It was 1:45 p.m. Pacific time when I phoned John Lodge at his home in Barbados, three time zones away, yet still safely within the confines of a "Tuesday Afternoon" for the both of us. And what better time to talk with the longtime bass player for the Moody Blues, whose seminal rock album "Days of Future Passed" featured that classic rock staple with the timely name.
Of course, John Lodge was watching the sun descend over the palm trees near his Caribbean island home while I sat out another winter in Roseville. For him, it was a time to re-energize between last year's European tour, which ended in December, and this year's leg, which kicked off Thursday night in Las Vegas.
After 40 years on the road with the Moody Blues, there isn't a lot that Lodge hasn't seen, and he has made the most of his opportunity to see the world.
"I've enjoyed touring from day one," he said, "I've been so lucky to see so many different places. California is wonderful. It has a magical history to it; it never disappoints."
The wine country in particular is one of his favorite spots to spend a day off from the tour.
"I'll rent a 4WD Jeep, something safe and nondescript, and drive around the Napa or Sonoma valleys."
Lodge names Beringer as his favorite winery, and his favorite wine, "a 2002 Behrens & Hitchcock 'Krisemma,'" a powerful blend of reds that, coincidentally, bears his likeness on the label. Part of the small winery's specialty label, it was named for John's two children, Kristain and Emily.
"My family is fabulous," says Lodge, of wife Kirsten and their children. "Emily just wrapped up her masters at USC in film production. My son Kristian, who lives in Florida, works for Apple and also runs my website."
Lodge's time spent on the roads in California is not restricted to jeeps. In 1978, he began a trip across the famed Route 66.
"I bought a Lincoln Continental Mark V 2-door in California. It was white on white on white," he said, "We drove Route 66 from LA to Chicago, and saw a lot of America in those 14 days. We got to New York and shipped the car home to England. I love that car, still have it. It's a piece of my family's history."
The family history also includes a Morgan, a Rolls Royce, a Mercedes and a Bentley.
"I wanted to be a car designer when I was really young," said Lodge, who is also an avid tennis player and golfer, frequently playing in charity tournaments, including the one named for him that benefits the Barbados Children's Cancer Society.
But it was music that would catapult this native of Birmingham, England with an engineering degree onto the rock and roll road and there is no sign that he will slow up.
"We are so committed to touring," he said when asked about possible new material in the future. "It's hard trying to find nowadays where a new album sits...it has to be radio or single oriented. We are concentrating on DVDs, where we can get the sound exactly right, and give people an idea of what a Moody Blues live concert is all about. There's nothing better in a home theater, with surround sound, than live music."
Except maybe traveling the world while playing that music. As one of his more famous songs explains, "Music is the traveler crossing our world, meeting so many people bridging the seas, I'm just a singer in a rock and roll band."
Just a singer in a rock and roll band. As John Lodge has proven, it's not a bad gig if you can get it.http://www.rosevillept.co...l?content_source=archive