Moody Blues Drummer Graeme Edge Dies at 80

He stopped touring in 2018 following a stroke

BY Megan LaPierrePublished Nov 11, 2021

Drummer, poet and one of the founding members of English prog-rock outfit the Moody Blues Graeme Edge has passed away. He was 80 years old.

While a cause of death has not been confirmed, Edge retired from touring in 2018 following a stroke.

Tributes to the musician have been led by his bandmate John Lodge.

"Sadly Graeme left us today," Lodge wrote on Twitter. "To me he was the White Eagle of the North with his beautiful poetry, his friendship, his love of life and his 'unique' drumming style that was the engine room of the Moody Blues."

Frontman Justin Hayward followed suit in a post shared to the band's Facebook page.

"It's a very sad day. Graeme's sound and personality is present in everything we did together and thankfully that will live on," Hayward shared.

"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."

Reflecting on the band's career, the musician continued:

In the late 1960's we became the group that Graeme always wanted it to be, and he was called upon to be a poet as well as a drummer. He delivered that beautifully and brilliantly, while creating an atmosphere and setting that the music would never have achieved without his words. I asked Jeremy Irons to recreate them for our last tours together and it was absolutely magical.

Graeme and his parents were very kind to me when I first joined the group, and for the first two years, he and I either lived together or next door to each other. And despite us having almost nothing in common, we had fun and laughs all the way, as well as making what was probably the best music of our lives.

Graeme was one of the great characters of the music business and there will never be his like again.

My sincerest condolences to his family.

Edge co-founded the Moody Blues in 1964 alongside Mike Pinder, Denny Laine, Ray Thomas and Clint Warwick. Fusing orchestral and classic rock elements, their 1967 sophomore offering Days of Future Passed is considered an influential predecessor of prog-rock. The band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hame of Fame in 2018 to commemorate their lasting legacy.

See Lodge and Haywick's tributes to Edge below.
Moody Blues flautist Ray Thomas passed away back in 2018.

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