“I was by his bedside, holding his hand while playing his favorite Christmas songs,” writes his wife, Elizabeth Hines. “My life will never be the same. Denny was a wonderful, loving, and sweet person. He made my days colorful, fun, and full of life, just like he was.”
Raised in Birmingham, Laine co-founded the Moody Blues in 1964 with Ray Thomas and Mike Pinder. Their initial success, with Laine on vocals and guitar, came with the cover of “Go Now.” His stint in the band was short-lived; he left after the release of the album “The Magnificent Moodies,” dissatisfied with the management of the band during that pioneering era for the music industry. “We were being exploited,” he would say.
After the Beatles era, in 1971, Paul McCartney called him to play in his new band, Wings. They had met in the ’60s when the Moody Blues toured with the Fab Four. In a sense, Laine became McCartney’s musical right-hand man in those early years when the musician continued to ponder the direction to take after the end of the Beatles.
Laine left his mark on hits like “Live and Let Die,” “Jet,” “Silly Love Songs,” and “Band on the Run,” both the song and the album (considered McCartney’s best). He is also the co-author of “Mull of Kintyre,” McCartney’s 1977 venture into British folk music.
After the dissolution of Wings, Laine collaborated on some of McCartney’s records, went on tour, and continued to release albums under his name. One of the best is “Holly Days,” a collection of Buddy Holly covers from 1977 with McCartney’s imprint, as he produced it and played almost all the instruments with his wife Linda. Since 2018, Laine has been a part of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with the Moody Blues.
Today, McCartney remembers him for his talent, sense of humor, and generosity: “I have many fond memories of the years with Denny, starting from the early days when the Beatles toured with the Moody Blues. Our two bands respected and enjoyed each other. Denny joined Wings from the beginning. We wrote some pieces together, the most successful being ‘Mull of Kintyre,’ which was a big hit in the ’70s. We had drifted apart, but in recent years, we rekindled our relationship and reminisced about the good times together.”
“Denny,” McCartney continues, “had talent and a great sense of humor, and he was always ready to help others. He will be missed by fans and remembered fondly by friends. My condolences and best wishes to his wife Elizabeth and family. Peace and love, Denny. It was a pleasure to know you. You will be missed.”