Denny Laine 1944-2023

Denny Laine 1944-2023
Denny Laine with Wings in 1976: Photo by Jim Summaria/Wikimedia Commons.

Denny Laine, best known for his affiliations with the Moody Blues and Paul McCartney and Wings, died  December 5 after an extended battle with interstitial lung disease. He was 79.

Raised in Birmingham, England, Laine was the founding guitarist of the Moody Blues and sang lead on the band’s first hit single, “Go Now,” which became his signature song. He left the group after its debut album and was a member of Paul McCartney and Wings from 1971 through ’81, where he played lead and rhythm guitar, keyboards, bass, and woodwinds while also singing lead and backing vocals. In concert, he often played an Ibanez doubleneck, and when McCartney moved to piano, Laine switched to bass, typically an early Fender Precision or Mustang. With McCartney, he co-wrote and arranged “No Words” for Band On The Run, the U.K. hits “Deliver Your Children” and “Mull of Kintyre,” and the title track to 1978’s London Town.

“Denny was Paul’s right-hand man,” said Laine’s friend, Laurence Juber. “When I was a session musician in London, Denny recruited me to replace Jimmy McCullough as Wings’ lead guitarist in 1978. He was a compelling songwriter and performer – a rock authentic, having a deep soulfulness infused with a folk sensibility.”

As a solo artist, Laine recorded 10 albums between 1973 and 2008. From ’97 through ’02, he played in an all-star aggregation called World Classic Rockers. He is survived by his wife, Elizabeth.

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