New Jersey Stage
New Jersey Stage on social media

Tune into Radio Jersey with Lee Mrowicki every Monday through Friday from 6pm to 8pm
Broadcast on Asbury Music!

Justin Hayward "Stage Door Tour" Comes to SOPAC

By Danny Coleman

originally published: 05/20/2016

Justin Hayward "Stage Door Tour" Comes to SOPAC"I Think, for us anyway, it was a long slow success story. I recall Ray and I standing outside of Madison Square Garden the very first time we ever performed there; we were doing two shows in one day and we were between the two so we were walking around a bit when we came on a gigantic poster of ourselves. I turned to Ray and I said,"Hey, I think we've made it." 

The large laugh he exuded is exceeded only by his talent as Moody Blues mainstay Justin Hayward elaborated on his and the band's successes prior to this Sunday's 5/22 7:30 p.m. appearance at the South Orange Performing Arts Center. 

Like most performers who engage in side projects during band down times or between tours; Hayward keeps busy doing the same. The award winning vocalist, lead guitarist and main composer of the Moody Blues has much on his plate this time around as he embarks on the eastern portion of his "Stage Door Tour." "I'm touring with two fabulous musicians," he said enthusiastically. "I have Mike Dawes on guitar who is just fantastic and Julie Ragins, who of course I've worked with for a while now in the Moody Blues on keyboards and vocals; she has the voice of an angel. They're part of a new generation of musician and the three of us are performing the songs as I wrote them; it's very refreshing actually to do it this way." 

Hayward is bringing elements of the past, present and future into this tour in the form of his last CD, "Spirits of the Western Sky,a new DVD called "Live In Concert at the Capitol Theatre" and a sneak peak at a tune from a movie which is scheduled to go into production shortly and has already drawn rave reviews from its debut and along each stop thus far; "Wind of Heaven." 

"On this tour I'm doing things from all of the eras down through the years. I'm doing songs on stage that wouldn't quite fit with the Moodies, deeper reborn cuts, my material; I like to say that there's a little something for everyone. The tour has the essence of "Spirits of the Western Sky" but with a new flavor to the material. I am trying to bring the songs to the audiences as they were written in the joy of music, as they were in my music room. The DVD is, well, that's always something that I've wanted to do. Every time I take the stage I think that, at my time of life, I may never do this again, this could be my last performance; even with the Moodies I feel that way. I've been quite fortunate to have the longevity and career that I have and I've thought about doing this for quite some time. My producer said, "Let's just do it" and I said, Why not? The time just seemed right and I think the film shows that my music really connects on some level and that is very rewarding to me.  The DVD has all of my solo hits and the Moodies material; David did a wonderful job as always." 

The David of which he speaks, is film and documentary maker, producer and now song co-writer David Minasian whom Hayward first worked with on his "Spirits Live" DVD. "David and I got ahead of ourselves a bit with "Wind of Heaven," he said with a chuckle as he spoke of the film's theme song. David did such a fantastic job co-writing this and we debuted it to a great audience; it was very moving and very emotional for us all. It is the theme song of a movie about a veteran who returns from Afghanistan and loses himself a bit and finds his way back through horses. It's a wonderful story and it's one of the nicest things that I've ever done and I mean that sincerely. There were quite a few vets in the audience and of course Julie and Mike played it beautifully; it was very touching, a great moment." 

The article continues after this ad


Over the years, Hayward has penned some of the Moody Blues greatest compositions; songs such as "Nights In White Satin," "Tuesday Afternoon," "The Voice," "Your Wildest Dreams" and many others have sprung from his thoughts, onto paper and eventually first onto vinyl and now through modern media. He claims there is no secret to his songwriting but that the process is a rather simple one; "I play for pleasure every day," he explained without hesitation. "Inspiration comes to me from working. Whether it's working with the Moodies or on my own; I need to work, to perform and that's all that I need. Most of my material is written when I'm just playing around and something usually comes from it; a melody or a line will pop up and then I can work with it. I'll develop a hook, or a pattern and then things just go on from there. Some I work harder at than others and some I don't over analyze; there's no need to. My music room in the house is where I do most of my writing; it's where I'm most relaxed." 

When asked if he had any advice for aspiring songwriters, bands and solo artists on how to manage their careers and song catalogs; Hayward gave it some thought before he responded. "Trust your own judgement," he stated with surety and the voice of experience. "Yeah, trust yourself, your judgement and create your own style, synthesize yourself and do what makes you, you. Create magic in the room no matter where you perform, be it in front of a mirror or your family and friends. "Do it live and you will survive," that's my motto, you need to perform in front of people then get out there and play the venues, the clubs and be heard but most of all, trust your own judgement."

Hayward says that after the next several months of solo performances; the Moody Blues may be out and about again. "Yeah, I believe that we'll be back out on the road in the fall; we're all apart at the moment with separate gigs but by the fall we should be ready. The thing about performing with the Moodies is that we've got such a large catalog of songs, that when we do go on the road; it's all kind of new again. We have a vast amount of material, some of which we haven't quite done in a while, so it will be fun." 

The South Orange PAC is located at One SOPAC Way in South Orange, NJ. To discover more information aboit shows and times; please visit To uncover more about Justin Hayward and/or the "Stage Door Tour;" please go to

This week's event listings

For more by this author, click here

SOPAC Presents Roots Music Legends: Dave Alvin and Jimmie Dale Gilmore
(SOUTH ORANGE, NJ) -- Dave Alvin and Jimmie Dale Gilmore have been filling canvasses with music of the American West for decades, coming from two very different directions. Now, they will play together at the South Orange Performing Arts Center on November 1 at 7:30pm for the very first time. Though far from home, Alvin and Gilmore’s first duo album, Downey to Lubbock, contains all the elements that have sustained their musical journey through the years.
Aaron Diehl performs Florence Price’s Piano Concerto and Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue with NJSO
(NEWARK, NJ) -- Acclaimed jazz pianist Aaron Diehl performs Florence Price’s Piano Concerto and Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, November 29–December 2 in Newark and New Brunswick. Joshua Weilerstein conducts the program, which also features Stravinsky’s The Firebird Suite (1919) and Milhaud’s La création du monde.
An Evening with Johnny Irion & Pat Sansone of Wilco At Hopewell Theater
(HOPEWELL, NJ) -- Hopewell Theater presents American folk rock favorite, Johnny Irion, who will be joined by Wilco’s Pat Sansone in a special acoustic show on Saturday, November 10 at 8:00pm. This concert brings together two of folk-rock’s acclaimed musicians for a one-night only performance.
South Jersey Pops Lauds Nautical Exploration in "Sail Away"
(CHERRY HILL, NJ) -- The South Jersey Pops, the area’s own non-profit orchestra, raises the curtain on a 2018-2019 season that will include four themed concerts appealing to a variety of tastes and incorporating many touchstones of popular culture.  A pair of acclaimed guest vocalists will get the season off on a winning note with “Sail Away: Exploring the Sea,” November 4, 2018, at Burlington County Institute of Technology’s Medford Campus Performing Arts Center.
Rock Of Jersey Featuring The B Street Band & Slippery When Wet At iPlay America
(FREEHOLD, NJ) -- The B Street Band and Slippery When Wet come together at iPlay America, celebrating the music of two of New Jersey’s favorite sons, on November 11th. Doors open at 5:00pm, and the show starts at 6:00pm.

Whitney Houston Exhibit Opens at The GRAMMY Museum Experience Prudential Center
Interviews with Pat Houston, President of The Estate of Whitney E. Houston and Bob Santelli, Founding Executive Director of the Grammy Museum
"Very Happy!" The Buckinghams and Cowsills Star in Cousin Brucie's Rock and Roll Yearbook Vol. 2 LIVE!
Fall is in the air at Homdel, NJ’s PNC Bank Arts Center this Friday, September 28, 2018 evening as thousands of ’60s music lovers ready themselves forCousin Brucie’s Rock and Roll Yearbook Vol. 2! The show — produced by Cousin Brucie, along with Rob Albanese and the Garden State Arts Center Foundation — features four fab acts from the 1960s: The Buckinghams, The Cowsills, Freddy “Boom Boom” Cannon, and The Orlons!
“Brilliant!” The Young Dubliners LIVE! at Toms River’s Grunin Center
It’s a mild Saturday, September 29, 2019 evening as fans of Celtic rock are streaming into Toms River, NJ’s Grunin Center of the Arts for a concert by The Young Dubliners.
A Tribute to Roy Orbison, The Beach Boys, and Frankie Valli at the PNC Bank Arts Center
A huge crowd is gathered here on this beautiful September 27, 2018 afternoon at Holmdel, NJ’s PNC Bank Arts Center today for a live concert tribute to the music of Roy Orbison, The Beach Boys, and Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons.
An Interview with Rusty Young of POCO
Steel pedal guitarist Rusty Young is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the country rock band he helped to create, Poco.

Event calendar
Friday, Oct 19, 2018


COVEY @ The Saint, Asbury Park - 7:30pm

PIMPS OF JOYTIME WITH WAITING ON MONGO @ The Wonder Bar, Asbury Park - 8:00pm

THE DAMNED WITH RADKEY AND THE DARTS @ The Stone Pony, Asbury Park - 7:00pm

The Early November @ House of Independents, Asbury Park - 7:30pm

Kid Rock @ Hard Rock Live Etess Arena at Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Atlantic City, Atlantic City - 8:00pm

Real Diamond- Tribute to Neil Diamond @ The Levoy Theatre, Millville - 8:00pm

Abbie Gardner at the Minstrel @ Morristown Unitarian Fellowship, Morristown - 7:30pm

SHA NA NA @ The Newton Theatre, Newton - 8:00pm

DALA @ Broadway Theatre of Pitman, Pitman - 8:00pm

The Psychedelic Furs @ Count Basie Center For The Arts, Red Bank - 8:00pm


The Shuck @ Cape May Stage, Cape May - 7:30pm

CDC Theatre presents A Few Good Men @ CDC Theatre, Cranford - 8:00pm

Wait Until Dark @ Somerset Valley Playhouse, Hillsborough - 8:00pm

Rocky Horror Picture Show @ Bow Tie Cinemas (Hoboken), Hoboken - 11:30pm

Roxey Ballet's Dracula @ Roxey Ballet Canal Studio Theater, Lambertville - 7:00pm

World Premier of, HOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL, A Horror of a Play @ Forum Theatre (Metuchen), Metuchen - 8:00pm

The Color Purple @ Paper Mill Playhouse, Millburn - 8:00pm

Dracula @ The Baird Theatre on Three, South Orange - 7:30pm

Almost, Maine @ Jay & Linda Grunin Center For The Arts At Ocean County College, Toms River - 7:30pm

Black Tom Island @ The 1882 Carriage House, Liberty Hall Museum, Union - 8:00pm

*Uncle Vanya, Scenes from a Jersey Life in Four Acts @ Hudson Theatre Works, Weehawken - 8:00pm


Coppélia @ State Theatre New Jersey, New Brunswick - 8:00pm


New Jersey Film Festival @ Voorhees Hall #105, New Brunswick - 7:00pm


The Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival @ Victoria Theater @ New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC), Newark - 9:00am


THE PRICE IS RIGHT LIVE! @ Bergen Performing Arts Center (bergenPAC), Englewood - 8:00pm

View all events


For more on our awards, click here

New Jersey Stage © 2018 by Wine Time Media, LLC | PO Box 140, Spring Lake, NJ 07762 (732) 280-7625 |

Images used on this site have been sent to us from publicists, artists, and PR firms.
If there is a problem with the rights to any image, please contact us and we will look into the matter.