The British rock band, The Moody Blues, are celebrating their 50th Anniversary this year by going on tour. So is bass guitarist/vocalist John Lodge who will be performing with his solo band, featuring two key members in the Moodies; keyboardist, Alan Hewitt who has been with The Moodies since 2010. He is also the musical director for Lodge’s solo band. Gordon Marshall, who has been with The Moodies for many years, but is now working on solo projects outside of the Moody Blues, and is currently the drummer in Lodge's band.

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Just announced today, The Moody Blues were added as a nominee into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and fans can vote for them on the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame website.

John Lodge will be playing his first national 10-date tour, including three solo New York shows, at The Egg Center in Albany, Paramount Hudson Valley Theatre in Peekskill, and at the City Winery. He released his solo album in 2015 entitled, “10,000 Light Years Ago." He has a new live album, recorded at one of his shows in Birmingham, England coming soon.

John Lodge shares his thoughts about the Las Vegas shootings and The Moody Blues

I had the unique opportunity to speak with John about the tour, his thoughts on recent the tragedy that unfolded October 1 with the Las Vegas shootings since the Moodies have played at venues there over the years, The Moodies 50th Anniversary and more.

Suzanne Rothberg: What are your thoughts about the tragic shootings in Las Vegas do you worry about safety at Moody Blues or your own concerts?

John Lodge: I just can't believe that at a music concert someone like that would do that.

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People go to concerts to enjoy themselves and have a nice time, and somebody has got vengeance for something or other, could take people's lives apart—and in the cowardly way to take his own life afterwards. I am just mortified for the families, everyone that not only have been killed, but all the people that have been injured. I don't know how you get over that trauma. It's just a tragedy that's hard to comprehend. I just cannot understand someone's mindset. What happened to peace, love and good vibes?

Suzanne Rothberg: I know the Moodies have played in Vegas several times. Did the Moodies just come off a tour for their 50th Anniversary?

John Lodge: Yeah, we did the 50th Anniversary tour of our album, "Days of Future Passed" and a lot of the concerts were with orchestras as well. We did the "Hollywood Bowl" with the orchestra and then we went up to Toronto and we did two concerts at the Sony Theater with the Toronto Symphony and recorded that and that will be out Christmas time on DVD.

"Days of Future Passed 2017!"

Suzanne Rothberg: Yes, I've been to several Moody Blues shows, including the Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, NY in 2012!

John Lodge: Well, that's the thing about touring in America—you go to places you never heard of! and meet people and see how a country works see how people live, enjoy their music and enjoy their time with you.

John Lodge speaks about his tour, solo album and more

Suzanne Rothberg: I listened to your solo album, "10,000 Light Years Ago" which is an amazing album. You and keyboardist, Alan Hewitt collaborated on it and he wrote a couple of the songs?

John Lodge: Yeah, he wrote a couple of songs with me and we work really well together. We were sitting in a hotel room in Cleveland—came up with ideas it was great fun! It's always nice to work with people. As a songwriter, it's nice to write on your own, but sometimes when you write with people you get a different view of something. It's really an important part of the songwriting exercise.

Suzanne Rothberg: You mentioned Cleveland where the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is located. The Moodies have said they don't really mind if they're not in the Rock Hall but they're about to announce the nominees for 2018. How do you feel about ELO and Jeff Lynne getting in who is a fellow musician from Birmingham? (England).

John Lodge: Yeah, well if anybody gets in you got to be proud of them. Why not? Jeff, I've known from Birmingham days and the Idle Race and bands before—and I'm very pleased and I know Bev Bevan really well a lot more than Jeff. The Moodies have traveled really a different road than anyone else—I suppose over the years. We started on a different road to everyone else. We've just been traveling along that road. At concerts and our fans that come to our concerts; year in, year out—new fans, old fans...it was never for an accolade. I never got into rock and roll for fame; I got into rock and roll because I love rock and roll and I love playing my bass and I love singing. I think the very first time we got a silver disc...that was a huge accolade. I never thought about gold discs, platinum discs and triple platinum discs.

Suzanne Rothberg: Will there be another solo album or Moodies album? You launched your latest album in New York at Joe's Pub once.

John Lodge: Yes, I launched my album at Joe's Pub in New York (2015). What I'm doing on this tour; my last concert was in Birmingham, England on my English tour—and the reason I chose Birmingham is because that's where I was born, and also it's an iconic venue where all the American artists came along—but more importantly, I'm a Buddy Holly fan and The Crickets. They came to Birmingham and I was 11-years of age and I went to see Buddy Holly at Birmingham Town Hall. I really wanted to go and do my last concert there on the tour. So I recorded that show and I'm releasing that now as a DVD, as well as the concert. There's footage from Joe's Pub, there's footage of an acoustic concert I did at Hampton Court, which was the palace of Henry VIII. There's some backstage footage and also rehearsal footage. That will probably be two DVDs. I'll also release it as a vinyl album which I'm really interested in; because vinyl to me is just an incredible format for music—not just the vinyl the whole thing; the gatefold sleeve and the artwork. I had Roger Dean do the artwork. He's one of the great artwork guys who does designs—gatefold sleeves and 180 gram and red vinyl...something new for me. It's all very exciting.

John posted this announcement about his new live album on Facebook:

Suzanne Rothberg: When will the DVD and vinyl of that live show be released?

John Lodge: That will be released in two weeks time!

Suzanne Rothberg: There is another Moodies Cruise coming up in 2018. How is that and your tour going?

John Lodge: The Moody Blues Cruise is something special. It took us a long time to say "yes" to the first one. I wasn't too sure about going on a cruise and performing. But when the promoter said, "No, you got it wrong it's a Moody Blues Cruise...it's all about The Moody Blues. It's a festival." We invited other artists and bands to come along on there, and it's been great fun I really enjoy it. This one going out we got Dave Mason, The Zombies, great musicians and bands coming on the cruise with us. We're going to Florida and down to Mexico. It should be a great time!

Suzanne Rothberg: I know you played Westchester and the Hudson Valley before, but have you played The Paramount?

John Lodge: You know, it's difficult because when you're on stage, you get there before everyone else gets there you see the building with the lights on you know where you are. Most of the time, we get there and the lights aren't on—so we never see. Westchester, I think we have been there for our first or second tour in Westchester in 1969, I think.

Suzanne Rothberg: Any message for your loyal fans out there?

John Lodge: I've always used the mantra, "Keep smiling and keep the faith."

Other Band Members

Alan Hewitt (keyboards/music director) and Norda Mullen (flute) from the Moody Blues; Gordon Marshall (drums), formerly Moody Blues and 20 time Detroit Music Award nominee guitarist Duffy King.

For more information on John’s tour, please visit his website and Facebook.