Ray Thomas is dead. Those of my age will remember him as the flute player from The Moody Blues. He was 76. Why write about him? Because I'm angry that he won't be part of the Moodies long overdue induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
For whatever reason, the mastermind of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Jan Wenner, hated The Moody Blues and kept them out of the hall for more than 20 years. A lot of critics found the music created by The Moody Blues just to slick and pretentious. But beneath the sheen of what was hated were some great songs, most of them penned by Justin Hayward, a couple of nuggets by the late Ray Thomas.
I had the great fortune of meeting Ray Thomas, Justin Hayward, John Lodge and Graeme Edge some 14 years ago when they opened one of their tours in Fort Myers. It was one of the last tours Thomas was to make with the band as his health began to go into decline. Ironically, the Moodies will be playing in Fort Myers this month. I have seen the band more than a half dozen times. As much as I want to go see them one final time, I won't ante up the money to see them in Germain Arena, where the acoustics are simply awful.
I was looking forward to seeing them, together, with Ray Thomas and hopefully with original keyboard man Mike Pinder, at their induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Now that won't happen and that makes me very sad. Ray deserved better and so did his band mates.