Letters 08-31-2015

Inalienable Rights This is a response to the “No More State Theatre” in your August 24th edition. I think I will not be the only response to this pathetic and narrow-minded letter that seems rather out of place in the northern Michigan that I know. To think we will not be getting your 25 cents for the movie you refused to see, but more importantly we will be without your “two cents” on your thoughts of a marriage at the State Theatre...

Enthusiastically Democratic Since I was one of the approximately 160 people present at when Senator Debbie Stabenow spoke on August 14 in Charlevoix, I was surprised to read in a letter to Northern Express that there was a “rather muted” response to Debbie’s announcement that she has endorsed Hillary Clinton for president...

Not Hurting I surely think the State Theatre will survive not having the homophobic presence of Colleen Smith and her family attend any matinees. I think “Ms.” Smith might also want to make sure that any medical personnel, bank staff, grocery store staff, waiters and/or waitress, etc. are not homosexual before accepting any service or product from them...

Stay Home I did not know whether to laugh or cry when I read the letter of the extremely homophobic, “disgusted” writer. She now refuses to patronize the State Theatre because she evidently feels that its confines have been poisoned by the gay wedding ceremony held there...

Keep Away In response to Colleen Smith of Cadillac who refused to bring her family to the State Theatre because there was a gay wedding there: Keep your 25 cents and your family out of Traverse City...

Celebrating Moore And A Theatre I was 10 years old when I had the privilege to see my first film at the State Theatre. I will never forget that experience. The screen was almost the size of my bedroom I shared with my older sister. The bursting sounds made me believe I was part of the film...

Outdated Thinking This letter is in response to Colleen Smith. She made public her choice to no longer go to the State Theater due to the fact that “some homosexuals” got married there. I’m not outraged by her choice; we don’t need any more hateful, self-righteous bigots in our town. She can keep her 25 cents...

Mackinac Pipeline Must Be Shut Down Crude oil flowing through Enbridge’s 60-yearold pipeline beneath the Mackinac Straits and the largest collection of fresh water on the planet should be a serious concern for every resident of the USA and Canada. Enbridge has a very “accident” prone track record...

Your Rights To Colleen, who wrote about the State Theatre: Let me thank you for sharing your views; I think most of us are well in support of the first amendment, because as you know- it gives everyone the opportunity to express their opinions. I also wanted to thank Northern Express for not shutting down these types of letters right at the source but rather giving the community a platform for education...

No Role Model [Fascinating Person from last week’s issue] Jada quoted: “I want to be a role model for girls who are interested in being in the outdoors.” I enjoy being in the outdoors, but I don’t want to kill animals for trophy...

Home · Articles · News · Music · The Moody Blues
. . . .

The Moody Blues

Robert Downes - June 21st, 2010
The Moody Blues bring the power of poetry
By Robert Downes
Blasting, billowing, bursting forth
With the power of ten billion
butterfly sneezes
Man, with his flaming pyre
Has conquered the wayward breezes
Climbing to tranquility,
far above the clouds
Conceiving the heavens,
clear of misty shroud.

-- “Higher and Higher” by Graeme Edge

If your musical memory goes back to the late 1960s, chances are you
were awed by the advent of The Moody Blues, who combined psychedelia
with orchestral rock, hard-driving rhythms, electronica, science
fiction, poetry and cosmic themes over a succession of concept albums.
At the time, The Moody Blues occupied much the same trippy, “art rock”
territory as Pink Floyd, albeit with a lighter, more optimistic and
romantic point of view that played well on the radio airwaves of the
time. They performed with a whimsical orchestral/electronic
instrument known as a melotron and sang of the afterlife, outer space,
reincarnation, LSD and the search for the mysterious “lost chord.”
One defining link between each Moodies album was the poetry of drummer
Graeme Edge, who contributed what was then (and still is) an
enchanting confluence of the spoken word leading off some of the best
songs on albums such as “Days of Future Passed” “To Our Children’s
Children’s Children” and “Threshold of a Dream.” Edge’s accessible,
inspiring poetry gave the band “the power of ten billion butterfly
sneezes,” helping to engineer the sales of 70 million albums over the
past 45 years.
Today, speaking from his home in Florida, Edge, 69, is looking forward
to banging the skins once again on a 32-day tour that will include 25
gigs. The band plays Interlochen’s Kresge Auditorium this Saturday.
Edge was one of the founding members of the band in 1964, several
years before their heyday. “I still love playing live anywhere and
just l-o-v-e touring,” he says in an accent that is still thick with
his Birmingham, England roots. “I don’t love the traveling part of it,
but playing live is still one of my favorite activities.
“We like to work a lot because we tend to get into more trouble on our
nights off,” he adds with a laugh. “You have dinner and some wine and
before you know it you’re playing with a hangover the next night and
it hurts too much.”
You get the impression that Edge likes to party and has a great sense
of humor. Does he still write poetry as well?
“Yes, it’s tough getting published much these days because we’re not
releasing new albums at the moment, but I still write some stuff down.
You don’t actually finish anything though because then you tend to
start tampering with it and losing something in the expression.”
Edge has a scrapbook of writings that are ready to go on a moment’s
notice, however. In the meantime, he tends to step out from behind
the drums during the live shows to recite some of his poetic intros to

When the white eagle of the North
was flying overhead,
And the browns, reds and golds of
autumn lay in the gutter dead.
Remember then the summer birds
with wings of fire flame,
Come to witness springs new hope,
born of leaves decaying.
And as new life will come from death,
Love will come at leisure.
Love of love, love of life and giving
without measure,
Gives in return a wonderous yearn
for promise almost seen.
Live hand in hand
and together we’ll stand,
On the threshold of a dream.

-- “The Dream”

Speaking of drums, these days the original members of the Moody
Blues are augmented by the talents of several newcomers, including
flautist & rhythm guitarist Norda Mullen, Paul Bliss on
keyboards/guitar, and Bernie Barlow on keyboards/percussion. Drummer
Gordon Marshall has backed up Edge for the past 20 years, pumping up
the percussion. “Gordie has been a great help. I got to a stage where
I had to husband my resources and I don’t like playing like that,”
Edge says. “So I try to play flat out on a few favorite songs.”
Whatever happened to the Moodies’ songwriting streak that produced so
many hits through the years?
“We don’t have the management and the old record labels are all gone,”
Edge says, adding that the individual members of the band are kept
busy managing their own affairs and sifting through materials of the
past. The band also doesn’t care for the recording style of today’s
music industry. Edge notes that they used to spend a month or so
recording, but today the emphasis in the music business seems to be
more focused on “slapping something together in the studio.” They do
have a current re-release out, however: “The Moody Blues:  Live At
The Royal Albert Hall With The World Festival Orchestra.”
“Also, there’s the fact that we’re mature people now and have a life
other than rock and roll,” he says. “It’s not like back in the ‘60s
when the band consumed our whole lives. Recording really makes it all
a lot of work, and of course, albums aren’t selling now -- they’re
loss-leaders. We get plenty of attendance at our concerts and in
general, people don’t want to hear new stuff from us.”
In any event, the past 45 years have been one good ride for Edge and
the band. “I wouldn’t change anything,” he says. “One of the best
things about my job is to get up there on the stage and have people
say, ‘if that old fart can still do it, so can I!’”

Breathe deep, the gathering gloom,
watch lights fade from every room.
Bedsitter people, look back and lament,
another useless day’s energy spent.
Impassioned lovers, wrestle as one,
lonely man cries for love, and has none.
New mother picks up and suckles
her son,
senior citizens, wish they were young.
Cold hearted orb, that rules the night,
removes the colors from our sight,
red is grey, and yellow, white.....
But we decide which is right.
And which is an illusion.

-- “Nights in White Satin”

The Moody Blues perform at Interlochen’s Kresge Auditorium this
Saturday, June 26 at
8 p.m.

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