Five questions with Graeme Edge of The Moody Blues

Bradenton Herald – The Moody Blues is performing at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, which happens to be just a hop, skip and a jump away from drummer Graeme Edge’s downtown Bradenton home.

Every entertainer lives to perform in front of the home crowd. Edge gets his opportunity today at the 8 p.m. show.

“I get to show off in front of all my golfing buddies,” Edge said during phone interview last week.

Edge’s British progressive rock band is the mastermind behind those 1970s and ’80s classic hits such as “Your Wildest Dreams” “Ride My See-Saw” and “Nights in White Satin.”

Since the band invaded the United States in the 1960s with the rest of the British music wave, its fueled 50 million album sales worldwide.

After all these years, those hits and others haven’t gathered dust for Edge, even with his 69th birthday coming up at the end of the month.

He’s spent 24 of those years living in Bradenton.

“I got to know the area and fell in love with it,” Edge said of his early sailing adventures with his yacht captain, who was a resident of Anna Maria Island. “Of course, back then, 24 years ago, Anna Maria Island was possibly the last outpost of hippies left in America. So I fit right in, you know?”

Edge was ready for the Herald’s five questions and then some. Here they are:

What have you been up to lately?

Well, mostly lately shivering come to think of it. What a winter. I’ve had enough. But normally I would be doing a little fishing, going boating, playing golf, going to dinner. I’m three times divorced . . .

Three times?

Yeah, well I’m a slow learner. So I have a couple of lady friends that I go out to dinner with. Nothing serious.

Out of all the songs you’ve done with The Moody Blues, can you pick a favorite top 40 hit that you’ve done?

I think my personal favorite would be “Question.” I think it highlights the two faces of The Moody Blues because there’s a strong heavy rock section and then there’s a very sweet but powerful ballad section. And it’s most interesting to play on drums as well because there’s lots of stops, and you purposely pull the tempo up and down a bit to accentuate the feeling.

Any plans for a new album?

As for new plans, no. There’s no record labels left anymore. . . . You see mostly now with new acts — it’s gone back to the bad old days, in fact — with new acts, the record companies are saying ‘Listen, we’re really just adverts for you.’ Because the record sales are destroyed as you know. So they want a piece of the road. Well, we ain’t giving nobody a piece of our road, thank you. We already got it done, you know what I mean?

What do you miss overall about life in the ’70s?

I don’t really miss a lot about it. No, because I did a lot of foolish things. Like a lot of people in the ’70s, they did way to much medication and there was an angst and an anxiety and a pressure. If I was that age, I’d probably love the ’70s, but right now I’m ever so content with life. I’m very, very happy. I have all the things that I want. As I’m in Bradenton, I’ve got some properties out on the beach, as you know, living here in this area (with the housing market) that have left a torpedo in me. But, you know, I figure if you don’t have a few problems, you don’t really get to know how happy you really are.

Any last words?

Yeah, everybody go out and buy houses so I can get back on the plus side (laughs). In seriousness, everybody hang in there because it is going to get better.

– published March 11, 2010

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