Moody Blues and Wings founder Denny Laine dies at 79

December 7, 2023

British musician Denny Laine, who co-founded the bands Moody Blues and Wings (which also included Paul McCartney), died Tuesday at age 79. 

“My darling husband passed away peacefully early this morning,” Laine’s wife, Elizabeth Hines, wrote in an Instagram post on Tuesday. “I was at his bedside, holding his hand as I played his favorite Christmas songs for him.”

The post also said that Laine had Interstitial Lung Disease (ISD), which became aggressive and led to him spending his last days on a ventilator.

"I will love you forever"

“He and I both believed he would overcome his health setbacks and return to the rehabilitation center and eventually home. Unfortunately, his lung disease, Interstitial Lung Disease (ILD), is unpredictable and aggressive; each infection weakened and damaged his lungs,” she said.

“He fought every day. He was so strong and brave, never complained,” Hines added. “All he wanted was to be home with me and his pet kitty, Charley, playing his gypsy guitar.

Hines spoke lovingly of her relationship with Laine in the post.

“Thank you sweetie for loving me, for all the laughter, friendship, fun and for asking me to be your wife. I will love you forever,” Hines concluded. “Please give Denny’s friends and family the time and privacy needed as we grieve our loss.”

Laine's career

Laine started playing guitar as a boy, according to Billboard. After a stint in a band called The Diplomats, Laine founded The Moody Blues in 1964.

He had a lead vocal role on the song “Go Now,” which was a cover and the band's first hit, but he only spent two years with them before departing in 1965.

Still, Laine's induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2018 was through his membership in the Moody Blues.

Band on the Run

After dabbling with some smaller bands and playing with Cream member Ginger Baker briefly, Paul McCartney invited Laine to help him found Wings with his wife Linda McCartney.

While many performers came and went from the band, Laine and the McCartneys were constants. In 1973, they released Band on the Run, the band's most popular album.

“In order to move forward, you have to try new things,” Laine told Billboard recently about making that album. “It’s like being a gambler. You gamble with things because it’s more exciting. It’s more appealing. It’s not the normal, everyday 9-to-5 job, it’s more of a ‘Let’s try something new.’”

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