Moody Blues Drummer Graeme Edge Dead at 80
The music world has lost another great, as longtime Moody Blues drummer Graeme Edge has died at the age of 80. The musician's passing was confirmed by his family to News Nation, while his longtime bandmates John Lodge and Justin Hayward have both offered their tributes via social media.
Lodge, the band's bassist, stated of Edge, "'When the White Eagle of the North is flying overhead' …sadly Graeme left us today. To me he was the White Eagle of the North with his beautiful poetry, his friendship, his love of life and his “unique” style of drumming that was the engine room of the Moody Blues." He also tweeted a photo of himself with Edge, stating, "I will miss you Graeme."
Hayward, the band's lead singer and guitarist, shared his tribute via the band's Facebook page. It read as follows:
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 anymore. 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 1960’s 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.
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.
In addition to serving as the band's drummer, as mentioned, Edge's penchant for poetry also worked its way into the group's songwriting. The songs "Morning Glory" and "Late Lament" from 1967's Songs of Future Passed were among his early works and by 1969, he began contributing full fledged songs for the band.
He was one of the founding members of the group in 1964 and was the last original member of the group that remained. During a band hiatus in 1974, he formed his own self-titled band, but eventually returned to the Moody Blues when they ended their hiatus in 1978 and was part of a successful chart run that carried into the '80s.
Edge remained with the group through 2018 when he finally retired from touring. He was still with the band when they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2018.
Revisit some of Graeme Edge's work with the Moody Blues below.