- 06 Dec 23
The Moody Blues and Wings founder died today aged 78 from interstitial lung disease as a result of a series of lung related issue which developed after the musician contracted Covid 19 in 2022.
Posting on both Facebook and Instagram, Laine's widow Elizabeth Hines wrote that she "believed he would overcome his health setbacks and return to the rehabilitation center and eventually home".
Hines continued: "Unfortunately, his lung disease, Interstitial Lung Disease (ILD), is unpredictable and aggressive; each infection weakened and damaged his lungs. He fought everyday. He was so strong and brave, never complained".
In her heartfelt tribute Hines shared that she "was at his bedside, holding his hand as I played his favorite Christmas songs for him".
Brian Frederick Hines was born on 29 October 1944 to Herbert Edward Arthur Hines and Eva Lillian Hines in the Channel Islands, in 1944 but grew up in Tyseley, Birmingham, England.
Hines took up the guitar as a boy, inspired by gypsy jazz musician Django Reinhardt. He gave his first solo performance as a musician at age 12, and shortly after changed his surname to the snappier Denny Laine.
He began his career as a professional musician fronting Denny Laine and the Diplomats, which also included Bev Bevan, future drummer with the Move and Electric Light Orchestra.
In 1964, Laine left the Diplomats, and shortly afterwards, he received a call from Ray Thomas and Mike Pinder to form a new band, the M&B 5, which eventually was changed to The Moody Blues. He sang lead vocal on the group's biggest hit 'Go Now', one of the defining ballads of the 1960s, and became one of the biggest-selling songs in UK chart history.
In December of 1967 after leaving Moody Blues, Laine formed The Electric String Band, which emulated some of the stylistic fixings of Electric Light Orchestra. In spite of not achieving mainstream success, they supported Jimi Hendrix at his Saville Theatre gig in London in 1967.
Shortly after, Laine went on to join the band Balls, from February 1969 until their break-up in 1971, while also taking time to play in Ginger Baker's Air Force in 1970.Only one single was issued by Balls, on UK Wizard Records: 'Fight for My Country', while 12 tracks were recorded for Balls' album but were never released.
However in 1971, Laine joined forces with Beatle Paul McCartney and his wife Linda McCartney to form the band Wings, with whom he would work with for 10 years. Providing lead and rhythm guitars, Laine also wrote some of the band material as well as lead and backing vocals, keyboards, bass guitar and woodwind. Most notably Laine co-wrote 'Mull of Kintyre', Wings 1977 Christmas number 1.
Laine said of the track: “Paul and I sat with a bottle of whisky one afternoon outside a cottage in the hills of Kintyre and wrote the song – Paul had written the chorus and we wrote the rest of it together.” Given an extra Scottish flavour with the addition of a local band of pipers, it eclipsed the Beatles’ 'She Loves You' to become the biggest-selling single ever in the UK, a record that lasted until Band Aid’s 'Do They Know It’s Christmas?' in 1984.
During his time in Wings, Laine also released two solo albums, Ahh...Laine (1973) and Holly Days (1976), the latter of which was also recorded by Wings core trio of Laine and the McCartneys.
Wings disbanded in 1981 due to McCartney's understandable reluctance to tour in the wake of the murder of John Lennon.
From 1982 Denny Laine worked as a solo musician, releasing his final album The Blue Musician in 2008.
Concluding her tribute, Elizabeth Hines said of her late husband: "My world will never be the same. Denny was an amazingly wonderful person, so loving and sweet to me. He made my days colorful, fun and full of life-just like him".