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John Lodge at Meadow Brook, 5 Things to Know

By Gary Graff
ggraff@medianewsgroup.com, @GraffonMusic on Twitte

» See more SOUND CHECK

The Moody Blues' John Lodge launched a parallel solo career four years ago, and he hasn't looked back since.

His 2015 album "10,000 Light Years Ago" yielded a live album as well, and later this summer Lodge, 73, will be releasing a compilation, "BYond: The Very Best Of," which features some new material and remakes of some older favorites, including the Moody Blues' "Legend of a Mind." He's also using the Moodys' current hiatus to hit the road again with his own band as part of Yes' Royal Affair Tour.

And, Lodge will tell you, he's still basking in the glow of the Moodys' 2018 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Lodge -- whose band includes Detroiters Jason Charboneau and Duffy King -- says by phone that the Royal Affair Tour, which also features Asia and Carl Palmer's ELP Legacy, is a bit like old home week for progressive rockers. Carl is from Birmingham (England), like me, so it's just perfect to be on tour together. The Yes group has changed over the years. Steve Howe I met many, many years ago, and of course Rick Wakeman, who's not with yes now, is a great mate of mine -- we play golf together, and we belong to the same charities. The rock 'n' roll world, really, is very parochial. It'll be good to all be together this summer."

Lodge's next album, "BYond," comes out Aug. 23 and features three new recordings -- the single "Street Cafe" and remakes of two Moody Blues favorites, "(Evening) Time to Get Away" and "Legend of a Mind." "The whole album sounds exactly like an album, but I wanted to sort of re-establish who John Lodge is, in a way. Hopefully people will really enjoy the album."

Lodge says the Moodys' Rock Hall induction, which came after a years-long fan campaign to get the group in, "was great. I didn't really know what was going to happen that day. It really creeped up on me, personally, and when I arrived I thought, 'Hey, this is actually a real thing. This is something really special.' That's when the emotion really did come over me. They kept asking me about my speech, 'What are you going to say?' I said, 'I don't want to write a speech down because I've never written something without the imagery of being at the venue.' The moment for me was what was really important."

Fifty years ago, in 1969, the Moodys released two studio albums -- "On the Threshold of a Dream" and "To Our Children's Children's Children" -- a level of productivity that's almost unheard of now. "It was amazing -- and not only that, we were touring as well as recording and writing," Lodge says. "It was a very fertile time. Our eyes were wide open when we were touring, looking around and seeing what was going on in the world and what our part was in the world. It was a very creative time as well not just for the musicians but also for engineers and studios, with so much new technology and gear. We really wanted to get in the studio and record, no matter what else we were doing."

The Moodys are currently inactive, and Lodge says that he "can't seem to get the other guys (Justin Hayward and Graeme Edge) to work. I don't know why. I know Graeme hasn't been in good health, but if something came up that was fantastic it may encourage the other two to go on the road. I would always go on the road as a Moody Blue. I AM a Moody Blue and still feel part of the Moody Blues."

The Royal Affair Tour with Yes, Asia, John Lodge and Carl Palmer's ELP Legacy with Arthur Brown takes place at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 3, at the Meadow Brook Amphitheatre on the campus of Oakland University, Rochester Hills. $29.50 and up. 313-471-7000 or 313Presents.com.

Web Site: www.313Presents

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