Justin Q&A – Storytime

Posted on 01/23/2011

Here’s the latest Q&A with Justin Hayward.

1. How long before a tour begins do you start getting into the mindset for it, and at what point do you start to feel excited about it?

A. Playing live is the most precious experience we have, and we are very lucky. I’m into the April USA tour now, and looking forward to it. I can’t say that ‘excited’ is the right word, but I do look forward to it, not without some trepidation, and of course we all have to make plans around how our real life affairs continue while we are away from home.¬† Touring is absolutely great but when it’s over that’s when the work begins – trying to catch up on a seven week gap in our own personal and private lives.

2. There was an unusual amount of snow for this time of the year in the UK, did this create any havoc with travel for you or the rest of the TWOTW troupe?

A. First let me say that I really really loved this last War Of The Worlds tour, and it was the best production of it I have ever been part of. Some nights I would just stand around the side or the back of the stage (still in costume) and watch. I was totally into it. It was brilliant. To sing with such a fabulous group of musicians every night was truly wonderful. I loved it – long may it continue.
And – yes, the weather played havoc with my beautiful ‘master travel plan’ – that plan went out of the window in the last few days of November when the first ‘mega snow’ hit Ireland and the UK.

My flight out of Dublin, after the Belfast show, was cancelled and I had to get the overnight ferry to Birkenhead ( that was quite an experience – I didn’t even do that when I was 17!, but I enjoyed it in a perverse way – the purser was a Moodies fan which helped). Then after battling through the snow all day I had to abandon the car in Newcastle and stagger on by train for several days until I could retrieve the car a week later.

We all made it to every show though, but the tension of struggling to get to each gig in those weather conditions was exhausting. The worst was driving through freezing fog at night with the whole outside of the car slowly becoming frozen over.
My total admiration goes to the audience though, particularly at Wembley on the last night of the tour – in getting to the venue through some of the worst weather London has seen for years.

3. When you are between tours, what habits from the road are the hardest to break? 

A. Room service.

4. What was the most effort that anyone ever put forward to get your autograph?

A. I was followed for four hours up from the West Country one night in the 70’s,(it took me two hours to realise I was being followed) and when the person finally was standing in front of me they were completely and utterly tongue-tied. I had to do all the coaxing, like “would you like an autograph, or a photo, would you like to say somethig?” etc. I felt so bad for the person, and hope they didn’t go away thinking¬† ‘darn, I forgot to say……this or that’!

5. Any current book recommendations you’d like to share?

A. Anything by A.S.Byatt

6. When you first heard that “Nights In White Satin” was back in the UK charts now for an amazing 4th time in its existence, what was your reaction?

A. I thought Matt Cardle did a great version. I was working that night between Amsterdam and Ireland and it wasn’t until I got into a taxi in Dublin that I switched my phone on to be greeted by loads of texts from people who had seen it on X factor. I went to utube later and saw it.

It would have been nice if the record company had got behind our original version as soon as we entered the charts that very same week, we could have had an even bigger hit – but they didn’t. ~ Never mind.

7. How many guitars do you own presently?

A. Nowhere near as many as I had in the 70’s. I don’t keep them now (or even acquire them) if I don’t use them in the studio or on stage.

8. You’ve made comments before about enjoying the smell of your guitars, does any one guitar smell better than others, or do they all just generally smell good?

A. Yes. They do to me.

9. Was there anything in your choices for your custom Tom Anderson guitar that might be considered an unusual modification request?

A. I don’t think so. It’s just that there are probably so many combinations of features that make every Tom Anderson unique. I love that guitar, it’s fabulous – but my 335 is still king.

10. Did you play bass guitar on any of the Wilde Three recordings?

A. I think I must have, there was no one else on the records, and I did use my first 335 on the sessions at Regent Sound in Denmark Street, where the recordings were made. We recorded a load of early Moodies tracks there too incidentally.

11. In March of ’75, when Jerry Weintraub came up with the idea of playing the Blue Jays LP at Carnegie Hall for a live audience, did you and John feel confident it would go over well?

A. I didn’t – Jerry did. He was right!

12. What places in the world would you like to visit that you haven’t?

A. South America

13. Do you ever have entire days that are NOT in some way devoted to your work/life as a singer/songwriter/musician/band member?

A. It’s a good question. I don’t remember any. But some days of family joy, or tragedy are such days.

14. What is your favorite time of day?

A. Storytime.