Friday 3oth September 2016

Love is the Key

Ray Thomas

Somewhere the sun is always shining
Somewhere the breeze blows in another brand new day
So let us gather up our tears
We’ll save them for a rainy day

Come on let’s fill our world with laughter
Let’s put the sunshine into everybody’s heart
Then peace will last for ever after
Oh what a lovely start
It gives you hope for a brand new day
Have faith in love it will show the way
Happiness, who could ask for anything more
So realise there’s no need to hide
Show yourself to the world outside
Don’t you know that the world is an open door
Don’t you know that love’s the key to open any door

It gives you hope for a brand new day
Have faith in love it will show the way
Happiness, who could ask for anything more
So realise there’s no need to hide
Show yourself to the world outside
Don’t you know that the world is an open door
Don’t you know that love’s the key to open any door

The earth is good, why do we abuse it
Our land, our seas, our skies, let’s try our wings and fly
Across green meadows hand in hand
Let’s be the brotherhood of man
Come on, let’s fill our world with laughter
Let’s put the sunshine into everybody’s heart
Then peace will last for ever after
And that’s a lovely start

Kayliegh with Oliver only 2 months left?

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I was very excited about the gig at the town hall in Birmingham but over an hour on the motorway stuck in M42 traffic quelled my excitement a touch.
I thought that instead of driving into Brum I would take an easy route by parking at the NEC and taking the train. The £12 parking fee at 11:30 at night came as a nice surprise. Anyhow The gig was nice and although the Town Hall which I had not visited for some time had been spruced up a lot. I am out of touch with Birmingham I go to London often and I feel more at home there now than Brum.
I met with some friends at The Shakespeare pub and sat outside it would have been wonderful had the summer still been with us. I loved the sound of the trams as they passed by at the end of the street. They had that little bell and rumbling sounds that reminded me so much of Amsterdam.

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The town hall does not lend itself to getting to the front of stage so I remained in my seat and just sang from there. My voice actually trashed during Saved by the Music I guess it was telling me I had had enough singing for one month.
Saved by the Music is the highlight of the show for me but the songs off the new album sound better live. It is I guess the same as Justin’s gig I was not sure about the last solo album until I heard him do it live and I enjoyed very much the live versions of John’s solo album. Candle of Life of course is a very precious song and the TOCCC is my top draw Moodies number one favourite album. The Blue Jays is there at number two. Gemma had a problem with her electric cello and the crew worked hard trying to fix it. She had to leave the stage and go and buy another cello from the back of Rackhams. I felt sorry for the girl as she trundled in from stage right with the massive cello in a huge white hard case on her back. No roadies for Gemma must be a Brxit issue. They hooked it up and it was the old one she played at Hampton Court and believe me it sounded sweeter and I could hear it better than that electric one. Well done Gemma.

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The Saints and Sinners gave Ray a taste of being centre stage. His voice had gone down well with the audiences so he wasted no time in joining up with fellow Brummies to form El Riot and the Rebels. With Ray as El Riot, dressed in a green satin Mexican toreador suit, the Rebels set out to take Birmingham by storm. The band entered and won several competitions. Ray developed his trademark entrance of sliding across the stage on his knees. He once took out a row of potted tulips! They landed several spots on the popular TV show “Lunchbox”. Their first appearance was on 14 November 1962 playing “Guitar Tango” and “I Remember You”. At some point a 78 rpm acetate was recorded of “Blue Moon” and “Down the Line”. On 15 April 1963, El Riot and the Rebels performed at The Riverside Dancing Club in Tenbury Wells as the support band for a group that would change the face of Rock n Roll forever. It was a little band from Liverpool – The Beatles. By October 1963, Ray decided it was time to quit the day job and go pro in the rock music world.

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There was a guy in a BJH shirt in front row the typical loner at a gig you know the one I mean. They are at every gig in every city in every country.
I had noticed him walk past the Shakespeare over two hours earlier and I saw him several times pass by the area we were sitting. You know the guy right? The guy you don’t want to be sitting next to. But heck these folks know how to have a party.
Bless his cotton socks he danced and pointed fingers at the sky. He jumped around up and down and stared about him at the other motionless fans as if they were the somehow not on his planet and he could not understand why they were not helping him out. I loved this guy. It is very wrong of me to say that I would not want to sit next to him because I would have had a blast with him also had I been at the front next to him. Looking about me there were lots of really old people. Yes really old and I often forget I am one of them. Anyhow I enjoyed seeing all my mates and seeing them have fun. I enjoyed them living their dreams and meeting with John and Tomo and getting their stuff signed. Lots of new and not so new friends. I have enjoyed the last few weeks of singing and meetings I guess now its back to winter coming and watching the roller coaster world of Tottenham Hotspurs.

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I had a very busy month in September following the music.
Justin Hayward was doing solo gigs all across the UK and John Lodge was doing likewise. The Moody Blues have not split up as they are now in the USA playing together.
Sue and I travelled to Cardiff where we were going to spend three nights. I went to see Justin at St David’s Hall. I had a nice seat and I met a few friends at the show.
As usual Justin was wonderful his voice is still excellent.
He never comes out after the shows to see the fans.
We Sue and I spent two days instead of three in the Cardiff era as the weather was so bad and we were surprised how dreary and run down the area was.
Even the beach where Sue had wanted to visit was grubby and full of iron and bricks and concrete.
I had several shows booked and Sue did not want to see any of them.
The next event was at Hampton Court where John Lodge and his band were giving a special show with wine. Wine because John has a couple of vineyards where he produces his own wine. I travelled to stay with Stuart on the Saturday before the show which was on the next Wednesday.
We spent a few days together visiting art galleries and museums and churches.
Then on the Wednesday I drove to Richmond on Thames where I had booked a bed and breakfast. I left the car there and took the ferry boat which was a converted paddle steamer to Hampton Court it took nearly two hours.
I expected cold and grey but the weather was really astonishing. There was a blue sky and it was very hot.
We were given a ticket that would allow us to spend the whole day inside the palace.
Then on the evening was the show where John and the band greeted us with free wine and when the glass was empty they topped it up. They played a few songs live in front of us acoustic and there was only about forty of us. It was really a special moment.
I was seeing the John Lodge show in Stratford upon Avon then Justin Hayward’s show in Wolverhampton. The weekend after was Johns last show of his tour at the Town Hall in Birmingham. I had a great time but for me Johns show at Stratford upon Avon and The Hampton Court show were wonderful.
The month before all this I had been working very hard during the summer and at one point I worked 12 days in 14.
Richard is now getting married to Kayliegh the baby is due around the 2nd December and they will be getting married on New Years Eve.
They are going to call the baby Oliver.

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