Moody Blues drummer Graeme Edge dies aged 80

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Moody Blues frontman Justin Hayward has paid tribute to bandmate Graeme Edge, who has died at the age of 80.

He was the drummer in the Birmingham-based rock band who were famous for such hits as Nights In White Satin and Tuesday Afternoon.

They were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2018.

Hayward said: “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.

“I asked Jeremy Irons to recreate them for our last tours together and it was absolutely magical.”

The Moody Blues play at Holborn Viaduct Station
The Moody Blues play at Holborn Viaduct Station (PA)

Recalling the band’s early days he continued: “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, and moved to Birmingham with his family shortly after, according to the Moody Blues’ official website.

He joined up with Ray Thomas and Mike Pinder to form the Moody Blues in 1964.

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

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”.

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