Justin Hayward and John Lodge of The Moody Blues have issued statements about the death of drummer Graeme Edge this morning at the age of 80 due to cancer.
Hayward writes, "It’s a very sad day. Graeme’s sound and personality is present in everything we did together and thankfully that will live on.
"When Graeme told me he was retiring I knew that without him it couldn’t be the Moody Blues anymore. And that’s what happened. It’s true to say that he kept the group together throughout all the years, because he loved it."
"In the late 1960’s we became the group that Graeme always wanted it to be, and he was called upon to be a poet as well as a drummer. He delivered that beautifully and brilliantly, while creating an atmosphere and setting that the music would never have achieved without his words. I asked Jeremy Irons to recreate them for our last tours together and it was absolutely magical."
"Graeme, and his parents, were very kind to me when I first joined the group, and for the first two years, he and I either lived together, or next door to each other - and despite us having almost nothing in common, we had fun and laughs all the way, as well as making what was probably the best music of our lives."
"Graeme was one of the great characters of the music business and there will never be his like again."
Lodge posted on Facebook, "'When the White Eagle of the North is flying overhead'...sadly Graeme left us 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."
Moody Blues drummer Graeme Edge passed away yesterday at the age of 80 from cancer.
Born on March 30th, 1941, he was a founding member of the band, which formed on May 4th, 1964 in Birmingham, England, and was their longest serving member, having been part of every incarnation of the band.
Hoping to have the Mitchells & Butlers brewery sponsor them, they called themselves The M&B Five.
In addition to being the drummer, Graeme was also responsible for the poetry that was weaved throughout many of their albums. This included "Late Lament," which follows "Nights in White Satin" on their 1967 breakthrough album, Days of Future Passed. Ironically, in that poem, Graeme wrote, "Senior citizens wish they were young."
Graeme also was the funniest and most lighthearted member of the band, as was evident each time he would introduce on stage his 1969 song, "Higher and Higher."
"I did live through the '60s twice. The first time my hair was brown and my teeth were white, and [holding up two fingers] meant peace. Now my hair's white and my teeth are brown and [holding up two fingers] means Viagra. But if you think about it, it's still sex, drugs and rock and roll."
Not only was being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2018 a highlight of his career, but so was jamming with three other members of the Hall in the late '60s in London.
When the Moodies took a break in the mid-'70s, Graeme formed The Graeme Edge Band, which recorded two albums -- 1975’sKick Off Your Muddy Bootsand 1977’sParadise Ballroom.
A resident of Florida's Gulf Coast, Graeme retired in 2018, which spelled the end of the Moodies. A longtime sailor, he liked to spend time on his boat as well as tooling around in his three-wheel Morgan — a British sports car — the occasional round of golf, war films and sci-fi – he was a confirmed Trekkie.
Graeme Edge leaves behind a son, daughter, five grandchildren and his soulmate, best friend and confidantRilla Louise.
Edge is the third member of the Moodies to pass following original bassist Clint Warwick in 2004 and flute player and singer Ray Thomas in 2018.