Happy Birthday to John Charles Lodge – born July 20, 1945!
John Charles Lodge is an English musician, best known as bass guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter of the longstanding rock group, The Moody Blues. He has also worked as a record producer. Lodge has collaborated both with his band-mates in the Moody Blues, and with other musicians outside the band.
Lodge attended school at Birches Green Junior School, Central Grammar School and later went to college at the Birmingham College of Advanced Technology for engineering. His early influences were musicians like Buddy Holly and Jerry Lee Lewis. By age 15, Lodge had met future band-mate Ray Thomas.
Career with the Moody Blues
Lodge was initially involved in the Birmingham music scene, although he temporarily dropped out to continue his studies. In 1966, however, after the Moody Blues’ original bassist Clint Warwick had left the band, Lodge succeeded the temporary substitute bassist Rod Clarke as the permanent bassist and vocalist, rejoining Ray Thomas during the same period as the band recruited guitarist/vocalist Justin Hayward to replace Denny Laine. Lodge’s distinctive falsetto ranged from a high harmonious voice and his solid lead vocals were a major asset to the revised Moody Blues from this point on.
Lodge’s prolific songwriting for the Moody Blues has created such songs as “Peak Hour”, “(Evening) Time to Get Away”, “Gimme a Little Somethin’”, “Ride My See-Saw”, “House of Four Doors”, “Eyes of a Child”, “Send Me No Wine”, “To Share Our Love”, “Candle of Life”, “Tortoise and the Hare”, “Minstrel’s Song”, “Emily’s Song”, “Isn’t Life Strange” (which earned Lodge an ASCAP songwriting award), “I’m Just a Singer” (which also won him an ASCAP songwriting award),”Steppin’ in a Slide Zone”,”Survival”, “Talking Out of Turn”, “Nervous”, “Sitting at the Wheel”,”Hole in the World”, “Under My Feet”, “It May Be a Fire”, “Rock ‘n’ Roll Over You”, “Love is on the Run”, “Here Comes the Weekend”, “Lean on Me (Tonight)”, “Shadows on the Wall”, “Magic”,”Wherever You Are”, “Love Don’t Come Easy”, “Words You Say”, “Forever Now”, “On This Christmas Day”,”The Spirit of Christmas”, and “Gemini Dream” — the latter being a co-composition with Justin Hayward that won them jointly an ASCAP songwriting award. Bass Player magazine voted him amongst the most influential bass players.
Lodge co-wrote “Out and In” with Mike Pinder, recorded on To Our Children’s Children’s Children in 1969. He also collaborated with fellow Moody Blues member Justin Hayward on the 1975 album Blue Jays released on Threshold Records, which in addition to Hayward’s compositions included three songs written by Lodge; “Maybe”, “Saved by the Music” and “You”, together with two tracks co-written by Lodge & Hayward; “Remember Me (My Friend)” and “When You Wake Up”, and later, Lodge released a solo album, Natural Avenue, on Decca in 1977, from which the single, “Say You Love Me” was issued. During the 1970s, he produced music for the band Trapeze.