TERRY REID could have been the lead singer in Led Zeppelin. Richie Blackmore wanted him to be Deep Purple’s frontman. Both incidents have cast him as rock’s great 'nearly man...’, but this is to forget Terry Reid has always been his own man.
Terry began his career as a mod-rock/soul singer in the mid-1960s and since then has never stopped working, recording albums, collaborating with the best in the business, and playing prestigious clubs and festivals, and on Friday May 6 at 8pm, Terry plays the Róisín Dubh.
Terry's early work as a heavy mod/soul singer, caught the attention of Aretha Franklin, who said in 1968, "There are only three things happening in London - The Beatles, the Rolling Stones, and Terry Reid", and also of Jimmy Page, who was looking for a singer for his new band. However Terry had just landed a slot supporting the Rolling Stones in the US. Terry said Page would have to ask Keith Richards if it would be OK, but neither man fancied the task, Page saying he would be afraid The Human Riff might shoot him!
So Terry went off to the States with the Stones, but not before telling Page to check out a singer from Birmingham called Robert Plant. To this day Terry is proud of the role he played in helping form Led Zeppelin. “It was the biggest happy accident I’d ever seen happen, and one I’m quite proud of,” he told me when I interviewed him a couple of years ago.
Terry would go on to release the solo albums River (1973 ), fusing jazz and folk; and the rock, funk, country, and jazz mix of Seed Of Memory (1976 ), regarded by many as among the finest albums of the 1970s. Both signal, as does his entire recorded output, an artist for whom music has “always been an adventure”.
“From when I was a kid there was jazz with rhythm and blues and country,” he said, “but as the years uncover all the different origins, you can see and follow the trails of nationalities as they migrate and take their music with them, it’s a wonderful thing.”
Tickets are available at www.roisindubh.net, the Ticket Desk at OMG Zhivago, Shop Street, and The Róisín Dubh.