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Still 'just a singer': The Moody Blues' John Lodge reflects on Rock Hall induction, influences

The Moody Blues bassist reflects on his Hall of Fame career as he comes to Cleveland for a solo concert

Cleveland likes John Lodge. And for the Moody Blues bassist, the feeling is definitely mutual.

Six months after Lodge joined his bandmates for their long-awaited induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame at Public Hall, he's back in Cleveland to perform as a solo artist on Thursday night at Music Box Supper Club.

"I am a Moody Blue and will always be a Moody Blue, so there will be Moody Blues songs at the show that I would never leave out," Lodge said during a conversation at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame on Wednesday. "There will be songs from my solo albums along with songs I've never done before onstage like 'Candle of Life.' It's been working really really well, everyone's having a great time."

Lodge will be joined onstage by his touring band, dubbed the "10,000 Light Years Band.' "I wanted them to have their own identity," he explained. "I wanted to change things slightly from the Moody Blues, so instead of a flute, we are using a cello for example."

On an off day from touring, Lodge spent time checking out the venue where he is now forever enshrined. "The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame is an American institution and to be honest, I didn't realize how important it was," Lodge said. "Then I went around and saw archival things that are a part of my life growing up. I remember I saw Buddy Holly live in Birmingham (England) when I was 13 and to be actually standing next to Buddy Holly now in the Hall of Fame, it's like 'How good can it be?!?' It's fabulous."

Lodge has plenty of fond memories of Cleveland alongside The Moody Blues' Rock Hall induction. "We've seen Cleveland change so much over the years. Probably the first time we came here was 1969. We played in a ballroom and I think Canned Heat was there with us. We met a guy there named Charlie and he helped us build the first PA (public address) system that you stood on either side of the stage so people could actually hear the vocals."

Even though his band is over 50 years old, Lodge delights in seeing more and more young people at Moody Blues and solo shows. "We're out there some nights and there are 17 and 18-year-old kids out there and they're singing the lyrics! I think the Rock Hall has a lot to do with a wave of music being reintroduced. The advent of vinyl albums are getting people to open up the albums, see who wrote the songs, see who the engineers were and who played on them. Instead of putting the earbuds on and listening to the music on your own, I think we're sharing the music again."

Showtime for Thursday's concert is set for 7:30 p.m. Click here for ticket information

WATCH | See the full interview with John Lodge in the player below:

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