Paul McCartney shares touching tribute to Denny Laine after former Wings bandmate dies aged 79: 'It was a pleasure to know you'

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Paul McCartney has shared a touching tribute to his former Wings bandmate Denny Laine after he died aged 79. 

The late musician passed away following a long battle with lung disease, his wife Elizabeth Haines announced on Tuesday. 

Penning a lengthy message to Instagram following the news, Paul, 81, said 'it was a pleasure to know' Denny. 

He shared a photo of them playing together in Wings and 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.'

Paul McCartney, 81, (pictured in October) has shared a touching tribute to his former Wings bandmate Denny Laine after he died aged 79

The late musician passed away following a long battle with lung disease, his wife Elizabeth Haines announced on Tuesday (pictured in March)

He continued: '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. Love, Paul.'

Denny, the lead singer of rock band The Moody Blues died on Tuesday, his wife Elizabeth said in a statement: 'I was at his side, holding his hand as I played his favourite Christmas songs for him.'

Denny sang on The Moody Blues' 1965 multi-million selling single Go Now and co-wrote the Wings hit Mull of Kintyre.

In 2018, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of the Moody Blues.

'Denny was a great talent with a fine sense of humour and was always ready to help other people,' Paul wrote

Penning a lengthy message to Instagram following the news, Paul, 81, said 'it was a pleasure to know' Denny (Denny, Linda McCartney and Paul of Wings in 1978)

Denny's wife Elizabeth said in a statement: 'I was at his side, holding his hand as I played his favourite Christmas songs for him' (pictured in 2016)

(clockwise from left) The Moody Blues' Ray Thomas, Michael Pinde, Denny Laine, Graeme Edge, and bassist Clint Warwick are pictured in 1967

The singer-songwriter, real name Brian Hines, was born in October 1944 in Birmingham and grew up in the city.

He started playing guitar after he was inspired by the late jazz guitarist and composer Django Reinhardt.

The performer formed band Denny and the Dilpomats in the 1960s, with the group featuring Wizzard singer Roy Wood.

When they split he created The Moody Blues, playing with the group from 1964 to 1966, and found success with their hit Go Now as well as a number of R&B-influenced singles such as From The Bottom of My Heart (I Love You) and Bye Bye Bird.

They released their first studio album The Magnificent Moodies - named Go Now: The Moody Blues #1 in the United States - in 1965.

However, when they struggled to find further commercial success, Denny left in 1966 before the band reinvented itself as a progressive rock group.

He went on to form the Electric String Ban, which featured him on vocals and guitar, but they broke up after they failed to achieve national success.

Trevor Burton, who performed with Electric String Band and was also known for his work with the band The Move, went on to form Balls in February 1969 before they broke up in 1971, after both performing with Ginger Baker's Air Force in 1970.

In 1971, Denny teamed up with former Beatle Paul and his wife Linda to form Wings. Denny played guitar, bass and sang (L-R: keyboard player Linda McCartney, drummer Geoff Britton, singer and bassist Paul McCartney, guitarist Denny Laine and guitarist Jimmy McCulloch pictured in 1974)

Balls only released one record, Fight for My Country, on UK Wizard Records. They recorded 12 tracks for an album but it was ever released. 

In 1971, Denny teamed up with former Beatle Paul McCartney and his wife Linda to form Wings.

Denny played guitar, bass and sung on tracks including Jet, Band on the Run and Live and Let Die.

He had known Sir Paul since his time with Denny and the Dilpomats in the 1960s and The Moody Blues supported The Beatles on tour during that decade.

He stayed with the group for a decade before they went their separate ways in 1981.

Of his time with Wings, he told Billboard earlier this year: 'I was in the shadows more, but I wasn't bothered by that.

'I was traveling the world and learning a lot and having a good time in many ways. So from that point of view, it was easy for me.'

After Wings, Denny embarked on a solo career, having already released some albums on his own in the 1970s.

Denny is seen here backstage at The Music Of Paul McCartney show sound check at City Winery New York in March this year

His 1980 disc Japanese Tears featured a song he co-wrote with Sir Paul, Send Me The Heart, as well as some that were never released by Wings.

He went on to release other solo albums including Hometown Girls, Wings On My Feet and Lonely Road and his final release, The Blue Musician, was issued in 2008, although he regularly toured until recently. 

In her statement, Denny's wife Elizabeth said she had expected him to recover from his lung disease but it got progressively worse.

She said: '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.'

Denny released a number of solo albums and after issuing his last, The Blue Musician, in 2008 he went on to tour regularly until recently (seen performing in The Music Of Paul McCartney in New York in March this year)

Elizabeth thanked his fans for their support and asked for 'the time and privacy' needed for their family 'as we grieve for our loss'.

Denny and Elizabeth married in July this year, announcing the news on Facebook at the time. They lived together in Florida.

He was briefly married to late singer, model and actress Jo Jo Laine. They shared son Laine Hines and daughter Heidi Hines together.

The musician had three other children - Lucianne Grant, Damian James and Ainsley Laine-Adams from other relationships. 

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