Moody Blues rocker Graeme Edge dies aged 80

Graeme Edge dies aged 80 credit:Bang Showbiz
Graeme Edge dies aged 80 credit:Bang Showbiz

Moody Blues drummer Graeme Edge has died aged 80.

Tributes continue to flood in for the late sticksman, whose cause of death is unknown at this time.

A statement shared to the rhythm and blues rock legends' social media pages read: “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.”

Graeme was born in March 1941 in Staffordshire, England to a musical family.

Formed in Birmingham in 1964, the original Moody Blues lineup boasted Graeme, keyboardist Mike Pinder, guitarist Denny Laine, and the late bassist Clint Warwick and multi-instrumentalist Ray Thomas.

While the classic lineup in their heyday in the 70s, comprised Mike, Ray, Graeme, guitarist Justin Hayward, and bassist John Lodge.

Graeme started out as a poet for the band, contributing 'Morning Glory' and 'Late Lament' to 1967's 'Days of Future Passed', but his poems were recited by Mike because he smoked and drank a lot, so his whisky-soaked voice was the perfect match for his prose.

After their world tour concluded in 1974, the 'Go Now' hitmakers went on hiatus, and, during their downtime, Graeme, an avid sailor, recorded two solo records, and embarked on a round-the-world voyage with a small crew in his yacht Delia.

His first solo track, 'We Like To Do It/Shotgun', was released to acclaim that year and featured on his debut solo album, 'Kick Off Your Muddy Boots', released a year later.

A follow-up titled 'Paradise Ballroom', inspired by his yachting experiences in the Caribbean was followed in 1977.

In 2018, Graeme was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of the Moody Blues.

Other achievements over the years include Graeme and professor Brian Groves pioneering the first electronic drum.

Bass player, vocalist, and songwriter John, 76, has led tributes to his beloved bandmate.

He tweeted: “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… I will miss you Graeme…. (sic)"