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The Moody Blues drummer Graeme Edge dies aged 80

The band have paid tribute to the late sticksman

By Charlotte Krol

Graeme Edge pictured sat behind a drumkit
Graeme Edge. (Picture: Wikimedia commons/Derek Russell)

Graeme Edge, drummer with The Moody Blues, has died at the age of 80.

The rock band’s sticksman, who wrote many of the band’s lyrics, has been described as “one of the great characters of the music business” in a tribute by his bandmate Justin Hayward.

Edge played in the Birmingham-based band, who were famous for hits including ‘Nights In White Satin’ and ‘Tuesday Afternoon’, from 1964-1974 and periodically from the turn of the 21st century. The Moody Blues were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2018 and technically haven’t disbanded despite their last album, ‘December’, being released 18 years ago.

Frontman Hayward said [via The Guardian]: “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 any more. 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 1960s 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.”

Recalling the band’s early days, he added: “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. My sincerest condolences to his family.”

Edge was born in Rochester, Staffordshire on March 30 1941. He moved to Birmingham with his family shortly after.

In 1964 he joined up with Ray Thomas and Mike Pinder to form The Moody Blues.

During a break in the band’s recording and touring, Edge released his first solo single recording, called ‘We Like To Do It/Shotgun’ in 1974.

The following year he released his first solo album, ‘Kick Off Your Muddy Boots’, together with the single ‘The Tunnel/Bareback Rider’.

According to the band’s website Edge was a fan of sailing, golf and sci-fi, and was a “confirmed Trekkie”.

Some other tributes to the late musician have been paid. KISS‘s Paul Stanley wrote on Twitter: “RIP Graeme Edge. I saw the Moodys at the Fillmore East, March 19,1970 and they were EPIC. Sounded just like their recordings. NOBODY could touch them at what they created and to this day you know them as soon as you hear them.”