Moody Blues founding member Clint Warwick passed away in Birmingham on Saturday May 15, 2004 at age 63. His close friend Pamela Phelan (who operated Clint's website) informed me of this sad news. My sincere condolence goes out to Clint's family and friends.
Clint Warwick was bass guitarist/vocalist in the original line-up of Birmingham's internationally famous band that also featured drummer Graeme Edge, guitarist Denny Laine, keyboard player Mike Pinder, and flute player Ray Thomas. In addition to performing on their 1964 Number One hit record 'Go Now', Clint was also on the Moody Blues' first album titled "The Magnificent Moodies" as well as playing on several other singles by the group.
The Moody Blues along with many others like "The Animals" and "The Zombies", became part of the first wave of "British Invasion" bands to tour North America following the massive success of The Beatles there. While managed by Brian Epstein, The Moodies became friends with The Beatles when they played support for them on their final UK tour in 1965.
Clint Warwick's chiseled good-looks and tall frame made for a striking presence on stage while his high harmony vocal contributed much to the band's sound.
As the only married group member, Clint Warwick (real name Albert Eccles) left the Moody Blues in 1966 to have more time with his family and was a carpenter by trade. When interviewed for a newspaper story years ago, Clint admitted regret about leaving the band and recalled thinking; "My god, what have I done? A year ago I was playing to 60,000 fans at Wembley!"
While observing his former band enjoy ever-increasing success, 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 Kingstanding!"
In recent years, Clint Warwick re-discovered his love of making music. With encouragement from long-time friend Danny King, Clint had his first solo CD titled "My Life - The Waltz" released in 2002 and dedicated to his son Paul who died tragically young. Clint was working on another recording project titled "Dreamstone" with former Varsity Rag and Cathedral guitarist Jon Fox that was unfinished at the time of his death.
Clint Warwick's memory will live on in the classic early recordings of the Moody Blues - the first pop group from Birmingham to have international success and in doing so - lead the way for many other West Midlands bands.
(Clint Warwick photo courtesy of Pamela Phelan 2002)
This feature was originally published on BrumBeat in 2002.
In 2002, former Moody Blues bass guitarist Clint Warwick was back in the recording studio after a more than 30 years absence from the music scene!
Pictured is the original Moody Blues line-up - from left to right; Mike Pinder, Denny Laine, Clint Warwick, Graeme Edge, and Ray Thomas. Clint, who started his music career in the late 1950s when he joined Danny King and The Dukes, later became a founding member of the internationally famous Moody Blues, the Birmingham band that rocketed to fame when their classic record 'Go Now' reached the top of the charts in 1964.
Though the Moody Blues eventually went on to greater success, Clint Warwick had tired of the pop star lifestyle and constant touring by 1966 so left the group for a more dependable career as a carpenter and to take on the tough job of raising a family. He was replaced temporarily by Rod Clark before the group was re-organized with new members John Lodge and Justin Hayward.
While Clint made a decent living in his trade after leaving the Moody Blues, chronic health problems as well as the tragic death of his son Paul in 1996 made his life difficult during the last several years. Hopefully, his return to music will mark the beginning of a new and brighter chapter for Clint Warwick.
To see some terrific photos of the early Moody Blues line-up featuring Clint Warwick, check out Tony Brown's www.themoodyblues.co.uk Moody Blues Gallery website.