Denny Laine, co-founder of Wings and Moody Blues, dies

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Denny Laine sang the Moody Blues hit “ Go Now » before helping Paul McCartney launch Wings after the Beatles.

Denny Laine, original singer of the Moody Blues and co-founder/guitarist of Paul McCartney in the Wings, died on December 5 after a short battle with interstitial lung disease. He was 79 years old.

I was at his bedside, holding his hand and playing him his favorite Christmas songswrote his wife Elizabeth Hines in a statement. My world will never be the same again. Denny was an incredibly wonderful person, so loving and gentle to me. He made my days colorful, fun and full of life – just like him. »

Denny Laine grew up in Birmingham, England, and formed the band Denny Laine and the Diplomats with future Electric Light Orchestra drummer Bev Bevan when he was a teenager. But he didn’t achieve success until 1964, when he teamed up with Ray Thomas and Mike Ponder to form the Moody Blues. The group began by covering blues in London clubs, but switched to pop music after a few months. At the end of 1964, they recorded a cover of the song “ Go Now » by Bessie Banks, with Laine on vocals and guitar.

The song charted worldwide and reached number one in England, but Laine left the group shortly after the release of their debut album in 1965, The Magnificent Moodies, due to a conflict with their record company. “ They wanted us to stay on the road and make moneyLaine told North Coast Music Beat. Like every other band, we got ripped off. We had the glory, but not the money. »

In 1971, he teamed up with Paul and Linda McCartney to form Wings. He had known McCartney since the early days of the Moody Blues, when they toured with the Beatles, and had seen him open for Jimi Hendrix a few years earlier. “ This prompted him to call me because he wanted to do something new and differentLaine told Mass Live in 2019, and Wings was formed. We then went to Scotland, away from the public and press, and played together and worked on songs for Wings’ debut album, called Wild Life, and we eventually became a touring band. »

Wings had the absurdly difficult task of helping McCartney move on after the Beatles. “ It was always in the back of your mindLaine told Highway 81 Revisited in 2019. How to follow the Beatles? He started doing his things solo and it took him a while to reach that level. It was purely about having a band that could sound pretty good live, which we did… It was easier for me because we knew each other so well. We had the same attitude, and we knew that if we played live as much as possible, we would become good, including in the studio. »

Laine spent the seventies touring and recording with Wings, helping them create classic songs such as ” Live and Let Die “, ” Jet “, ” Silly Love Songs ” And ” Band on the Run “. He co-wrote “ Mull of Kintyre ” with McCartney in 1977 and was the only member of the group, aside from Linda McCartney, to have gone through all the group’s incarnations. It can be said that they reached the zenith of their creativity in 1973 with Band on the Run. “ Paul and I had the same musical influences and we had known each other since the 60sLaine told Billboard This year. It was easy. It was easy to hear each other’s songs, and I think that’s what made the album so popular. »

Wings broke up in 1981 after Paul McCartney was arrested in Japan for marijuana possession while on tour. Laine continued to work with McCartney on his early 1980s solo albums, Tug of War And Pipes of Peace, but they broke up due to business disputes. In the years that followed, Laine recorded a series of solo albums and toured extensively. In recent years he has given a series of special concerts in which he performed Band on the Run in its entirety, as well as other Wings and Moody Blues classics.

In 2018, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of the Moody Blues, after initially being left off the inductee list. “ I thought (the rest of the band) deserved it because of the amount of work and the popularity, and I was like “this is what it is”he told Billboard. Obviously, I’m very happy to be there. It is an honor. I think I’m at least a little part of their story, so I’m very happy, really, that it’s come full circle now. »


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Christopher Johnson

Christopher Johnson is a dedicated writer and key contributor to the WECB website, Emerson College's student-run radio station. Passionate about music, radio communication, and journalism, Christopher pursues his craft with a blend of meticulous research and creative flair. His writings on the site cover an array of subjects, from music reviews and artist interviews to event updates and industry news. As an active member of the Emerson College community, Christopher is not only a writer but also an advocate for student involvement, using his work to foster increased engagement and enthusiasm within the school's radio and broadcasting culture. Through his consistent and high-quality outputs, Christopher Johnson helps shape the voice and identity of WECB, truly embodying its motto of being an inclusive, diverse, and enthusiastic music community.