Moody Blues to Bring Varied Repertoire to Lerner Theatre

September 25, 2013

Justin Hayward doesn’t like contemplating life without music.

“I often think my life would be quite sad without music and without song writing, and that disturbs me slightly,” the Moody Blues guitarist and singer said.

Fortunately, he’s always gotten his dose of music. He got a guitar when he was 10, joined the Moody Blues in 1966 when he was 19 and never looked back. Now he and the rest of the band come to Elkhart on Oct. 2, when they’ll pick some of the best from the Moody Blues’ diverse collection for a concert at the Lerner Theatre.

“I think there’ll be something there for everybody,” Hayward said in a phone interview from Roquebrune, France. “It’s such a long history.”

The band’s first major studio album in 1967, Days of Future Passed, featured two songs that would later become classics — “Tuesday Afternoon” and “Nights in White Satin.” Hits from the 1980s include “Your Wildest Dreams” and “I Know You’re Out There Somewhere,” while the band has sold more than 70 million albums worldwide, according to a press release from the group.

The success of the Moody Blues didn’t come overnight. In the early days, Hayward remembers the band could barely afford a mini-van to transport equipment from show to show. His seat was typically on top of the gear.

Now, 45-plus years later, “It’s settled into a nice groove,” he said.

He’s better able to focus on the intricacies of individual songs, as Hayward described it, enjoy them as he plays. Moreover, new technology allows the group to better create the sound it’s after on the stage, particularly with acoustic instruments.

“For me, it’s much more true to the record and satisfying,” he said.

The Moody Blues, from Great Britain, were part of the original British invasion of supergroups to the United States, and their music, as it has evolved, has covered a lot of ground. “The Moody Blues have been nothing if not adaptable, starting out as a rough-housing (rhythm and blues) band, evolving through celebrated early experiments with orchestral rock and then morphing into polished 1980s hitmakers,” says

Rolling Stone magazine, the band says in a press release, trumpeted the Moody Blues as “the Sistine Chapel of popular music.”

The Oct. 2 show at the Lerner is part of the band’s The Voyage Continues — Timeless Flight 2013 tour, which starts Thursday, Sept. 26, in Louisville. The 7:30 p.m. presentation in Elkhart will be the sixth of 29 shows that go through Nov. 2. Reserved seating ticket prices range from $59.85 to $99.85, according to the Lerner website.