Denny Laine, founding member of the Moody Blues and Paul McCartney’s Wings, dead at 79

by Sophia Chen
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Denny Laine, a renowned British singer, songwriter, and guitarist who co-founded the early pop-oriented incarnation of the Moody Blues and later became a steadfast collaborator in Paul McCartney’s post-Beatles band Wings, has passed away at the age of 79.

Laine, a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee for his contributions to the Moody Blues, sadly succumbed to interstitial lung disease in Naples, Florida, as announced on his Instagram page by his wife, Elizabeth Hines.

His demise coincides almost precisely with the 50th anniversary of the release of McCartney’s critically acclaimed “Band On the Run” album, on which Laine played guitar and provided background vocals. In an Instagram tribute, McCartney praised Laine as a “great talent with a fine sense of humor” and reflected on their rekindled friendship in recent years.

Born Brian Frederick Arthur Hines, Laine adopted his professional name in his early teens, partly as a tribute to the singer Frankie Laine. In 1964, at the age of 20, he joined forces with Ray Thomas and Mike Pinder to establish the Moody Blues, where he took the lead on their breakthrough hit, “Go Now.” However, the Moody Blues encountered challenges in replicating their initial success, leading to Laine’s departure in 1967, with Justin Hayward taking his place. The Moody Blues subsequently embraced a more ambitious, classically influenced musical direction with songs like “Nights in White Satin.”

Laine pursued a solo career and collaborated with groups such as Electric String Band and Ginger Baker’s Air Force before McCartney, whom he had known from his Moody Blues days, invited him to join Wings.

Formed in 1971, just after the Beatles disbanded, Wings experienced various lineup changes over the next decade. Laine, McCartney, and McCartney’s wife, Linda, remained the constants. The band’s chart-topping singles, primarily penned by McCartney, included hits like “My Love,” “Listen to What the Man Said,” and the eponymous track from “Band On the Run.” Laine also co-wrote the million-selling “Mull of Kintyre.”

Following Laine’s departure in the early 1980s, McCartney disbanded Wings, but Laine continued to contribute to McCartney’s albums, including “Tug of War” and “Pipes of Peace,” and provided backing vocals for George Harrison’s tribute to John Lennon, “All Those Years Ago.”

Laine’s passion for touring and recording persisted in recent years, with notable works such as “The Blue Musician” among his discography. His legacy as a versatile musician and collaborator will be fondly remembered by music enthusiasts worldwide.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Obituary

Q: Who was Denny Laine and what were his significant musical contributions?

A: Denny Laine was a British singer, songwriter, and guitarist known for co-founding the early version of the Moody Blues and for being a long-time member of Paul McCartney’s post-Beatles band, Wings. He played a crucial role in the Moody Blues, singing lead on their hit “Go Now.” Later, he contributed to Wings’ success, playing guitar and providing vocals on their acclaimed album “Band On the Run” and co-writing hits like “Mull of Kintyre.”

Q: What led to Denny Laine’s departure from the Moody Blues?

A: Denny Laine left the Moody Blues in 1967, mainly due to the band’s challenges in replicating their initial success. He was replaced by Justin Hayward as the band shifted towards a more ambitious, classically influenced musical direction.

Q: What were some of the notable achievements of Wings, the band Denny Laine joined after leaving the Moody Blues?

A: Wings, formed in 1971, experienced several lineup changes but had consistent members in Denny Laine, Paul McCartney, and Linda McCartney. The band achieved chart-topping success with hits like “My Love,” “Listen to What the Man Said,” and “Band On the Run.” Additionally, Laine co-wrote the million-selling single “Mull of Kintyre.”

Q: Did Denny Laine continue his musical career after leaving Wings?

A: Yes, Denny Laine continued to tour and record in recent years, releasing albums like “The Blue Musician.” He also made musical contributions to Paul McCartney’s solo albums, including “Tug of War” and “Pipes of Peace.”

Q: What was the cause of Denny Laine’s passing?

A: Denny Laine passed away at the age of 79 due to interstitial lung disease, as confirmed by an announcement on his Instagram page by his wife, Elizabeth Hines.

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