Denny Laine

Denny Laine will perform and talk about his experiences with The Moody Blues and Wings as well as his own work.

Many of us, as children and young adults, went through several different career choices before finally deciding on a course of action.

Singer-songwriter Denny Laine, now almost 75, doesn’t seem to have had that problem. He got hold of a guitar at the age of 12 and began making music of one form or another in various bands during his teenage years and just never stopped working.

“If you’ve got a job to do, do it,” he says in a telephone interview with The Pilot.

If you’re having trouble placing Laine, this member of the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame was a member of The Moody Blues, and later partnered with Paul and Linda McCartney for more than a decade in Wings.

Laine will be live at the Sunrise Theater in Southern Pines Saturday, June 22, at 7 p.m. to share stories of his career and perform songs from his days with both groups, along with other songs less familiar.

“Having one of the original members of the British Invasion here in Southern Pines is very exciting for us,” says Herb Cameron, Sunrise Theater board member and chairman of the SunEvents committee. “We’re thrilled to have him, live on the Sunrise Theater stage.”

Laine (born Brian Frederick Hines) grew up in Tyseley, Birmingham, England, which was then recovering from World War II.

“My sisters and brother and I were encouraged to go out and do what we could to make a little money,” he says. “My family are all big music fans, so I was influenced by what they liked.”

Laine’s early focus was actually gypsy jazz and the blues, but he soon turned to a different type of music, even forming his own band, Denny Laine & the Diplomats, in the early 1960s.

In 1964, he joined up with a band called The M&B 5, which eventually became The Moody Blues. He performed the group’s first big hit, “Go Now.”

Laine left the group in late 1966, pursuing other opportunities over the next several years.

“You have to learn to say no to certain things,” Laine says. “I always wanted to be professional and sometimes other people were not that dedicated.”

Laine did join up with a dedicated group of musicians in 1971 when Wings was formed. Not only did he play lead and rhythm guitars, perform lead and backing vocals, play keyboards, bass guitar and woodwinds, he also wrote or co-wrote some of the group’s material.

A two-time Grammy winner, Laine says most of his songs are not built around his personal life.

“I take a story and idea and develop it sort of like a poet,” he says. “That’s what’s so much fun.”

After Wings dissolved in 1981, Laine made several solo albums, traveled with some bands and wrote the environmental musical “Arctic Song.”

His Up Close and Personal tour came about because some members of Laine’s current band had their own projects to work on, he says.

“This started as something experimental,” says Laine, who lives in the U.S. “It turns out people seem to like it.”

Laine says that he stays in contact with fans via his Facebook page

Sly Fox Pub is sponsoring this event.

Tickets are $25, with VIP tickets $30 each. They are available at www.sunrisetheater.som or by calling (910) 692-3611.

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