Moody Blues: Ray Thomas laid to rest

THE MOODY BLUES:  Co-founder Ray Thomas laid to rest

The funeral for Moody Blues co-founder Ray Thomas was held Tuesday at Holy Cross Church in Ceredigion, Wales.

Thomas passed from a heart attack on January 4th, but his widow Lee waited to hold the service until after the Moodies were done with their tour so they could attend.

Justin Hayward, John Lodge and Graeme Edge did make the trip and Lodge was among those who shared their memories. Instead of talking about their time together in the band, he reminisced about their friendship, which pre-dated the Moodies.

After the service, Graeme wrote on Facebook, "The man touched many people and left the world a better place. I feel the loss keenly."

Original members Denny Laine and Mike Pinder were unable to attend, but they sent along tributes, which were read.

Laine wrote in part, "I'm so happy to say that we talked about the [Moodies upcoming] Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 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.”

And Pinder said, "My beautiful brother Raymond Thomas. We shared the world. We grew up together and experienced life together. We walked across Europe, we proudly played on Beatles songs, we created Moody music magic and we changed lives. Ray brought his gift to Earth and has now entered back into the eternal and wondrous cosmos...

"All of you who are here know firsthand that his heart was large. If Ray were here he would tell us to smile and remember all of the great memories we shared. Ray will live on in all of his friends and family forever. I will miss you my brother but I hope to see you again one day..."

Those in attendance tell us that while Ray's passing was unexpected and certainly sad, the service was the celebration of a life well lived. Thomas was 78.

MORE BIG 95 MUSIC NEWS:  Friday, February 9th

STYX:  Dennis DeYoung will perform Grand Illusion  in its entirety on tour

Last July 7th in St. Charles, Illinois, former Styx member Dennis DeYoung performed the band's Grand Illusion album in its entirety in celebration of its release on that day 40 years prior. Apparently it went so well that he'll perform the album on tour this year.

Dates are still coming together, but he'll get things going tomorrow night (Friday) in Wausau, Wisconsin.

In addition to the title track, some of the more popular songs off that album are "Come Sail Away," "Fooling Yourself (The Angry Young Man) " and "Miss America." And like Styx does with a DeYoung sound-alike in keyboardist Laurence Gowen, DeYoung has band members cover the songs sung on the album by Tommy Shaw and James "JY" Young.

Styx performed all of Grand Illusion on tour in 2010.

Queen’s “We Are the Champions” was played today (Thursday) during the Philadelphia Eagles’ Super Bowl parade in downtown Philly.

Elton John begins the next-to-last run of his Million Dollar Piano residency in Las Vegas tomorrow (Friday).

Don’t ask original KISS drummer Peter Criss to sign copies of the KISS book Nothin’ to Lose or his ex-wife’s Sealed With a KISS if you see him at the Mad Monster Party in Charlotte, North Carolina February 16th through 18th or the New Jersey Horror Con in Iselin, New Jersey March 2nd through the 4th. He’s made it clear he won’t do it.

Rick Wakeman says he’s in the studio “recording stuff for ARW to send to Jon [Anderson] and Trevor[Rabin].”

Meat Loaf will have his fourth back surgery on Wednesday, which happens to be Valentine’s Day.

As long as they’re making the trip… James Taylor and Bonnie Raitt have added three British concerts in July right before they join Paul Simon's outdoor shows on July 13th in Dublin and July 15th in London.

John Mellencamp's version of "Them Double Blues" and Elvis Costello's take on "I'll Still Love You" represent classic rock on Johnny Cash: Forever Words. Due April 6th, the tribute album features a wide range of artists covering unreleased poetry and lyrics written by the Man in Black.

After an attempt to move it to a different country, plans for the Rock Getaway festival -- originally set for last fall in Mexico, with Don Henley, Roger Daltrey, Santana, Steve Miller, Foreigner, REO Speedwagon, Cheap Trickand others -- have been scrubbed.

The new Toto best-of, 40 Trips Around the Sun, comes out tomorrow (Friday).

Three surviving members of Mott the Hoople -- Ian Hunter, Ariel Bender and Morgan Fisher -- will perform together under the band’s name at a June festival in Spain on a bill with Van Morrison and Joan Jett.

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