Denny Laine of Wings, Moody Blues: Concert planned at famous Cavern Club

When Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Denny Laine died Dec. 5 in Naples, the outpouring of love was immediate.

Ozzy Osbourne. Christopher Cross. Axl Rose. Even Laine's old Wings bandmate, Paul McCartney.

They all mourned Laine's death on social media and praised him as a friend and a musician.

"It was beautiful," says Laine's widow, Elizabeth Hines. "And I still get messages from people. … There's a lot of love."

Denny Laine performed at The Moon with others as part of "It Was Fifty Years Ago Today: A Tribute to The Beatles" on Thursday, March 17, 2022.
Denny Laine performed at The Moon with others as part of "It Was Fifty Years Ago Today: A Tribute to The Beatles" on Thursday, March 17, 2022.

That love continues Sunday, Feb. 18, with a tribute concert at the famous The Cavern Club in Liverpool, England. It's a place many British rock 'n' rollers have played, including McCartney (with The Beatles) and Laine.

"Denny Laine was a good friend of everybody at the Cavern Club, performing here many times over the years …" the club says on its website. "A great line up of musical guests will remember all of the great music that Denny created during his time as a founder member of Wings with Paul McCartney and his years with the Moody Blues."

The concert was organized by two of Laine's friends and former bandmates, Steve McDonald and Grant Roberts of McDonald's Farm, one of The Cavern Club's resident bands. They'll also be raising money to help Hines with Laine's medical and funeral expenses.

"They're really wonderful people," Hines says about the concert's organizers. "They loved Denny. It’s a completely sincere tribute for him."

Denny Laine's death in Naples, burial at Palm Royale cemetery

The Cavern Club concert was originally planned as a benefit show to help Laine pay his medical bills. But that changed after his death in December.

"Now it's a tribute," Hines says. "They're doing it to help me, to help with Denny's final expenses."

Laine was 79 when he died at Naples' NCH Baker Hospital. After getting COVID in 2022, the singer-guitarist had been in and out of the hospital for various health issues, Hines said last year, including a collapsed lung, bacterial infections and Interstitial Lung Disease (ILD), the lung disease that eventually killed him.

Denny Laine (left), Linda McCartney and Paul McCartney were the core of Wings.
Denny Laine (left), Linda McCartney and Paul McCartney were the core of Wings.

Laine was buried in a small, private ceremony at North Naples' Palm Royale Funeral Home & Cemetery, Hines says. Many people watched the service streaming online, including friends and family in the United Kingdom. Guitarist Laurence Juber of Wings performed an instrumental version of the The Moody Blues song "Go Now."

"It was very lowkey," Hines says about the service, "and I respected everybody's privacy."

Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Denny Laine of Wings and The Moody Blues
Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Denny Laine of Wings and The Moody Blues

Hines says they chose Palm Royale cemetery for its many palm trees. Laine originally didn't want a funeral at all, she says, but he eventually agreed.

"He's very simple," she says. "He said, 'Bury me where I'm living (in Naples). I want to be under the trees − under the palm trees.

"It's a beautiful cemetery. So I think Denny would be pleased."

Hines plans to put more details about the funeral and the cemetery on Laine's official website. But for now, she says, any new information will be released on his Facebook page.

Tributes to Denny Laine and his time in Wings, Moody Blues

Laine was the original lead singer and guitarist for classic-rock greats The Moody Blues. He also worked side-by-side with ex-Beatle Paul McCartney throughout the ‘70s in their hugely popular band Wings.

Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Denny Laine of Wings and The Moody Blues
Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Denny Laine of Wings and The Moody Blues

In December, McCartney wrote on Facebook that he and Laine "drifted apart" after Wings, but had reestablished their friendship in recent years.

"Denny was a great talent with a fine sense of humour and was always ready to help other people," McCartney wrote. "He will be missed by all his fans and remembered with great fondness by his friends. ...

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

Sunday's concert at The Cavern Club starts at 7 p.m. Tickets are 15 pounds and available at the club.

There aren't any plans to stream the show online, organizers say, although that may change.

The concert's lineup includes:

  • Guitarist/singer Jonny Parry, a resident performer at The Cavern Club

  • Brian Nash of Frankie Goes to Hollywood

  • Kyle Falconer of The View with Drew Palmer

  • Moody Blues tribute act The Moody Ruse

  • McDonald's Farm, featuring former Laine bandmates Steve McDonald and Grant Roberts

  • And Cavern Club resident performer Tony Skeggs

Hines says she won't be able to attend the concert herself. She's still mourning her late husband.

"I'm not ready," she says. "I'm still too emotional about everything."

For more information about the concert, visit cavernclub.com, facebook.com/DBFLaine or facebook.com/mcdonaldsfarmband.

Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Denny Laine of Wings and The Moody Blues
Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Denny Laine of Wings and The Moody Blues

Charles Runnells is an arts and entertainment reporter for The News-Press and the Naples Daily News. To reach him, call 239-335-0368 (for tickets to shows, call the venue) or email him atcrunnells@gannett.com. Follow or message him on social media: Facebook (facebook.com/charles.runnells.7), X (formerly Twitter) (@charlesrunnells), Threads (@crunnells1) and Instagram (@crunnells1).

This article originally appeared on Fort Myers News-Press: Cavern Club plans tribute for late Denny Laine of Wings, Moody Blues