album "10,000 Light Years Ago" I asked Ray and Mike to play on one of the songs which they did. For me it completed The Moody Blues circle so I was really happy about that."

Tickets are available for John Lodge's performance at Trading Boundaries, on Tuesday 9th April 2019, by CLICKING HERE. 

by: Stuart Avis




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