Denny Laine (born
Brian Frederick Arthur Hines, 29 October 1944,
Holcombe Road, Tyseley, Birmingham) is an English songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, best known for
his roles as former guitarist and lead
singer of The
Moody Blues and, later, co-founder (with Paul McCartney) of Wings.
Laine was the only musician in
Wings, along with Paul and Linda
, who did not quit. Laine joined Wings in 1971 for
their album Wild
and stayed until 1980, when Wings broke up.
Denny Laine is of Romani
educated at Yardley Grammar School in Birmingham, and took up the
as a boy under the influence of
(Jazz manouche) legend
; he had his first
solo performance as a musician at the age of twelve and began his
career as a professional musician fronting Denny & The
Diplomats, which also included future The
and Electric Light
drummer Bev Bevan
In 1964, Laine left The Diplomats to join Mike Pinder in The Moody Blues
and sang their first big
hit, "Go Now
"; other early highlights
included "From The Bottom Of My Heart", "Can't Nobody Love You" and
the harmonica-ripping "Bye Bye Bird". However, Denny's tenure with
the MB's was short-lived and, after a number of comparative
failures, Laine quit the band in August 1966 (the last record
issued by The Moody Blues that featured Laine was "Life's Not
Life"/"He Can Win" in January 1967, but the October 1966 "Boulevard
De La Madeleine" single looked ahead to the fancier sounds for
which The Moody Blues would later become famous).
After leaving The Moody Blues, he formed The Electric String Band,
which featured Denny (guitar, vocals), Trevor Burton (guitar,
another former member of The Move
) and Viv
Prince (drums), also featuring electrified strings in a format not
dissimilar to what Electric
would later attempt. They made two singles,
"Say You Don't Mind / Ask The People" (Apr 1967, Deram) and "Too
Much In Love / Catherine's Wheel" (Jan 1968, Deram); and, in June
1967, they shared a bill with The Jimi Hendrix Experience and
Procol Harum at the Saville Theatre in London.
However, national attention was not to be, and the pioneering
Electric String Band broke up. (There was apparently a third single
recorded called "Why Did You Come?". Why it never released is
unknown, but there have been rumours that the finished track - and
probably the B side as well - was sent by post to Decca and was
lost.) Laine and Burton then went on to the band Balls
from 1969 until the band's breakup
in 1971, with both also taking time to play in Ginger Baker's Air Force
(Only one single was issued by Balls; "Fight For My Country" /
"Janie, Slow Down" on UK Wizard Records. Strangely, the top side
was re-edited and reissued on UK Wizard and issued in the US on
Epic under the name of Trevor Burton, which was odd since Laine and
Burton shared lead vocals on the B side. The single was reissued
again as B.L.W. as "Live In The Mountains" for a small Pye
distributed label. There was supposed to have been a Balls album
recorded, but it has never seen the light of day). Laine's 1967
song "Say You Don't Mind" was a hit when recorded in 1972 by
, Colin Blunstone
In 1971, Denny joined Paul McCartney to found the group known as
, and would stay with them for a
full ten years until they officially disbanded in 1981; Denny
provided lead & rhythm guitars, backing vocals, keyboards,
bass, writing and co-writing skills, as well as being a solid solo
performer. Together with Paul and his wife, Linda
, they formed the nucleus of the band,
being called that "strange, 3-winged beast". It was with Wings
that Denny enjoyed the biggest commercial
and critical successes of his career, including co-writing the
smash hit "Mull of
1980, McCartney was arrested for possession of marijuana upon
arrival at an airport for a tour in Japan.
tour was cancelled. Wings recorded through the year on new tracks
as well as tracks still in the vaults, but a press release by Paul
in early 1981 officially announced that Wings had broken up. The
new tracks ended up on Paul's next two solo albums, and Laine's
relationship with McCartney soured (speculation also has it that
financial matters were close to the heart of this dissolution,
similar to the McCartney/Jackson partnership).
The title track of Denny's first solo album after Wings, called
", appeared to be a
visible attack on McCartney much like John
's "How Do You Sleep?
in 1971; however, closer inspection to the lyrics shows that it
more likely tells the tongue-in-cheek story of a Japanese fan's
disappointment after Wings' tour got cancelled (or possibly even
tears of excitement at Wings' arrival in Japan in the first
In 1986 Denny played at the Birmingham Heart Beat
Charity Concert 1986
which was a very special day,raising money
for the Birmingham Children`s Hospital.
Denny filed for bankruptcy
in the mid-80s
after selling his lucrative co-publishing rights
"Mull of Kintyre
co-author McCartney. However, he has continued to record music at a
prolific rate and has appeared at Beatles conventions and on
tributes to both The Beatles and Wings. He is currently working on
He was briefly married to Jo Jo Laine
(13 July 1953 — 29 October 2006), with whom he had a son, Laine
Hines, and a daughter, Heidi Hines. He has three other children
from other relationships: Lucianne Grant, Damian James, and Ainsley
Laine-Adams. His current wife is Rosha.
The Moody Blues
|"Steal Your Heart Away"
||"Lose Your Money"
|"It's Easy, Child"
|"I Don't Want To Go On Without You"
||"Time On My Side"
|"From The Bottom Of My Heart"
||"And My Baby's Gone"
||"You Don't(All The Time)"
|"Boulevard De La Madeleine"
||"This Is My House (But Nobody Calls)"
|"People Gotta Go" (issued on a French EP only)
|"Life's Not Life"
||"He Can Win"
||"Say You Don't Mind"
||"Ask The People"
||"Too Much In Love"
|"Why Did You Come?"
||"Fight For My Country"
||"Janie, Slow Down"
||"Fight For My Country" (edited)
||"Janie, Slow Down"
||"Live In The Mountains"
||"Janie, Slow Down"
Ginger Baker's Airforce
||Rock & Roll Jam Sessions
(aka: Lympne Castle Sessions, aka: Wings: In A
|2 Buddies On Holly Days
(excerpts from Holly Days and live performances
during Buddy Holly Week)
|Hot Hits & Cold Cuts
Notes and references
- Johnson, Angella, " 'Mum was beautiful, wild... she was the ultimate
rock groupie'", Mail on Sunday, 4 November 2006
- Denny Laine on MySpace Music