The future is not passed for the Moody Blues Justin Hayward might be in his 50th year as lead singer in the Moody Blues but the 68-year-old Englishman says there’s still no place he’d rather be than on stage with a guitar and a microphone. “We’re together for the sake of the music,” says Hayward of the band, which plays the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles on Tuesday. “We share the music in common and that’s something I’d never want to give up.” Hayward seems like he should be an original member of the band but in truth he joined two years after it started, though before the group found its biggest success with a style of rock ’n’ and roll that incorporated hints of classical music in the mix. The Moody Blues today include founding drummer Graeme Edge and bassist John Lodge who joined with Hayward in 1966, and the singer says they along with their current touring players are get along wonderfully on the road. “I have to say this incarnation of the band is the happiest I’ve seen,” Hayward says. “All of us on stage really want to be there, and I’m not sure that was always the case in the past. “The first guy to leave was (founding keyboard player) Mike Pinder. I’m his biggest fan, but he didn’t want to tour anymore.” Playing live shows has always been of great importance, Hayward says. “We learnt really early on that that the bands that play together are the ones that are going to survive,” he says. “And it’s a pleasure to be together, a relationship to be celebrated.” It’s been a dozen years since the Moody Blues’ last studio album, the Christmas-themed “December,” but their current tour does find them on the road partly to promote the recent box set “The Polydor Years: 1986-1992” which includes six CDs and two DVDs. “It’s never a problem what to play,” Hayward says. “It’s a problem what to leave out. There’s probably three-quarters of the show that we can’t leave out.” This time around, the first half of the show focuses on songs from the box set and the band’s latter-day resurgence which included hit singles such as “I Know You’re Out There Somewhere” and “Your Wildest Dreams.” “To have two hit singles in your late 30s or 40s, I kind of missed it the first time,” Hayward says. “I was a bit too stoned and a bit too preoccupied the first time. So it was really good fun, but it was also a time that really cemented our career and even brought more fans in. “I think the ’80s are the reason we’re still able to be here now. Otherwise we’d just be a nostalgia act now.” After spending time on those late-period tunes, the show finishes firmly in the heyday of the Moody Blues. “The second half is things like ‘Nights’ and “Tuesday’ and ‘Singer,’” he says, referring, of course, to a few of the even bigger hits the band scored in the ’60s and ’70s: “Nights In White Satin,” “Tuesday Afternoon,” and “I’m Just A Singer (In A Rock and Roll Band). “I hope there’s something for everybody,” Hayward says. “There’s certainly something there for every incarnation of the band.” While the Moody Blues haven’t released new material since 2003, both Hayward and Lodge have new projects out this year. Lodge’s “10,000 Light Years Ago” arrives on Tuesday as his first solo album since 1977, and features guest performances by former Moody Blues band mates Pinder and flutist Ray Thomas. Hayward’s “Spirits ... Live” came out last year, a live version of 2013’s “Spirits of the Western Sky,” and serves as the basis and the title of a live concert film released this year by PBS. “On the PBS special I had three other musicians,” Hayward says. “I’d already filmed it (in Atlanta) and the PBS people came to see me and suggested I be part of pledge drive.” After this run with the Moody Blues wraps later this year, Hayward says he plans to play a series of acoustic shows similar to one he did a year or so at the Troubadour in West Hollywood. “I loved every moment of it,” he says. “The place was absolutely jam-packed and I could hear every guitar. I love the Moody Blues productions but it was special to bring out the guitars I used to write the songs.”
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