Mike Pinder, Moody Blues Founder, Songwriter & Mellotron Orchestrator, Has Died

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Mike Pinder – one of the founding members of The Moody Blues, and the eminent Mellotron orchestrator – died this week at the age of 82.

Michael Pinder (27 December 1941 – 24 April 2024) was a founding member and the original keyboard player of The Moody Blues. He helped create the groups orchestral sound through his pioneering use of the Mellotron and other keyboard instruments. Listen to any of the group’s classic albums, and you can hear Pinder expanding their sound through his creative use of keyboards.

Pinder’s family shared the news via The Moody Blues Facebook page:

“Mike Pinder – Musician, Father, Cosmic Philosopher & Friend

Michael Thomas Pinder died on Wednesday, April 24th, 2024 at his home in Northern California, surrounded by his devoted family. Michael’s family would like to share with his trusted friends and caring fans that he passed peacefully. His final days were filled with music, encircled by the love of his family. Michael lived his life with a childlike wonder, walking a deeply introspective path which fused the mind and the heart.

He created his music and the message he shared with the world from this spiritually grounded place; as he always said, “Keep your head above the clouds, but keep your feet on the ground.” His authentic essence lifted up everyone who came into contact with him. His lyrics, philosophy, and vision of humanity and our place in the cosmos will touch generations to come.”

Pinder worked for Streetly Electronics, who manufactured the Mellotron, from 1962-63. In 1964, he left to found The Moody Blues with Ray Thomas, Denny Laine, Clint Warwick and Graeme Edge.

Here’s Dawn Is A Feeling, from Days Of Future Past, which showcases both his songwriting and his approach to using the Mellotron:

Pinder was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2018 as a member of The Moody Blues.

You can find out more about Pinder’s experiences with the Mellotron at his site.

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