Moody Blues Tour Mysteries
Sprinkled through the listings for the
tour/set list project are various holes in the information (usually set
lists and venues), but listed here are some of the larger (or at least
more pesky) mysteries. Usually, I have some tantalizing hints,
fill in the blanks, I need help! It's best if you have some sort
of documentation (newspaper or magazine article, ticket stub, tour
tour program, hand bill, poster, diary, a note you scribbled on a beer
label during the concert, you know that your brother and his
girlfriend were with you at the show, but they broke up in a certain
month and year, so this show had to have been ...) to back up your
Information on shows played by the various bands Ray Thomas, Mike Pinder, Graeme Edge, John Lodge and Justin Hayward were members of before they formed/joined the Moody Blues is scarce. Just think, even if you had only information on one gig, you would nearly double the information currently available!
The Denny Laine - era Moody Blues...
What shows did they play in the U.S.?
In the book Brum Rocked, Clint Warwick recalls a Moody tour of the U.S. in support of Wilson Pickett (reported by Robin Bean), but no further information was included. The Moodies appeared, along with Wilson Pickett, in Murray the K's Christmas show in New York city in December 1965, but this was a single show (not a tour). There is also a report of an appearance on the Ed Sullivan show December 19, 1965. However, mentions of that appearance (which was considered quite a coup) do not show up in any magazines of the time, nor in any current online episode guide. There is one stray sentence in "Music Echo" of November 13, 1965 (reported by Val Weston), "An appearance on 'Hullabaloo' has been added to the Moodies' American tour." According to the videography in "Higher and Higher" #6, the Moodies did appear on Hullabaloo with an air date of March 23, 1965, so if that date is correct, the Music Echo was reporting a TV appearance 8 months old, which seems odd.
If you can remember the 60s....
The oft-told tale of the caberet gig after which a man came back stage and told the band that they were "rubbish", causing them to "ditch the blue suits and R&B" and begin writing and performing their own songs took place on a Saturday night at the Fiesta, in Stockton, according to Justin Hayward in the interview on the DVD An Audience with Justin Hayward at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The date of that pivotal show is unknown, although we know it had to be sometime in the fall of 1966. And what were those R&B songs that they played so badly?
Where (and when in late 1966 - early 1967) were those shows which developed into their stage show describing the life of "one guy - Moody Blue" that became Days of Future Passed and In Search of the Lost Chord?
Sometime in the spring of 1967 the Moodies reportedly filled in for Tom Jones, whose act was a bit short, at the Olympia in Paris. After this, the Moodies supposedly opened for Tom Jones on his European tour. When and where were those shows?
What dates and venues did the band play in May 1967 on their tour of Scandanavia?
Band members often tell in interviews about how they began their first US tour (in 1968) with dates at the Fillmore East and Fillmore West, driving cross-country and doing shows in between wherever they could. However, there are well-documented Chicago shows on October 21-22, which occurred before the Fillmore East shows, which conflict with this story. Also, in the DVD An Audience with Justin Hayward at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Justin Hayward describes their first U.S. tour as taking place over 10 weeks, yet there are only 4 weeks between the well-documented Fillmore dates. A possible explanation is that the Fillmore East-to-West dates were the first offered on the tour, and then their itinerary filled in afterward, for a total of more like six weeks.
On the Lovely to See You (Live) DVD Justin Hayward mentions that the Moodies played "here" (although it's not certain if he meant the Greek Theater specifically, or Los Angeles in general) on their first tour of the US in 1968. The earliest performance at the Greek documented so far is 1985, but there are reports that the Moodies played The Cheetah in Los Angeles in 1968, although no date or solid documentation has come to light.
MANY dates from the US tours in 1968 and 1969 are missing or clouded in either the mists of time or funny-smelling smoke.
The Lost Performance DVD documents a 1970 concert which was aired on TV. The date of the show is unknown, but the comment is made in the intro to both "Question" and "Candle of Life" that the new single (Question / Candle of Life) would be out "in two weeks". Also, in the intro to "Don't You Feel Small" Mike says, "We've come over halfway through the album, in fact, to do the show." The single was released (in most countries) in May 1970 (as reported in "Higher and Higher" #4, Winter-Spring 1985 p.3-4), although without specifying the day. I have therefore placed this show between the April leg of the U.S. tour and the June 1-6 recording session, although it could also have been in February or early March.
"The Moody Blues played Honolulu in 1974 and 1987." was the answer to a trivia question in Official Fan Club (OFC) Newsletter of February, 1992. What was the date and venue for the 1974 show?
Several UK dates were canceled in November 1971 due to John Lodge's severe bout of gastro-enteritis. The OFC Newsletter of December 1971/January 1972 said, "Because of this illness, however, new dates are at the moment being organized by the tour promoters and there is a possibility of another U.K. Tour taking place in February of next year. Plans are also underway for a U.S.A. tour that is expected to start during the last week of March or the first week of April. This is planned to be an east Coast tour. " I have a single date in Amsterdam documented for March 3, 1972, then the US tour started on March 22. Were there ever any UK dates in February 1972?
The summer 1979 continuation of the Octave Tour has only 5 dates spread over 3 weeks documented so far.
The Present Tour 1983
There is a show documented for September 16 and a month-long blank until October 15. Was the first show canceled, or are there a bunch missing?
Australian Tour 1984
The 3-week Australian tour in February 1984 included 3 shows in Sydney, 2 in Melbourne and 1 in Brisbane, but the only dates documented are for Melbourne, and the venue for Brisbane is unknown.
The Other Side of Life Tour - 1986-1987
The OFC Newsletter of April 1987 says, "Since last writing (presumably November 1986) the Moody Blues have been on a successful tour of Canada, Hawaii and Australia, which has brought their total number of shows in the last 12 months to 107." However, I have only 101 documented. For certain, a show at Scope in Norfolk, Virginia is missing.
Fall 1992 Tour
Has only 15 shows documented between and September 11 and October 10 (31 days).