Denny Laine postpones July 8 concert in Fort Myers due to illness

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UPDATE: Denny Laine's publicist early July 5 informed The News-Press that there will be no concert in Fort Myers. "Due to illness, Denny Laine's appearance at Alliance for the Arts scheduled for Saturday, July 8, has been postponed. We will announce a new date soon, and we wish Denny the best as he recovers."

For singer-guitarist Denny Laine, Paul McCartney isn’t some kind of rock ‘n’ roll god.

He’s just Paul.

“He’s just my mate,” Laine says. “He’s just my friend.”

Laine ― who now lives in Naples ― worked side-by-side with the ex-Beatle throughout the ‘70s in their hugely popular band Wings. Together, they packed arenas with hits like “Band on the Run,” “Live and Let Die” and “Silly Love Songs.”

And unlike McCartney’s time in The Beatles, Wings was relatively free of fighting and band drama. At least until 1981, when they parted ways over issues that included song royalties and a lack of touring.

“It came very easily because we shared the same background, if you like, musically,” says Laine, who was born in Birmingham, England. “It wasn’t something that’s like, ‘I’m in awe of Paul McCartney.’ I mean, no way. No, I’m not.”

Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Denny Laine of Wings and The Moody Blues
Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Denny Laine of Wings and The Moody Blues

The two came from the same British rock ‘n’ roll scene: McCartney in The Beatles and Laine in The Moody Blues (he was the band’s original lead singer and guitarist). So they had a lot in common.

“As far as I’m concerned, The Beatles were a rival band to The Moodys ― but in a friendly way,” Laine says.  “I think that’s why we became friends.”

Laine, 78, will talk about Wings, The Moody Blues and more when he performs Saturday, July 8, at the Alliance for the Arts in Fort Myers. The concert includes songs from throughout his career and the stories behind them.

The rock ‘n’ roller recently discussed his life, his music and more with us. Here’s what he had to say:

His quiet life in Naples

Laine says he moved to Naples from New York about three years ago. Now he lives here full-time.

“I wanted to get out of the New York weather,” he says and laughs. “But not only that, I love this sort of lifestyle. I like the sun, I like boats. I love Naples.

“I drove down the street here, sort of looking for somewhere to rent for the winter, really, and we ended up renting and staying because of the COVID thing. So I’m still here.”

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Denny Laine (left), Linda McCartney and Paul McCartney were the core of Wings.
Denny Laine (left), Linda McCartney and Paul McCartney were the core of Wings.

Laine says he likes to lay low in Naples when he’s not on the road. He spends most of his time writing songs and working on old cars.

“I live a very private life down here,” he says. “I see enough of people when I go out on the road. …

“But when I’m not working, I really take a lot of time for myself. Because I’m a writer. And I like to mess around with cars and guitars and recording.”

The Moody Blues’ John Lodge

You’d think Laine would be hanging out a lot with the other Moody Blues musician who lives in Naples: Current bassist-singer John Lodge.

But nope: They never do.

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In fact, Laine says they’ve only met once: When Lodge, Laine and other members of The Moody Blues were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2018.

“He’s very cool,” Laine says. “A nice guy.”

It’s just a coincidence that two musicians with Moody Blues connections live in Naples, he says. In fact, Laine said he didn’t even know Lodge lived in there at first.

“I know that he has a place down here,” Laine says. “I found out from a music store. His son goes into that music store all the time. Yeah, it’s a coincidence, really.”

His induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

The British-born Laine admits getting inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame didn’t mean as much to him as it does to Americans.

“I hate to sound flippant about it,” he says, “but I wasn’t bothered either way.”

He blames his upbringing and home country.

“It’s not something that we have in England,” he says. “It’s not something we grow up with. Over here (in the United States), it’s a pretty big deal.”

Laine wasn’t even part of the initial group of The Moody Blues members announced for induction in 2018. But then Steven Van Zandt, Peter Asher and Laine's other famous rock ’n’ roll friends successfully lobbied the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame to include him.

It felt good to be appreciated, Laine says. Plus it was great hanging out with the guys from The Moody Blues again at the induction ceremony.

“It was nice to see everybody there,” he says. “And of course, you know, I’m kinda flattered that I did get in there.”

Working with Paul McCartney in Wings

Laine knew McCartney for years before joining Wings in 1971. The Moody Blues had even toured with The Beatles, he says.

That relationship was partly why Laine ended up in Wings with McCartney and his wife Linda.

“I think he wanted somebody he knew, who wasn’t going to treat him like a superstar or whatever,” Laine says. “It was hard for him to start again, obviously (after The Beatles broke up). He had a lot to live up to, or at least he wanted to go in his own direction and see what people thought of it.”

Laine had to give up his solo career to join Wings, and that’s another reason he eventually left the band in 1981.I wanted to be doing my own thing more, towards the end.”

Still, Laine says he learned a lot working with McCartney, and that helped him later in his solo career.

“I learned a lot about recording and all sorts of writing and playing different instruments," he says. "I got to do things that I didn’t get much of a chance to do before.”

Denny Laine of Wings and The Moody Blues
Denny Laine of Wings and The Moody Blues

Laine says it’s hard to nail down who wrote which songs in Wings. He says he co-wrote “Band on the Run” and "Mull of Kintyre,” for example, but other songs are a little harder to figure out.

“You can’t pin that down,” he says. “Either he would come up with a song and I would help him finish it, or vice versa. Or we’d sit down and say, 'OK, we’re gonna spend tomorrow writing songs.' And that’s what we’d do.”

His Alliance for the Arts concert

This is actually his second show at the Alliance for the Arts in Fort Myers. He also performed there in December 2022.

“Denny Laine: Songs & Stories” is a continuation of a concert series Laine started before the COVID pandemic. And now that the pandemic has ened, he wants to bring the show to other venues, too. At least two more Florida concerts are scheduled for this summer.

“I wanted to try it out as an experiment, and it worked,” he says. “And people liked it.”

Denny Laine performed at The Moon with others as part of "It Was Fifty Years Ago Today: A Tribute to The Beatles" on Thursday, March 17, 2022.
Denny Laine performed at The Moon with others as part of "It Was Fifty Years Ago Today: A Tribute to The Beatles" on Thursday, March 17, 2022.

Laine plans to tell stories from Wings, The Moody Blues and the rest of the career. But you won’t hear much gossip or personal tidbits, he says: It’s all about the songs.

“It’s the story behind the song,” he says. “That’s what I do. I don’t get into personal stuff.”

More about his time with The Moody Blues

As a founding guitarist and lead singer for The Moody Blues, Laine was there for the band’s first brush with success. That included the hit cover of Bessie Banks’ R&B song “Go Now.”

Of course, the band went on to even bigger success after Laine left. They transitioned from R&B to rock ‘n’ roll with the help of new members Justin Hayward and John Lodge, and then they scored even bigger hits with songs like “Your Wildest Dreams” and “Nights in White Satin.”

Laine says he’s just fine with that, too.

“I love the new Moodys,” he says. “I love that version of them. I always did. I thought they were good.

“And the fact that they did their own material and all that stuff ― that’s always what I wanted to do anyway with The Moodys.”

Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Denny Laine of Wings and The Moody Blues
Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Denny Laine of Wings and The Moody Blues

When he left, though, he didn't think the band had much of a future. “To me, they weren’t going anywhere,” he says. “They weren’t moving forward at the time.”

Besides, Laine says, he was ready for something new and different.

“I always feel like I want to keep moving forward,” he says. “Once you’ve done something, you know, you don’t want to just keep repeating it.

“I don’t want to keep going out on the road playing the same songs every night, you know, forever. We didn’t progress beyond that first album, as far as I was concerned.”

The wild success of Wings

Besides, Laine had his hands full with Wings, working with a legendary former Beatle and playing packed arenas.

“I was in his shadow, which was inevitable anyway because of his fame and talent,” Laine says. “I was like an intern in some ways. I learned by being there. And having the freedom to come up with ideas and whatever.”

Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Denny Laine of Wings and The Moody Blues
Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Denny Laine of Wings and The Moody Blues

The Moody Blues had never played arenas, and suddenly Laine found himself doing just that with Wings every night on tour.

“It went beyond The Moody Blues,” Laine says. “And of course we had a lot of huge hits as a result of it.

“But that was purely down to the fact that we worked so well together. I mean, that’s why I stayed around. A lot of people came and went, because they weren’t up for the job. Simple.”

— Connect with this reporter: Charles Runnells is an arts and entertainment reporter for The News-Press and the Naples Daily News. For news tips or other entertainment-related matters, call him at 239-335-0368 (for tickets to shows, call the venue) or email him at You can also connect with him on Facebook (, Twitter (@charlesrunnells) and Instagram (@crunnells1).

If you go

Who: Denny Laine of The Moody Blues and Wings

When: 8 p.m. Saturday, July 8

Where: Alliance for the Arts, 10091 McGregor Blvd. Fort Myers.

Tickets: $49

Info: 939-2787 or

This article originally appeared on Fort Myers News-Press: Wings, Moody Blues member Denny Laine talks McCartney, Florida shows