The Moody Blues revisit ‘Days of Future Passed’ on summer tour
The Moody Blues (l-r): Justin Hayward, Graeme Edge and John Lodge, perform at the Fox Theatre on July 23, 2017.
For a certain generation, “Days of Future Passed” ranks among their lifetime musical highlights.
The Moody Blues’ landmark 1967 album, widely considered a hallmark of prog rock, spawned the lushly orchestrated “Nights in White Satin” and “Tuesday Afternoon” (though it was the 1972 re-release of “Nights” that climbed the U.S. charts and turned it into an essential for now-classic rock radio).
On their current tour, which wraps Sunday with a performance at Chastain Park Amphitheatre, the core trio of singer-guitarist Justin Hayward, bassist John Lodge and drummer Graeme Edge will perform “Days…” in its entirety, following a set of their other velvety hits (“I Know You’re Out There Somewhere,” “I’m Just a Singer (In a Rock and Roll Band),” “Your Wildest Dreams”).
Earlier this week, Lodge checked in after a tour stop in Philadelphia to chat with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Kaedy Kiely, the afternoon drive host at The River (97.1 FM), about the band’s upcoming concert. To hear more from the interview, including about Lodge’s wine line, Krisemma, listen at www.971theriver.com.
Q: What has it been like re-creating those songs on stage?
A: It’s great fun. Like everything else, preparation is the most important thing, and we’ve been preparing this tour for at least six months. … We spent a lot of time discussing how to do it. We’re really pleased with the results and the reproduction of the songs. When the fans come, there’s a special feeling with this tour on stage. There seems to be an incredible amount of joy (in the audience); you can feel it on stage. The album is 42 minutes long and the audience has to sit there a long time, but they’re very patient. I want to thank everyone for that. … The whole thing about it is, it’s our music. It’s us. We’re not performing someone else’s songs or music. … We went into the studio for a week and made an album that changed our lives forever.
Q: You recorded your recent shows in Toronto with an orchestra. What is the plan for those?
A: It’s going to be a DVD, and we’re going to release it for Christmas. We’re really excited about that. Our engineer is in Italy working on it right now. It’s a great celebration of “Days of Future Passed.” Jeremy Irons did the narration; the whole thing is really exciting.
Q: You worked with (original Moody members) Mike Pinder and Ray Thomas on your last solo album (2016’s “10,000 Light Years Ago”). What happened that they weren’t able to be part of this tour on some dates?
A: Ray is still one of my best friends; he lives about a mile from me. He’s just loving what we’re doing; I’m singing “Another Morning” on stage. Ray decided because of cancer and health problems — he’s fine — but traveling and everything else, he didn’t want to do that. But we talk to each other a lot. He came to my concert when I did my English tour, and he did it as a surprise. Mike was the same. He’s in California, and I keep in touch with him as well and keep him informed. He hasn’t been on the road with us for a very long time. We’re celebrating the five of us in the stage shows. I insisted we get lots of photos with Ray and Mike on (the video screens) from that period of time.
Q: Since you won’t have an orchestra here, what is the rest of the band like?
A: We have some great musicians on stage — keyboards, flute. Four people are with us. It’s just fabulous because they love the music. They want it to be right as well.
Q: You’re pretty active on Twitter. Do you handle that account yourself?
A: It’s the only thing I do! My son runs my website and Facebook page. I do the Twitter one because the fans can actually get a feel when I’m on tour, what I’m seeing. They can’t be on the road with me, they can’t come visit, so they can see what’s happening, see my guitar, see the venues, see the towns. When I was growing up, if I could have seen that from people, I would have really enjoyed it.
Q: Any plans for more solo work from you?
A: My last concert I did in England was in Birmingham (where Lodge is from). I wanted the tour to end there to say thank you, and I recorded and filmed that concert. We’re working on putting that out as a DVD and CD in the fall, and hopefully we’ll come to America in the fall.
The Moody Blues
8 p.m. July 23. $46-$66. Chastain Park Amphitheatre, 4469 Stella Drive N.W., Atlanta. 1-800-745-3000, http://www.ticketmaster.com.