The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame recently announced its class of 2018. The list of inductees included—along with Bon Jovi, the Cars, Dire Straits and Nina Simone—the Moody Blues.
For the Moody Blues, who spent the year celebrating the 50th anniversary of their landmark album, Days of Future Passed, the induction is long overdue. The band, which features Justin Hayward (lead guitar, vocals), John Lodge (bass guitar, vocals) and Graeme Edge (drums), will receive the honor alongside former members Ray Thomas (flute/vocals) and Mike Pinder (keyboard/mellotron/vocals).
Guitar World recently spoke with Hayward about the Moody Blues’ upcoming induction and more.
An artist becomes eligible for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 25 years after the release of their first commercial recording. The Moody Blues have more than doubled that. So, I guess the first logical question to ask would be, did you think this day would ever come?
To be honest, I kind of doubted it because it had been so long. But when it finally happened I was absolutely thrilled. For Moody Blues fans, it’s galvanized the music they love. I’m very pleased for them and for us. It’s a privilege to be in the same street as Buddy Holly and the Everly Brothers, and then to have Nina Simone inducted posthumously at the same time makes the whole thing complete. She was such a huge influence on me in my late teens and early twenties.
How did her music inspire you?
I think she was a musician’s musician, and those albums she made in the early to mid-Fifties were an exercise in how to put emotion across in a song and to feel it. There was a beautiful tragedy in her singing and playing that I haven’t heard since.
The band’s induction will include former members Mike Pinder and Ray Thomas. Are there any plans for a musical reunion with them at the ceremony?
I think the spirit is willing. Let’s put it that way.
The band has been celebrating the 50th anniversary of Days of Future Passed, a celebration that will continue into the new year. Can you tell me about your January tour plans that end in Vegas?
It starts with the Moody Blues Cruise, which is always great fun. It’s wonderful for the fans who get to see and hear us up close and intimate. Vegas is another place where Moodies fans like to gather. I remember the first time we ever played there I wasn’t sure if we even belonged. I thought, ‘What are we doing here?’ But then as we rolled into town I saw there was a big poster for Neil Young, who’s the king of credibility. That’s when I said, ‘Oh, this is OK, then.’ [laughs].
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