Graeme Edge, a drummer and co-founder of The Moody Blues, has died. He was 80.
The band’s frontman Justin Hayward confirmed Edge’s death Thursday at the group’s website. The cause of his death has not been revealed.
Hayward called Edge the backbone of the British rock band, which was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2018. The band’s last album was released in 2003.
“When Graeme told me he was retiring, I knew without him it could not be Moody Blues anymore,” Hayward said. “And that’s what happened. It’s true to say he kept the group together through all the years because he loved it.”
In 1964, Edge co-founded the group in Birmingham, England. His drumming expertise was a key ingredient for the band’s massive prog-rock hits between the 1960s and 70s, including “Nights in White Satin”, “Tuesday Afternoon” and “I’m Just a Singer (In a Rock and Roll Band)” . ”
“In the late 1960s, we became the group that Graeme always wanted it to be, and he was encouraged to be a poet as well as a drummer,” said Hayward, who joined The Moody Blues in 1966 with bassist John Lodge after Denny Laine’s departure from the band.
“He delivered it beautifully and brilliantly, while at the same time creating an atmosphere and setting that music would never have achieved without his words,” he continued. “I asked Jeremy Irons to recreate them for our last trips together, and it was absolutely magical.”
Edge was featured on The Moody Blues’ 16 studio albums, starting with “The Magnificent Moodies” in 1965 and ending with their last album, “December” with the 2003 Christmas theme.
Lodge paid tribute to Edge on the band’s Facebook page and also praised him for his spoken word talents.
“To me he was the White Eagle of the North with his beautiful poetry,” he said. “His friendship, his love of life and his ‘unique’ drumming style that was the engine room of Moody Blues.… I will miss you Graeme.”
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