The Moody Blues’ frontman describes his journey on the bass guitar and how he’s found new life through touring on his own.
In Birmingham, England, when John Lodge was a teenager, bass guitars weren’t readily available, and he admits he didn’t even know what one was. “The first time I saw a real bass guitar was with a band called the Treniers, who did the film The Girl Can’t Help It,” he recalls, referring to the 1956 musical starring Jayne Mansfield. “I think I was probably 13 at the time, and they came to England with Jerry Lee Lewis. I went to see them — the left-hand boogie side of the piano with Jerry Lee Lewis is just brilliant. He didn’t actually show; he canceled, but the Treniers still played. And I saw this guy at the back and thought he was playing a Stratocaster, but it only had four strings, and I realized that was it.” It would be another 18 months before one eventually turned up in Birmingham for sale. On Saturday mornings, like every budding musician, Lodge went to the local music shop, where he’d have a look at the amplifiers and the guitars, and he and his friends woul