Denny Laine Grateful to ‘Friends From the Top’ for Fixing Rock Hall Snub
Laine’s name wasn’t originally included when the group was announced as part of the Class of 2018 Although he left before the began to deliver their most groundbreaking work, he’d appeared on their debut album and fronted their first hit, “Go Now,” in 1964. The Hall later amended the situation, which voting member Steven Van Zandt said had been the result of an “inadvertent omission.”
Laine told Billboard in a new interview, “I thought [the rest of the band] deserved it because of the amount of work and the popularity, and I thought that's the way it goes. I have to say, I'm a big fan of their stuff. Obviously, I'm very pleased I'm going to be in there. It's an honor. I think I'm at least a little part of their story, so I feel very content, really, that it's all come full circle now."
Reporting that another voter, Peter Asher of Peter and Gordon fame, had said he’d never vote for the Moody Blues without Laine’s name attached, the honoree added, “That was kind of the most rewarding part of the thing, I think – I had friends from the top who pushed for me to get back in.”
He said he’d received congratulations from former colleagues Mike Pinder and Ray Thomas, although it hadn’t been decided whether he’d join them for a performance during the induction ceremony in April 2018. Reflecting on his contribution to the band, he commented, “I was part of that whole early Moody Blues transitioning from a sort of R&B-blues band to being more progressive. We had this kind of hippie-dippy type of vibe going in those days, and they just developed it further. But if it hadn't been for Mike and Ray talking me into getting into their band, I could've been stuck in Birmingham and not done anything, so I'm grateful for that."
Laine went on to join Paul McCartney’s band Wings, but he doesn’t believe that group will ever be inducted. "It was not a band, really. It was Paul McCartney and a backing band -- that's the truth of the matter. We weren't a band like the Beatles, the [Rolling] Stones, the Moody Blues. So I wouldn't see Wings as a band that would go into the Hall of Fame, to be honest.”