Graeme Edge, the only original member of The Moody Blues, has passed away. He was 80 years old.
Frontman Justin Hayward confirmed the news in a Facebook post on the band’s account, saying “Graeme’s sound and personality is present in everything we’ve done together and luckily it will live on.”
Edge’s cause of death on Thursday has yet to be confirmed.
The group’s drummer, renowned for his symphonic progressive rock hits from the 60s and 70s “Nights in White Satin”, “Tuesday Afternoon” and “I’m Just a Singer (In a Rock and Roll Band)”, co-founded the group in 1964 in Birmingham, England.
Throughout the history of The Moody Blues, Edge has remained an anchor, both in sound and spirit.
âIn the late ’60s we became the band Graeme always wanted them to be, and they came to be both a poet and a drummer. He delivered this beautifully and brilliantly, while also creating an atmosphere and a setting that music would never have achieved without his words, âHayward said in his post.
âGraeme and his parents were really nice to me when I first joined the band, and for the first two years he and I lived together or next to each other – and although we have almost nothing in common, we had fun and laughed the whole time, all while making what was probably the best music of our life, âcontinued Hayward. “Graeme was one of the great characters in the music industry and he will never be the same again.”
Hayward and bassist John Lodge joined The Moody Blues in 1966, following the departures of singer / guitarist Denny Laine and singer / bassist Clint Warwick. Their arrival changed the sound of the band, which initially leaned towards R & B / rock, led by Edge drums, on the first songs “Go Now” and “I Don’t Want to Go On Without You”.
Lodge commented on Twitter on the death of his longtime companion: âSadly Graeme passed away today. To me he was the white eagle of the North with his beautiful poetry, his friendship, his love of life and his “unique” style of drumming that was the engine room of the Moody Blues. I will miss you Graeme.
The group is widely credited with establishing mainstream prog-rock. Their second album, the record-breaking 1967 concept “Days of Future Passed”, became the star of artists such as Genesis, Yes and Electric Light Orchestra.
After a few breaks in the ’70s, The Moodies, as they were known to fans, resurfaced in the’ 80s and became an unlikely presence on MTV with the glittering pop hits “Your Wildest Dreams” and “I Know You’re. Out There Somewhere â, filled with vocals and signature layered synths.
Their last album, “December”, a Christmas-themed release, arrived in 2003. It was the band’s debut album following the retirement of original member Ray Thomas, leaving Edge as the last founding player.
The Moody Blues embarked on what would be their last tour of 2017 for the 50th anniversary of “Days of Future Passed”. In 2018, Edge and the band were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. That fall, the trio performed a series of dates focused on “Days of Future Past” in Las Vegas.