Moody Blues: A Blue-Arsed What?! By Susan Johnson Photos by Mark Cubbedge “I’m very busy at the moment. Selling a house and buying a house, going home to England for the holidays, getting ready for a cruise and then a tour…I’m running around doing a very good imitation of a blue-arsed fly!” That’s how our conversation started and I’ll admit, I had never heard the phrase “blue-arsed fly” before. But what do I know? He’s the one who knows stuff. After all, he’s been performing for over 50 years; has written songs like “Higher and Higher,” “Beyond,” and “The Dream:” played drums with Jimi Hendrix (ok, only once, but it counts!), conducted both the Sarasota Pops and the Southern Florida Orchestras; released two solo albums and published a book of poems. But wait..he’s also lived on a yacht (staying for extended periods of time on the Greek island of Corfu and in the Caribbean), and the band that he founded has, to date, sold over 70 million albums, been awarded 18 platinum and gold discs, is about to embark on a cruise and a tour and, surprisingly, hasn’t had a studio release of new standard material since 1999 (a holiday album, “December,” is a mix of new songs and covers that was released in 2003). He’s charming and funny and well…see for yourselves. Say hello to Graeme Edge, drummer for, and founding member of, The Moody Blues!| One of the first stories he tells me is about jamming in a little club in England with Eric Clapton. “It was basically Cream but Ginger Baker wasn’t there and I was taking his place. Eric Clapton was on guitar and one of the Animals brought Jimi Hendrix over and said can he jam with us? I said yeah and up he got…we played for about two hours.” Maybe that experience is what started a lifelong case of butterflies. “I have nightmares where the curtains open up and the music’s about to start but I’m not on stage.” For Edge, who absolutely loves performing live, a little stage fright is all part of the fun. He admits to being a little nervous before every performance but says the time just before the tour actually starts up is always the worst. “Yeah, I dream I’m out in the audience and I’m trying to get past all the people but I can’t get to the stage.” An actor friend once told him “if you’re not nervous before a show, you shouldn’t be on stage because it must mean you don’t care.” He continues; “And I think that’s true although the nervousness gets worse as you get older.” It’s a good thing he’s made peace with the jitters because the Moody Blues head out on a “Lovely to See You Cruise” on February 26th and don’t get back to port until March 1st. Just two days after their ship comes in, they kick off their “Fly Me High” tour in Hollywood, Florida, working their way over to our own St. Augustine Amphitheatre on March 11th. Read More HERE.
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