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Posted: Tuesday, 04 February 2014 10:33AM

The Moody Blues' Justin Hayward Looks Ahead to Band's Second Annual Fan Cruise



MoodiesCruise.comAfter launching a month-long U.S. tour that begins March 5 in Morristown, New Jersey, The Moody Blues will head to sea with a bunch of other rock acts for their second annual fan cruise. This year's edition of The Moody Blues Cruise has been dubbed "Return to the Isle of Wight" in celebration of the band's 1970 appearance at the historic festival off the southern U.K. coast.

The musical extravaganza, which runs from April 2 to April 7, sets sail from Miami and makes stops in Nassau in the Bahamas and Grand Turk Island before returning to port.  Co-headlining the 2014 cruise will be Who frontman Roger Daltrey, whose legendary group also performed at the 1970 festival.  Other acts on this year's lineup include The Zombies, Starship Featuring Mickey Thomas, Emerson, Lake & Palmer drummer Carl Palmer, Little River Band, singer/songwriters Stephen Bishop and Shawn Phillips, folk rockers The Strawbs, Lighthouse, Toto singer Joseph Williams and former members of Electric Light Orchestra.

Speaking recently with ABC News Radio, Moodies singer/guitarist Justin Hayward admits that the theme of this year's cruise led to a bit of confusion with some fans.

"When it first came out, a couple of people said to me, 'You're cruising around the Isle of Wight?!  It's gonna be freezing!'"  Hayward explains with a laugh.  "I said, 'No. No…We're not actually going to the Isle of Wight.  [That would] be rather rough and unhealthy in April.'"

Justin also reveals that The Moody Blues are putting together a special set for the cruise that will feature some of the songs the band played at the 1970 fest.

"A Question of Balance was the album that was out, or was just about to come out [then]," he notes.  "We're looking back at [that time] to see what we were doing, not particularly exactly the same set, because since then, a couple of guys have left the band."

Asked what some of his favorite highlights were from the group's inaugural cruise, Hayward says, "I always enjoyed the question-and-answer things.  They weren't scripted, so we never quite knew what the questions were going to be, which I think is better.  He points out that that meant his and his band mates' responses "just came straight from the heart and off the top of our heads."

Justin also notes that he enjoyed getting the opportunity to play material from his 2013 solo album, Spirits of the Western Sky, solo on acoustic guitar at "one of the little events that people came to."  He tells ABC News Radio that he's planning to give a similar performance on this year's cruise.

Hayward stresses that outside of the many musical activities, the cruise gives fans the chance to "get together themselves and…swap stuff and stories."

Besides The Moodies and Daltrey, other artists on the cruise who performed at the 1970 Isle of Wight festival include Palmer -- who played with ELP -- Lighthouse and Phillips.  In addition, a guitarist named Randy Hansen will deliver a tribute to Jimi Hendrix, who died less than a month after performing at the fest.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


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