Denny Laine, Guitarist for Wings and Moody Blues, Dies at 79
via Denny Laine Fan / YouTube
The music world mourns the loss of Denny Laine, the renowned guitarist of both Wings and the Moody Blues, who passed away at the age of 79.
His wife, Elizabeth Hines, shared the sad news in a heartfelt statement:
“My darling husband passed away peacefully early this morning. I was at his bedside, holding his hand as I played his favourite Christmas songs for him. He’s been singing Christmas songs the past few weeks, and I continued to play Christmas songs while he’s been in ICU on a ventilator this past week.”
“He and I both believed he would overcome his health setbacks and return to the rehabilitation centre and eventually home. Unfortunately, his lung disease, Interstitial Lung Disease (ILD), is unpredictable and aggressive; each infection weakened and damaged his lungs. He fought every day. He was so strong and brave, never complained.”
“All he wanted was to be home with me and his pet kitty, Charley, playing his gypsy guitar.”
“Denny was so very thankful to all of you who sent him so much love, support and the many kind words during these past few months of his health crisis – it brought him to tears.”
“I thank you all for sending both of us love and support. It was my absolute honour and privilege to not only be his wife but to care for him during his illness and vulnerability.”
Elizabeth Hines also expressed gratitude to the hospital staff in Naples, Florida, for their unwavering support.
Born Brian Frederick Arthur Hines on October 29, 1944, in Birmingham, England, Denny Laine’s musical journey began as the founding guitarist and vocalist for the M&B 5, later renamed the Moody Blues. He lent his vocals to their first big hit, “Go Now,” in 1965. His departure from the Moody Blues in 1966 marked the beginning of a solo career and collaborations with Electric String Band and Ginger Baker’s Airforce.
In 1971, Laine became a pivotal member of Paul McCartney’s post-Beatles venture, Wings.
“I just phoned him and said, ‘What are you doing?’,” McCartney told Classic Rock. “Denny said, ‘Nothing,’ so I said, ‘Right, come on then!’.”
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Playing a crucial role in Wings’ success, Laine not only showcased his guitar and vocal talents but also contributed as a songwriter.
One of his notable co-writes was “Mull Of Kintyre,” the first UK single to surpass two million copies in sales. Laine parted ways with Wings in 1981, coinciding with McCartney’s withdrawal from public performances after John Lennon’s tragic death.
Denny Laine’s musical journey extended beyond Wings, with a successful solo career. He released three albums while with Wings and an additional nine post-departure. His final solo album, “The Blue Musician,” came out in 2008. Earlier this year, he shared his ongoing creative endeavors and embarked on an Acoustic Songs & Stories US tour, culminating in his last show in Richmond, Virginia, in July.
“You never stop creating, and therefore you’re never 100 percent satisfied,” Laine told Guitar World in January. “You can’t be. But when the finished product goes out and a lot of people are happy with it, that’s good enough encouragement for me.”
As we bid farewell to this musical icon, we remember Denny Laine not only for his instrumental contributions but also for the joy and inspiration he brought to countless fans worldwide. His legacy lives on through the timeless melodies that will forever echo in the corridors of rock and roll history.