In an interview with Goldmine, on newsstands in July, Justin Hayward talks about his North American/European tour, Stage Door 2016, which celebrates his songwriting career.
“‘Stage Door’ has a particular resonance for me, as when we were small boys, my brother and I could not afford to go to the shows at the Empire Theatre in Swindon,” Hayward tells Goldmine. “In fact, we were regularly chased away from the lavish entrance by the fat commissionaire who stood guard there. But we loved the stage door — we saw many artists come and go — and we believed it was the place the real magic entered and left the building. Which of course, it is. It is often the one part of the building I actually see nowadays and it has fond memories of joy for me to be lucky enough to be returning, and sometimes foreboding.”
Fans attending Hayward’s Stage Door tour will find the artist delving deep into his catalog with The Moody Blues as well as performing old and new solo gems.
Here is an excerpt from the Justin Hayward interview with Goldmine contributor, Ken Sharp:
Goldmine: The tour is named after “Stage Door,” a song culled from your 1977 solo album, “Songwriter.” When did you realize you had come into your own as a songwriter?
JUSTIN HAYWARD: I think when I was with (songwriter) Marty Wilde, he said to me then, “The way forward for me is gonna be songwriting.” He wrote a lot of his own songs but under a different name because he was signed to a lousy deal as I was, as a matter of fact. But I think that was the way he was able to express himself and develop his own style. So that resonated with me. So I thought of myself coming to The Moodies as a songwriter and I don’t believe that (keyboardist) Mike Pinder called me because I was a great singer. (laughs) But when I was there I realized the best thing I could do, and this was like Mike at the time, because we were the only two people that were writing, I had to sing these songs ‘cause there was nobody else in the group that was gonna do it better than Mike or myself.’ So it was in that first couple of months with the group. I tried doing things on my own before the group in the gap between Marty Wilde and The Moodies and I was still thinking of myself as a songwriter.
GM:Your new tour showcases your work as a songwriter. Are there lesser known songs you’re able to embrace and perform that would not fit within the confines of a Moody Blues show?
JH: Some things work better in this situation than other songs. It’s to do with the balance on the recordings. The balance on the recordings was always a start with an acoustic guitar and the song and then building around that. But of course on stage with The Moodies and two drummers it’s a very different balance. Some things just don’t lend themselves to even thinking about rehearsing with The Moodies but in my own stage show I can present it as it was written like my original demo so that’s why some things work much better in this format.
GM: Is there a particular song in the set that you look forward to playing the most each night?
JH: I like the way Julie (Ragins) plays “Watching and Waiting” because she constructed a keyboard combination of sounds that were so close to the things that I played on the record and so I look forward to that. We never did that one live with The Moodies.
To pick up a copy of the issue this interview will appear in (August cover date; July street date), click here to find your nearest Barnes & Noble newsstand.