Denny Laine interview, Part I (November 16th, 2013)

One of the thrills of my life was getting to see Denny Laine, live and in concert, in March of this year, not once, mind you, but twice.  Since Denny graciously talks to fans after each of his shows, takes time to autograph items and pose for pictures, I took the opportunity to ask him about an interview for the Fanthology book I’m writing. He agreed, and eight months later, almost to the day, I was able to conduct that interview when I traveled to his show this past Saturday in Scituate, MA at the River Music Club (great venue, amazing acoustics).

I was in the backstage area between the opening band (Atlas Gray–check them out, they’re well worth your time!) and Denny’s headlining performance of the Abbey Road album in its entirety, as well as some Wings and Moody Blues material.  Denny was sitting on a couch, polishing his guitar as the interview started, and answered every question I threw at him.  He was relaxed, enlightening, and obviously has some insights that are worth reading.

Part II of the interview can be found here:

Part III of the interview can be found here:

The following are some excerpts from the 20 minutes I spent with him, trying to remember to stop gawking in adoration and to keep asking questions:


Me: I guess the first thing I was thinking about was that, um, there’s a lot of artists from the 60s and 70s that are now in their 60’s and 70’s who are going out on these massive, awesome tours and all that, and it’s something that you really don’t see from other generations…what is it about that music that those generations…


Laine: You tell me.


Me: …that really…they’re so timeless.


Laine: Well, we were brought up with Frank Sinatra and all those people…So, I mean it’s the same thing. It’s just that whatever these kids are brought up on, which would be The Beatles or that era, we were sort of more Chuck Berry, Little Richard.  These kids like The Beatles and you’ve got to remember all that stuff’s playing on the television, ads, and the parents are playing it to the kids as they’re growing up. It was integrated into their lifestyle, so that’s what’s kept it going I believe, that’s what’s kind of kept it kicking around. And you know it is, it was such a big  thing. It wasn’t just the music, it was the culture. The 60s is now hip again and all that stuff has become part of the history. They teach it in school, they have Beatle classes. You know, like why this happened and why that happened. People are still playing Beethoven now and that’s what they will be doing with whatever music in the future because it will always be part of the history. But you know, who knows? As you say, 20 years from now whoever is popular now might still be popular in a different way. Everybody grows up and becomes another version of themselves, don’t they?


Me: Yeah. I would be horrified if Justin Bieber had a 60th anniversary tour. I’m just going to put that out there.


Laine: (laughs) Well I’m not going to say any of that!


Me: (laughs) I’ll say it…


Laine: You know, people say, “Well, there’s no talent like they’re used to be,” but I grew up like that, and I was listening to people say that about us, you know, saying, “Well, it’s not like the old days of real music,” and “This isn’t real music,” and now, I look around and all right, there’s a period in the…there’s a period in the late 70s, I mean 80s and 90s, where there’s a lot of electronic stuff going on and people weren’t…you never heard of bands playing live so much, it was more electronics. Anybody could become a producer or a record maker, put a record out because they were learning fewer instruments, you just you had to know what you were doing…

(Random guy walks in, thinking the backstage area was the bathroom, then walks out quickly realizing his mistake.)

Yeah, shut the door! (laughs) “Private” it says on the door…


Me: (laughs)


Laine: So since then people have started making, putting bands together, making music live again, which is the way the way it should have always been. But there you go. What are you going to do?  That’s progress. I’m not knocking any form of direction that people go in, I’m just saying that it’s…this band, for example (Atlas Gray, the opening band), they are fantastic.  

(Denny stands up and walks guitar across the dressing room and stands it up against the refreshment/drink table, then sits back down on couch next to me.)


Me: They are.


Laine: They’ve been taught in school.  We weren’t taught rock and roll in school. We didn’t have any of that stuff.  It was kind of more singing around the family piano, or school plays or events.  There was no music in school as far as I’m concerned.  Apart from the music lessons where they taught you classical, you know, there was never any of that, not where I come from, maybe America was different. There were certain areas where they went into jazz or whatever, you know. But simply speaking, that kind of music has come back, to me.


Me: Yeah, I have a lot of students that I teach in high school who are huge Beatle fans, and I mentioned you and some of them know who you are, too. It’s really cool to see younger people getting into the classic stuff that should be taught, basically.


Laine: Yeah, absolutely.


Denny Laine November 13th 2013 020 Denny Laine November 13th 2013 073


~ by Jennifer Dodge on November 19, 2013.

3 Responses to “Denny Laine interview, Part I (November 16th, 2013)”

  1. Great start to article and interview with Denny. I love to read articles about the older hard workin’ guys of rock who really never got much attention from the press the way that the big icons of the rock music biz did. Fascinating to hear (or read this). Denny was there every inch of the way with Paul and Linda in Wings. Looking forward to reading the rest. Thank you so much Jen for thinking about this, conducting and publishing this interview – way to go, girl! Enjoyed it very much!

  2. […] Part I of the interview can be found here: […]

  3. […] Part I of the interview can be found here: […]

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