May 15, 2004 – Clint Warwick (The Moody Blues) was born Albert Clinton Eccles in Aston, Birmingham, England on June 25, 1940.
Clint started his music career in the late 1950s when he joined Danny King & The Dukes, and from there helped form the early UK rock band The Moody Blues, and was the original bassist in 1964. The Moody Blues released one album with Clint on bass, “Go Now – The Moody Blues” which reached No.1 in the UK charts.
The album yielded the hit single, “Go Now”, which reached No.1 in the UK and the Top Ten in the U.S. – a cover of a nearly identical American single by R&B singer Bessie Banks, heavily featuring a mournful lead vocal – and earned them a berth in some of the nation’s top performing venues (including the New Musical Express Poll Winners Concert, appearing with some of the top acts of the period); its number ten chart placement in America also earned them a place as a support act for the Beatles on one tour, and the release of a follow-up LP (Magnificent Moodies in England, Go Now in America) on both sides of the Atlantic.
It was coming up with a follow-up hit to “Go Now,” however, that proved the first incarnation of the band’s undoing. Despite their fledgling songwriting efforts and the access they had to American demos, this line up of the Moody Blues never came up with another single success. By the end of the spring of 1965, the frustration was palpable within the band.
The group decided to make their fourth single, “From the Bottom of My Heart,” an experiment with a different, much more subtly soulful sound, and it was one of the most extraordinary records of the entire British Invasion, with haunting performances all around. Unfortunately, the single only reached number 22 on the British charts following its release in May of 1965, and barely brushed the Top 100 in America. Ultimately, the grind of touring, coupled with the strains facing the group, became too much for Warwick, who exited in the spring of 1966. Feeling stressed by touring, Warwick left the band and his music career in 1966 to become a carpenter and spend time with his family.
By August of 1966 Laine had left as well. The group soldiered on, however, as Warwick was succeeded by John Lodge, an ex-bandmate of Ray Thomas, and in late 1966 singer/guitarist Justin Hayward succeeded singer/frontman Laine.
Warwick’s and Laine’s era with the Moody Blues was featured on various compilation albums on both vinyl and CD, such as The Moody Blues Collection. A later CD issue of The Magnificent Moodies in 2006 included the rare track “People Gotta Give” (mistitled as “People Gotta Go”) – a Pinder-Laine composition from the Boulevard De La Madeleine French EP release.
In 2002, Warwick released his first solo CD, and was working on another one at the time of his death from a liver ailment at age 63 on May 15, 2004.
When interviewed for a newspaper story years later, he admitted regret about leaving the band saying; “My god, what have I done? To think a year ago I was playing to 60,000 fans at Wembley!” Clint’s life since leaving the Moodies was dogged by bad luck, eventually leading to a long battle with alcohol addiction. His marriage broke up in 1967 by which time he had two sons Lee and Paul of whom he was always justifiably proud.
Clint stayed in touch with some of his band mates in the Moody Blues and said; “I’m always invited back stage and there’s lots of hugging and pats on the back. In some ways nothing’s changed because we really are the same people. The biggest difference is that afterwards they fly back to Florida in a private jet and I catch the bus back to Kings Landing!”
2 thoughts on “Clint Warwick 5/2004”
[…] Warwick left the band (followed by Laine a few months later) he was briefly replaced by Rod Clark. Thomas […]
[…] formed the original blues-rock band the Moody Blues with Mike Pinder, Ray Thomas, Denny Laine, and Clint Warwick who in January 1965 produced the smash cover hit “Go Now”. (Bessie Banks […]