Justin Hayward on KTSO 94.1 "The Sound"
December 9, 2008
In Tulsa, KTSO "The Sound" is located at 94.1 on the FM dial. Click here to listen to an interview with Justin Hayward. Below is a transcript of the interview.
Host: Jason Taylor
Justin Hayward (on the phone): Good morning, Jason, good morning!
Jason Taylor: Great to be with you...ahh....over a spot of tea...well, I don't have one right now, but perhaps you do!
JH: (laughing) No one in the world would say "a spot of tea!" ...unless you were American. So don't try it in Europe!
JT: What would I say in Europe?
JH: Just "a cup of tea"....
JT: Just "a cup of tea"...alright...
JH: ....and say "of" ...not "o' tea" ...don't say "cup o' tea!"
JT: Oh! Cup OF tea...
JH: That's right, yes. Now, a "spot of tea" would mean that you were in 1946 or something, you know.
JT: We get that from old movies here, I guess.
JH: Exactly, yes!
JT: OK. Now, the Moody Blues....you've been influential, you've made your mark over the years, we know that. Tell us about, say, your influences over the years as you were getting going.
JH: Well, as a kid, I suppose the big turning point for me was Buddy Holly. It kind of focused and crystallized everything that I wanted to be, really, in a....you know, a guitar player, singer and writer, but not particularly the guy out front, you know, just part of a group. And then I think, for a lot of English boys, of course, the Shadows - Cliff Richard and the Shadows - were very influential. But then I think the sort of milestones musically after that....writing my own songs - I came to the Moody Blues as a songwriter - and then Mike Pinder, our original keyboard player, found a Mellotron - an instrument called the Mellotron - which gave us our real early sound. And then suddenly we had our own identity, which really changed all of our lives.
JT: That Mellotron, really the signature sound in the day for you guys.
JH: It certainly was, I think. And on 'Tuesday Afternoon' and 'Nights In White Satin,' that was....people always think, "Oh, that's an orchestra," but it's not, it's just the Mellotron. And it was a real sort of turning point for us, it was great.
JT: Well, speaking of that, one of the very first concept albums, 'Days Of Future Passed.' Now, of all the Moody Blues albums you've recorded, which one would you rank as your personal favorite, or the best for you?
JH: I think 'Days Of Future Passed' means everything to us, because we were just five guys with a van before that, and really that opened so many doors for us. And the way it was recorded was wonderful as well, because it was recorded by classical engineers. And when it came to be put in the digital domain, our music really sounded better than a lot of other people's because of that, because of just how beautifully it was recorded. But my favorite albums are probably the ones we did with Tony Visconti in the 80s, which was one called 'The Other Side Of Life,' which was a big album for us, and we had our first hit single in America for years off that with 'Wildest Dreams.' And then the followup, which was called 'Sur La Mer' ....and that was a wonderful time to have that kind of single chart success, when you're in your forties, again, and to be able to appreciate it was wonderful.
JT: Kind of like a rebirth.
JH: Yes, it was, yes. When it happened the first time, it was all so mad, and we were all quite sort of ambitious young guys and didn't really take much time to look. But that second time in the 80s, it was....we really took time to enjoy it, it was a wonderful time.
JT: Yeah, it sounds like it. Now, how would you compare the Moody Blues fans from back then - 60s, 70s - to the fans in the 80s and on into today?
JH: Well, I think in the 60s, we would be one of a number of groups on a particular bill, and so we were part of a particular sort of genre of musicians, particularly in America. We were one of the relatively few British bands to make it in America. Really, that was a lot to do with Bill Graham, who brought us over there in '68, and then FM radio just starting. But I think a lot of those people came back to us years later when we started to do the orchestra stuff, and they were kind of grown up and had families. And then our biggest success was in the early 70s I suppose, when we really found commercial success with albums and we started to play big stadiums and things, and a lot of those people stayed with us. And then, what we were talking about with the 80s, I think probably that's our core audience still today, is the people that discovered us through 'Wildest Dreams' and 'I Know You're Out There Somewhere' ....those things.
JT: Yeah, the last concert you were in Tulsa, it was just a wide range of people. But there were lots of people in our age group, but really, really major fans.
JH: Yeah, I know! It's a very strong fan kind of....community, I would suppose you would call it. Yes, it's very nice.
JT: So, what is the future? You guys have been around, got together in the 60s, through the 80s, today....what is the future of the Moody Blues?
JH: Well, we're certainly offered a lot more work now than we ever were then!
JH: And I think we have a reputation as a touring band, and a lot of people just want to see us, and we've had a great time. We had maybe our most successful tour ever in the U.K. this year for six weeks, and in Europe, we just finished that a couple of weeks ago. And right now, the thing that's sort of coming out, and that we're getting behind, is the Murray Lerner film of us at the Isle Of Wight in 1970, and that's quite fun, too. I didn't know that he'd filmed our whole performance, but he had, and now it's part of a series coming out on Eagle Entertainment DVD. Hendrix was the first, the Who, and now us.
JT: Oh, from 1970!
JH: Yes, it was the Isle Of Wight Festival in 1970. It's great because it's a snapshot in time of us that I didn't know existed on film or recording, and I'm very pleased that it's there.
JT: Yeah, we've certainly all heard about that festival.
JH: Mm hmm (agrees)
JT: Yeah. OK, well, I appreciate you being with us. I think I'll get a cup of tea....
JH: Yes, that's right! A cup of....thank you! (laughs)
JT: I will do so, I'll get myself a cup of tea.
JH: Yes! And when I meet you, Jason, I'll be very careful how I order a coffee, too! I'll take advice after having said that at the beginning, to get it right! (laughing)
JT: OK, we'll do that. The cultures will come together, I promise you! Justin Hayward, thanks for being with us today.
JH: Oh, great pleasure! Thank you, Jason. Cheers!