Sad news for the rock world today, as Graeme Edge, founding drummer of seminal psychedelic rock band The Moody Blues, has died. He was 80 years old.
News of Edge’s death was confirmed by Moody Blues bassist, guitarist, and co-vocalist John Lodge.
“Sadly Graeme left us today,” tweeted Lodge. “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.”
Formed in Birmingham, England, The Moody Blues were one of the pioneering bands in progressive and psychedelic rock. Their music had a poetry and a spookiness to it that would go on to inspire everyone from Deep Purple to Rob Zombie. They are best known for their 1967 album Days of Future Passed, which combined psychedelic rock with art rock and broader, epic subject matter. Most notable from that record is the single “Nights In White Satin,” which for many summed up the feeling of the late-’60s drug explosion.
Edge also wrote poetry for The Moody Blues, though keyboardist and vocalist Mike Pinder usually recited it, because according to Edge his love of whiskey and cigarettes gave him a better voice for it.
According to Louder, when The Moody Blues went on hiatus in ’74, Edge released two albums with his own Graeme Edge Band, which featured Adrian and Paul Gurvitz — 1975’s Kick Your Muddy Boots Off, which featured a guest appearance from Ginger Baker, and Paradise Ballroom in 1977.
Edge was the only remaining member of the original line-up left in The Moody Blues, with Ray Thorn, who played flute, harmonica, and percussion, passing away in 2018. Lodge and guitarist/vocalist John Hayward didn’t join the band until 1966.
Everyone at The Pit sends their heart out to Edge’s family, friends, fans and collaborators during this difficult time.
Words by Chris Krovatin