Denny Laine says that not being included in the initial <a href=”/music/the-moody-blues”>The Moody Blues</a> roster for the <a href=”/articles/columns/rock/8070293/2018-rock-roll-hall-of-fame-inductees”>Rock and Roll Hall of Fame class of 2018</a> “didn’t bother me much.” But he’s certainly happy that he’s been added and will be part of the group’s entry into the shrine on April 14 in Cleveland.
“I thought (the rest of the band) deserved it because of the amount of work and the popularity, and I thought that’s the way it goes,” Laine — who co-founded the Moodys during 1964 in Birmingham, England, but left after the group’s 1965 debut album and the hit “Go Now” — tells Billboard. “I have to say, I’m a big fan of their stuff. Obviously, I’m very pleased I’m going to be in there. It’s an honor. I think I’m at least a little part of their story, so I feel very content, really, that it’s all come full circle now.”
Laine was added to the induction roster thanks to lobbying by Rock Hall voting committee members, including Little Steven Van Zandt, Peter Asher and Cousin Brucie Morrow. Van Zandt tweeted Dec. 16 that Laine’s “inadvertent ommission is being corrected on the Rock Hall website as we speak.” And Laine says Asher told him that “he wouldn’t even vote for the Moody Blues unless I was in it.”
“That was kind of the most rewarding part of the thing, I think: I had friends from the top who pushed for me to get back in,” Laine notes.
Laine says he’s received congratulations from fellow founding members Mike Pinder and Ray Thomas, though nothing has been determined about whether he’ll perform in any way at the induction ceremony. Pinder, according to Laine, recruited him away from his own band in Birmingham, though the other Moodys were not as interested in Laine’s push to move to London to be closer to the British music industry of the mid-’60s.
And even though he left before the landmark <a href=”/articles/news/8054640/moody-blues-50th-anniversary-days-of-future-passed-pbs-special”>Days of Future Passed</a>, Laine notes that he “was part of that whole early Moody Blues transitioning from a sort of R&B/blues band to being more progressive. We had this kind of hippie-dippy type of vibe going in those days, and they just developed it further. But if it hadn’t been for Mike and Ray talking me into getting into their band, I could’ve been stuck in Birmingham and not done anything, so I’m grateful for that.”
Laine, of course, is best known for his tenure in <a href=”/music/Wings”>Wings</a> as the only member other than <a href=”/music/Linda-McCartney”>Paul and Linda McCartney</a> to be in the group from start to finish. He doesn’t anticipate that group getting its own Rock Hall nod, however.
“It was not a band, really. It was <a href=”/music/paul-McCartney”>Paul McCartney</a> and a backing band — that’s the truth of the matter,” Laine says. “We weren’t a band like <a href=”/music/the-beatles”>The Beatles</a>, <a href=”/music/the-rolling-stones”>The Stones</a>, The Moody Blues. So I wouldn’t see Wings as a band that would go into the Hall of Fame, to be honest.”
These days, the New Jersey-based Laine is a solo act, playing songs from his entire past live as well as recording. He recently released the single “Meant to Be” / “Over the Horizon,” and he has a new album in the can as well.
“That’s kind of to show people I’m still doing something now, and I’m not just living in the past,” Laine says. “Tribute bands have kind of taken over the market, and I don’t want to come across as being that. I want to come across as being a current artist, still, who does the songs but my way rather than copy them note for note. So it’s kind of to show I’m doing something new as well as the old stuff.”