'He'll be remembered with great fondness': Paul McCartney leads tributes to Wings guitarist Denny Laine

5 December 2023, 22:11

His wife Elizabeth Hines announced his death on Tuesday evening.
His wife Elizabeth Hines announced his death on Tuesday evening. Picture: Alamy/Facebook

By Jenny Medlicott

Sir Paul McCartney has led tributes to Moody Blues vocalist and Wings guitarist Denny Laine after his death aged 79.

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The guitarist and founding member of the two rock bands, The Moody Blues and Wings, has died aged 79, his wife announced on Tuesday evening.

Laine’s former Wings bandmate, Sir Paul McCartney, paid tribute to the guitarist in a post on Tuesday evening.

He wrote: “I am very saddened to hear that my ex-bandmate, Denny Laine, has died.

“I have many fond memories of my time with Denny: from the early days when The Beatles toured with the Moody Blues. Our two bands had a lot of respect for each other and a lot of fun together. Denny joined Wings at the outset.

“He was an outstanding vocalist and guitar player. His most famous performance is probably ‘Go Now’ an old Bessie Banks song which he would sing brilliantly.

“He and I wrote some songs together the most successful being ‘Mull of Kintyre’ which was a big hit in the Seventies. We had drifted apart but in recent years managed to reestablish our friendship and share memories of our times together.

“Denny was a great talent with a fine sense of humour and was always ready to help other people. He will be missed by all his fans and remembered with great fondness by his friends. I send my condolences and best wishes to his wife, Elizabeth and family.

“Peace and love Denny. It was a pleasure to know you. We are all going to miss you.”

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His wife Elizabeth Hines announced the English musician died on Tuesday morning after a long battle with Interstitial Lung Disease (ILD).

His wife said in a statement: "My darling husband passed away peacefully early this morning. I was at his bedside, holding his hand as I played his favorite Christmas songs for him. He’s been singing Christmas songs the past few weeks and I continued to play Christmas songs while he’s been in ICU on a ventilator this past week.

"He and I both believed he would overcome his health setbacks and return to the rehabilitation center and eventually home.

"Unfortunately, his lung disease, Interstitial Lung Disease (ILD), is unpredictable and aggressive; each infection weakened and damaged his lungs. He fought everyday. He was so strong and brave, never complained.

"All he wanted was to be home with me and his pet kitty, Charley, playing his gypsy guitar.

Sir Paul McCartney led tributes to the Wings guitarist.
Sir Paul McCartney led tributes to the Wings guitarist. Picture: Alamy

"Denny was so very thankful to all of you who sent him so much love, support and the many kind words during these past few months of his health crisis-it brought him to tears.

"I thank you all for sending both of us love and support. It was my absolute honor and privilege to not only be his wife, but to care for him during his illness and vulnerability.

"Thank you to Dennys surgeons, doctors, specialists, physical therapists and nurses at Naples Hospital for working so hard to help him. Thank you for your compassion and support for me during these past several emotional months.

"My world will never be the same. Denny was an amazingly wonderful person, so loving and sweet to me. He made my days colorful, fun and full of life-just like him.

"Thank you sweetie for loving me, for all the laughter, friendship, fun and for asking me to be your wife. I will love you forever.

"Please give Denny’s friends and family the time and privacy needed as we grieve our loss."

Fans paid tribute to the musician, as one wrote on X: “Saddened to hear the news of Denny Laine’s passing, he was a real talent. Rest in peace.”

Another said: “Oh man I can't RIP Denny Laine... I know he was sick but still such a huge shock.”

He performed in Wings alongside Paul McCartney in the early 70s after his time in The Moody Blues.

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