Tuesday, September 21, 2010
He is one of rock and roll's most unheralded superstars despite a career that has rivaled some the greatest rockers of all time. In 1968, Aretha Franklin said "The Beatles, Rolling Stones and Terry Reid are the best England had to offer".
Terry Reid, affectionately known as Superlungs, is without a doubt one of the greatest voices to come out of Great Britain. He turned down the lead singer job for Led Zeppelin and referred a friend Robert Plant. He opened tours for The Rolling Stones and Cream, including their farewell tour, played the Isle of White Festival in 1969 and Glastonbury in 1970. His songs have been covered by Cheap Trick, Crosby, Stills and Nash, The Hollies, and Marianne Faithful. A True legend to say the least. Terry is playing Mirelle's in Westbury this Friday evening. I had the great pleasure to speak with Terry as he arrived on Long Island...
MICK: Is this a long tour that your on now?
TERRY: It really has been, We haven't stopped for like four or five weeks now. We just came back from England two days ago and we were all over the place..Liverpool, Sheffield, Scotland. We played at Ronnie Scott's for 3 nights in London. It was fantastic! The band was really kicking. We finished that leg of the tour and now we're back to do BB Kings on 9/22, Mirelle's this Friday 9/24, Union Hall in Brooklyn on 9/25 and The Turning Point in Piermont NY on 9/26.
MICK: You're playing MIRELLE'S in Westbury, Long Island this Friday evening. Did you ever play Long Island earlier in your career?
TERRY: Yes, we did The Action House in Island Park. We did a bunch of different things out there on the Island.
MICK: What's one of your favorite venues that you played in?
TERRY: That's hard to say. Madison Square Garden was a bit of a dousy! It's not the favorite necessarily, it's just awe inspiring. Ronnie Scott's in London has become a favorite lately. I've been doing that venue for five years now. It's such a nice, warm room. We've had some great shows there. The last three we did there were totally sold out.
MICK: Are there any artists you would like to play with or collaborate with?
TERRY: I'm not really sure! I keep bumping into different people. We're doing a gig at The Turning Point and at the early show, a good friend of mine, JD Souther, is opening the show. He's one of my favorite writers and we are really good friends. Thats going to be interesting! Maybe we will get together on something! There's a couple of his things that I do and one in particular I do in my set. He played it for me one time and I turned it around into an R&B Otis Redding thing from a country thing. JD said "I never quite thought of it that way!" So we have two versions now!
MICK: Are there plans for a new album?
TERRY: Oh yes! I've been working on it for the last several months on and off. I keep going out and doing some gigs and now I have to get back to it. I've got some really good things that we've put down so far! One thing I've been working on quite a lot is 'Seed of Memory" which is based in the second World War. It's a story about the Phoenix from ashes. I wrote this years ago and some friends of mine including Dr. Dre and some people out on the west coast picked up on it . So I've re-recorded it in a whole funk fashion, hip hop thing . There's Bishop Lamont doing a whole talking blues on top of it. It's like a rap or poetic thing about Afghanistan and Iraq and whats going on. We're going to do this for the USO and our boys out there. I streamed it to them and we got like 5000 hits. They loved it. We are trying to put a whole group of us together to get out to our troops.
MICK: You mentioned World War II. Is it true you have a keen interest in the war?
TERRY: Yes, a big interest. I have a lot of memorabilia, books, videos, etc... My mother's brother was in 46 missions as a tail gunner. I think you'll find most English guys from my era had somebody in it. We were all born just after the war. I've met numerous people here in the United states that were in the WW II theater too.
MICK: Do you have any hobbies besides music?
TERRY: Yes cooking and all sorts of stuff. No real big hobbies just working on this new album!
MICK: Are any of your children musically inclined?
TERRY: I have four daughters and one of my daughters, Holly, sings very well. She's gone into modeling and she's doing very well with that. You never push people to do what you do yourself. But she can really sing! At some point, she may turn around and pursue it!
MICK: Are you still living in California?
TERRY: Yes, I live out in Palm Dessert which is near Indian Wells. It's down near the Mexican border. It's very pretty out there!
MICK: Out of all the songs you've written, do you have a favorite?
TERRY: Well it changes. You revisit tunes. "Seed of Memory" has become a big thing I've been working on. There was another tune called "Rogue Wave" and I started playing the song again on this tour. You never know if a tune is going to stand up. But this one I'm starting to really like again.
MICK: When you're writing a song, what comes first..the words or the music?
TERRY: It's the emotion basically in a sense that I have a feeling for something. The emotion transmits itself into your hands. Thematically, a chord sequence will emerge. If the emotion feels right, then the words come naturally. There's a lot of songs where I will have a phrase and those ones seem to take forever to do because the emotion is not exactly honest with the phrase. So the music comes first and then everything else rolls.
MICK: What advise would you give to an up and coming singer today?
TERRY: I do this on a regular basis. It goes along with all the years of warnings and watch out for this and that. This is not what it says on the paper! It looks like that but don't believe it! And never try to sue somebody for an amount of money thats going to cost you five times as much and that you will never get. And it will drive you crazy! Just stick to your guns and play what you want to play yourself.
Don't miss Terry Reid this Friday, Sept. 24, appearing at MIRELLE'S, 170 Post Ave Westbury NY 11590 516.404.6490
Show starts at 9pm with opening act Frank Latorre w/The Kingbees