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Legend of a Mind


The Moody Blues

Songfacts®:  You can leave comments about the song at the bottom of the page.

This song is about Timothy Leary, who is mentioned several times in the lyrics, although the title is not. Leary is a counter-culture icon who was a proponent ot the therapeutic effects of LSD. (thanks, Ethan - Franklin, TN)
The song features a flute solo by Ray Thomas, lasting about two minutes in the middle.
Mike Pinder plays the mellotron on the track. It's been said that The Moody Blues invented "symphonic rock" with their discovery and adoption of the somewhat "cosmic" instrument. "If we hadn't discovered the mellotron, nobody else would have," Justin Hayward told Q magazine in 1990. "It was a very temperamental instrument. It was always going wrong. It weighed a ton. We only had one roadie and it would take all of us to carry it into a gig. We used to sleep on it because it was the biggest thing in our transit. There used to be fights to see who would sleep on it."
The Moody Blues
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Comments (9):

John Lodge's bass sounds like McCarntney ; Don't ya think ???
- Joe, Grants Pass, OR
a somewhat surreal song with parts that say he flies the astral plane taking trips???? lsd??? obviously but no no no no no no he's outside looking in. I love the music switch from slow to fast the slow again you feel like you are on a psychadelic roller coaster ride here. LOVE it!!!!
- gigi, st. louis, MO
the song begins as a lark- "hey lets take some LSD!" and then the trip begins with levity and chatter. soon that turns into the beautiful and haunting flute solo and mellotron bends which herald the surreal and dream qualities of the LSD experience.
the conclusion of the song echoes the maturity of the trip and mind expansion - there is no way to forget the experience. the mind has expanded, the mind matured and timothy leary's message is now fully comprehended !
- zanegrey, wimberley, TX
As the song was written decades before Leary's actual death, the phrase "Timothy Leary's dead" may refer either to the "ego death" that occurs during an intense psychedelic experience, or (as mentioned on one blog) the fact that, at the time the song was written, Leary was in exile "outside" in Switzerland to escape persecution from the USA's prohibitionist government. In any case, it is is a great tribute to the man and his mission.
- Dougee, San Bernardino, CA
Ray Thomas wrote this song. In fact, Ray wrote some of my personal favorites by the band. He was sort of like George in The Beatles - very melodic and a great, strong songwriter, but not a frontman or a guitarist (it's Ray I'm talkin' about here) which (to most Americans) automatically puts him at the rear. It's unfortunate people don't sing his accolades as a songwriter. All I ever hear about is Graeme Edge or Justin Hayward. Mike Pinder was far less melodic and much darker lyrically and musically, but he too is critically under-rated. Stupid American press. This is one of the Moodies' BEST!
- Jesse, Madison, WI
Humorous, strange, and...kind of trippy.
- Peter Griffin, Quahog, RI
Another song from the same album "Visions of Paradise" has a pretty good flute accompaniment from Ray Thomas. Too bad Ray's flute-playing was pretty much pushed aside in the late seventies and eighties when the Moody's sound went in a new direction.
- Charles, Charlotte, NC
Yes, another great Moody Blues song. And humorous, too! "Timothy Leary's dead. No, no, no, no, he's outside looking in."
- Guy, Woodinville, WA
this one of their best the flute solo, very trippy sounding
- david, wilson, NY
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