It's Friday afternoon and Justin Hayward, front man with The Moody Blues, has called for our interview from a French village on his way home to Monaco.

“I knew I wouldn’t get the bus in time so I found a nice bench and thought I’d sit down and call,” he says, to my amazement – I can hardly believe a world-famous rock star gets the bus home.

And my amazement is justified, as Justin’s career is a brilliant timeline of astonishing achievements.

In his 50 years with The Moody Blues, Justin has sold more than 55 million records worldwide, won numerous prestigious awards, and has been honoured with The Moodies on Hollywood’s hallowed Rock Walk Hall of Fame.

Not to mention his very respectable solo career which spans many decades, albums and tours.

But now the musician is heading back to the UK for a string of solo shows – including a date at the Alban Arena – and The Moodies’ first Glastonbury slot in their 51-year career.

“We’ve never done it before, although I’ve read that Michael Eavis (the founder of Glastonbury Festival) believes we have, but I think I would have remembered,” laughs Justin.

“We’re really looking forward to it and for all of us in the group it’s on our bucket list.

“I think the same night that we’re on Kanye West is on, and I definitely want to go and have a look and see what Kim Kardashian sees in him. I think he’s going to deliver."

Born in Swindon to teacher parents, one of Justin’s first encounters with music was at church where he enjoyed singing hymns. But after seeing a picture of a guitar, he was fascinated by the instrument which has since become one of his life-long passions.

“I pestered my parents and finally got one when I was about 10,” remembers the Ivor Novello award-winner. “I put a lot of work into learning how to play.

“I knew from about ten or 11 that I wanted to be a musician, and my parents – who were both teachers and kind of New Age – were very encouraging. They just wanted me to complete my education and get my O Levels which I did and then they said: ‘You can do what you want now’.”

Justin got his big break aged 17 playing guitar for 1960s rock ‘n’ roll star Marty Wilde.

Under Marty’s guidance he began penning his own songs and sending them out to various artists in the hope of securing further work.

Eventually, he was contacted by Mike Pinder, keyboard player with the then newly-formed The Moody Blues, who invited him to meet the band in London.

“We got on so well that I met the other guys and I was in – it was a lucky chance,” says Justin, who quickly established his position in the band penning classic songs Nights in White Satin and Forever Afternoon for their 1967 record Days of Future Passed.

After more than a decade with The Moodies, Justin found solo success with his record Forever Autumn, created for Jeff Wayne’s War of the Worlds album in 1978. And although he continued to work with The Moody Blues, Justin also released solo material – most recently Spirits of the Western Sky in 2013.

“I love it with the band and I’m very lucky that we’re still able to do that and we’ve still got a good audience,” reflects Justin.

“But once I started touring solo in this kind of format and I was able to bring all the acoustic guitars out from home, I just fell for it, and now I do as much solo touring as I do Moody Blues touring.

“I don’t know how long The Moody Blues touring will go on, I’ve never known that since the very first week I joined when I was 19 years old,” he says. “I thought, I’ll give it about a month and see how it goes.”

And half-a-century later Justin’s career is still going strong and his UK tour dates are followed up by a stretch playing across America. However he admits he has changed in some respects.

“I’ve probably got lazier and I take less risks,” laughs the horse-riding enthusiast. “I hope the naivete of youth has been replaced by the wisdom of age!”

Justin Hayward, Alban Arena, Civic Centre, St Albans, Friday, July 3, 7.30pm. Details: 01727 844488,