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Quote:Another Tom Tomkins page I had missed, with a bio and current pic. Ccile probably posted this before, it mentions his gold album award for Blue Jays:
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Quote:Thank you from Alan 'Old Duffer From England' Long.
While we are on the subject,
here is an interview from a Dutch magazine, June 1975. I did the translation for someone else, but now is the time to post it here.
Do the Moody Blues still exist, or can we actually say that the English supergroup is no more? We ask that question to Justin Hayward, singer/guitarist of
the band. He makes a very neutral face, and says: "The Moody Blues do still exist, it's just that the band as a whole has not been active recently,
and that causes rumors to spread that the band no longer exists. But I can assure you that the rumors are totally unfounded. Over the years the Moody Blues
have grown into an organization where much artistry, energy and money has been invested. It would be very stupid to split up such an organization".
So as a band, the Moody Blues for now are at a standstill, but the various members are doing just the opposite. Hayward: "When we had finished a big
world tour in March of last year, we all decided to take a break from group activities. One by one, we all had ideas for solo projects, and decided to work at
those. On that way, fresh ideas will be created which eventually will help the band as whole".
Together with Moodies bass player John Lodge, Justin Hayward has already made a solo project, which can definitely be called a sensational success. With the
help of a few musical friends, they recorded an LP of extravagant distinctive music. The album is called Blue Jays and consists of ten numbers composed by
Hayward and Lodge.
How did Blue Jays come about? John Lodge: "We'd been thinking about doing an album together for some time, Justin and I get on well together. Our
musical ideas have a lot in common, and both of us have written quite a few numbers in recent years that have not been considered band material, so we thought
about making our own album". Hayward adds: "You can compare it to the snowball that rolls down the hill, getting bigger all the time. When we were
in the studio, it was fantastic, and brought more interest in from all sides. And because of that, we knew quite early on, that this album would be a big
success, and we could promote it in a big way"
And it happened! Very seldom has an album been launched with so much fanfare and money as Blue Jays was. How much has been put into the whole adventure is
not exactly known, but it is anyway an amount that goes way above the 200,000 (Dutch guilders). * Then in 1975, you could have bought a very large house with
that money, and still have some over * As it is, the input has been well worth it, the money being returned in great fashion, because in many countries Blue
Jays was one of the biggest selling albums for many weeks. In England and America it was especially successful.
The music of Blue Jays was first revealed in Carnegie Hall in New York. It was a real happening, where more than 3500 well-known's in the music field,
throughout the whole world, were invited. On the stage of the music temple they saw a large white screen, where the romantic cover of the Blue Jays album was
projected. And what did they hear? A tape with the ten numbers of Justin and John's vinyl creation (the record was not yet pressed). After the band was
played, everyone went home!!
Why did they choose such a unique but pretentious presentation? Hayward: "Everywhere, and especially in America, people were yearning for the record.
All the big radio stations wanted to have the première, and be the first to play one or two numbers. Lately, the competition between radio stations in America
is on the increase, so to give everyone the same chance, we did the session in the Carnegie Hall. We considered that to be the best option. OK, it cost a lot
of money, but it was the only way.
Hayward and Lodge recorded Blue Jays under the production of Tony Clarke, who has been the producer of the Moody Blues for some years. They were musically
assisted by Kirk Duncan (piano), Graham Deakin (drums), Jim Cockey. (Violin), and Tim and Tom Tompkins (cello and viola, resp). The recording took place in
Threshold Studios (in the West Hampstead area of London) owned by the five Moody Blues. Hayward and Lodge, call it without doubt the best recording studio in
Blue Jays is strikingly familiar to the recordings of the Moody Blues. The music is well finished, is often super romantic, sugary sweet, bombastic and
pretentious, and accordingly earns the title 'noble-kitsch.' According to Hayward and Lodge, what is the difference between Blue Jays and the
group's albums? Lodge: "In the first place, we only have own our numbers on it. We have been able to indulge ourselves more, vocally, and we play
other instruments as well as guitar and bass". And Hayward adds: I think that this album is more guitar orientated than the group albums. But Hayward and
Lodge have no real reason why, in spite of the differences from the group albums, Blue Jays still sounds almost the same.
How are the die-hard Moody Blues fans reacting to this joint effort from Hayward and Lodge? Are they pleased, or would they rather have a new Moody Blues
album? Hayward smiles: "I have the impression that most fans look upon 'Blue Jays' as the new Moody Blues LP. It's been some time since the
last album 'Seventh Sojourn' was released, three years in fact. So far, the fans have only reacted positively. For the past two years we've been
inundated with letters asking when we will eventually make a new LP. We have the idea that now Blue Jays is out, they will be satisfied for a while. It is
Hayward and Lodge have no idea when the Moody Blues quintet will go into the studio to record another album. Lodge diplomatically says: "There will
be one in future, but when? Yes, that is the big question. According to Hayward it certainly won't be within the following six months. "Everyone is
too busy with their own solo projects". He tells us that Mike Pinder is busy recording a solo record in America, that Graeme is busy producing, amongst
others he will be doing the production for the second LP from Baker Gurvitz Army, and Ray Thomas also has solo plans.
Hayward and Lodge are determined to continue with the Blue Jays project. They have actually started this by recording a few numbers with the same musical
friends, and hope to have a new LP ready at the end of the year.
Together with their five backing musicians, they are planning to do some shows. They have been rehearsing for a few weeks now. It is hoped that the first
concerts will be staged in England, and on the continent (Holland included) in October. A full American tour will start in November.
In short, Hayward and Lodge, have plenty of future plans. They can only guess when they will start work with their three Moody companions again; all they
know at the moment is that they have a lot of work within the Blue Jays.
According to some pessimists, the Moody Blues are dead, but one thing is certain: The Blue Jays are alive and kicking.
I can't do anything colour or font changes.
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Magical Lost tapes found!.....searching through the archives of the Moody Blues
tape storage a "rare" live recording of "the Blue Jays" tour of the UK in 1974
was discovered. John has said " it is brilliant and was recorded in Leeds
England ", It will be released next year on a new Moody Blues box set....watch
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