According to a social media post on Tuesday (February 6) morning, the wife of the Moody Blues’ late-singer, songwriter and flute player Ray Thomas contacted early band member Denny Laine for a statement to be read at Thomas’ funeral.
Thomas died on January 4 at the age of 76. Fellow band member John Lodge said at the time “Ray was my best pal. I met Ray when I was 14. We were two young kids from Birmingham who were reaching for the stars and I think we got there. I’m really pleased that Ray was around to know we’d be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. I spoke to Ray just before Christmas, because his birthday’s Christmas, and we had a long conversation. We’re very close friends, or were very close friends. Very sad. Very, very sad.”
Thomas, Laine, Mike Pinder, Grame Edge and Clint Warwick formed the Moody Blues in 1964 and Thomas remained a member until 2002 when he left due to illness.
Ray was originally meant to be the lead singer in the M&B Five but instead became the harmonica and tambourine player in what was now a blues band.
His rich baritone voice however was put to good use as part of the unique three- part harmonies, along with Mike’s rhythmic piano style, that made us different to the other groups of that era.
We could always count on Ray’s professional and relaxed approach to his job and of course his dry sense of humour, that carried him through those early days of relentlessly hard work, as we fought to make a name for ourselves.
Nothing phased him and that, combined with his soft-hearted love for his two pet chipmunks that he kept in a cage in his bedroom at the Roehamton house we all shared, made him a very special human being we should all aspire to be.
We came back from our first trip to America to find the place empty.
The thieves took everything but surprisingly overlooked his bass flute that hung high over the fireplace.
That was an omen that led to him being one of the most admired flautists in the business which again added to the revolutionary sound of the Magnificent Moodies.
I’m so happy to say that we talked about the RRHOF induction before he left us all that sad day and I had another glimpse of Ray’s famous one-liners when he said “it’s all a load of bollocks anyway”.
Thank you my old friend for being in my life and soar on throughout the universe on our behalf until we all meet again.”