The Moody Blues have been eligible for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame since the 1990 ceremony, but it wasn’t until they were nominated last year – for the first time – that they made it in. This is in spite of the fact that the British group, best known for the single “Nights in White Satin,” logged multiple Number One and Top 10 albums in the U.S. from the Sixties to the Eighties, as well as stacks of gold and platinum plaques.
So when Justin Hayward and his past and present bandmates had the opportunity at the induction ceremony in Cleveland on Saturday to reflect on their careers, which have stretched more than half a century, they did so with poignant, heartfelt speeches. “The thanks really goes to the Moody Blues fans for giving us such a wonderful life of music,” Hayward said in a Rolling Stone interview prior to the ceremony. Here’s what they had to say at the event.
Denny Laine: I won’t keep you long. Since I wasn’t in the band that long. Mike and Ray came up to me. They wanted to perform a new band and I said “If we can play blues music, yeah.” but I’m really pleased to say that these guys got rid of the blue suits and went on to other things. And I’m a big fan. So, there you go. Moody Blues, I love you.
Graeme Edge: I’m not gonna make a long speech. I’m 77 years old, I ain’t got time. The first thing I want to do… I want to thank Justin and John for putting up with me for 50 years and counting. I want to thank me for putting up with Justin and John for 50 years and counting. I want to thank everyone in the world that’s ever helped me. You know who you are. Thank you. And all the people in the world that haven’t helped me… screw you. God bless you all! It was so long that we were eligible and didn’t make it, that I got a real sour grapes thinking about it. When it actually became something for us to appreciate and have, I did realize it means the world to me.
John Lodge: Well. In 1967, Graeme Edge, Mike Pinder, Ray Thomas, Justin Hayward and myself, along with our producer Tony Clarke, went into the Decca recording studio in London, England, and so days later, we came out with an album that changed our lives forever. The album Days of Future Passed. And I’d like to thank American radios for supporting us for five decades. And the belief in us has just been tremendous and has given us encouragement to keep going, and doing everything we love to do and that’s make music. We’d like to thank also some of our friends at radio, Howard Stern. And the great Scott Muni in New York.
And of course to the fans here tonight and of rock and roll: This is yours. Over the years, we’ve worked with many people. I just wanna name a few people: Edward Lewis, who was chairman of the Decca Record company in the UK and he started the Decca Record company here in the U.S.A. There’s all the people who have been with us for so many years. And I’d like to just… on a personal side. My wife, Kirsten. My daughter Emily and my son Christian. And of course, my hero John Henry. You are the pillars and the foundation of my life. Thank you to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Justin Hayward: Thank you very much. Thank you. If you don’t know already, well, we’re just a bunch of British guys and it’s quite hard explaining the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame over the other side of the Atlantic. I live near the Italian border and I live in a place … there’s an British, English community there. Of course, you know, the British will always form a community and a class system when we’re around the table wherever we are. But I was on a street walking to the shop the other day and I met a woman I knew and she said, “What are you boys up to then?” and I said, “Oh, we’re being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.” “Oh,” she said. “When are you being induced?” So, it’s kind of like being induced that people ask me if I’ve been induced.
But, of course, to us and to all of British musicians, this is the home of our heroes. It’s all the people that have come along and changed the world. But this is the home of my heroes and to be celebrated, even in the same street, in the same building, in the same town even as Buddy Holly and the Everly Brothers and the woman who showed us all how it should be done, that’s Nina Simone.
Of course, I’m very grateful to my parents, and I’m very grateful also to John and to Mike and to Ray and to Graeme, and it’s been such a wonderful partnership and for them putting up with a 19-year-old jerk who was me, trying to get my songs done. And I would also just mention like John and some of the radio personalities, Scott Muni and Howard, and Alison Steele. She was a wonderful, wonderful DJ. It’s a privilege anyway, and of course, all of the thanks and gratitude really goes to the Moody Blues fans. Thank you very much. It means a lot to me.