Terry Reid

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Terry Reid
File:Terry Reid.jpg
Reid backstage at the Bitter End, New York City; 1974
Background information
Born (1949-11-13) 13 November 1949 (age 72)
Huntingdon, England
Genres Blues, progressive rock, psychedelic rock
Occupation(s) Musician, songwriter
Instruments Vocals, guitar
Years active 1961–present
Labels Columbia, ABC
Associated acts Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple
Website Terry Reid's official website

Terry Reid (born 13 November 1949) is an English rock vocalist and guitarist. He has performed with high profile musicians, as a supporting act, a session musician, and sideman.


Terry Reid was born in Huntingdon; he lived in Bluntisham & attended St.Ivo School, St.Ives, Cambridgeshire. After leaving school at the age of 16, Reid joined Peter Jay's Jaywalkers after being spotted by the band's drummer, Peter Jay. At the time, Reid was playing for a local band, The Redbeats. Regularly played at the River Club in St Ives. His public profile was enhanced in 1966 when The Jaywalkers were named as a support act for The Rolling Stones for their concert at the Royal Albert Hall. Graham Nash of The Hollies became friends with Reid at that concert, and suggested The Jaywalkers sign up with UK Columbia Records - an EMI label - to record with producer John Burgess. Their first single, the Soul-inspired "The Hand Don't Fit the Glove" was a minor hit in 1967, but by then The Jaywalkers had decided to disband.

Reid came to the attention of hits producer Mickie Most, who became his manager. His first single with Most, "Better By Far," became a radio favourite, but the album, Bang Bang, You're Terry Reid, was not a commercial success. With accompanying musicians Peter Solley on organ and Keith Webb on drums, a 1968 tour of the United States with Cream did much to gain Reid a loyal following. His final performance of the tour at the Miami Pop Festival garnered positive reviews from the music press.

The song "Without Expression" by Reid and Graham Nash, from Bang Bang, You're Terry Reid, was recorded by The Hollies in 1968 as "A Man With No Expression" and by Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young in 1969 as "Horses Through a Rainstorm", with Nash singing lead on both. Both versions were not released until years later.[1]

Yardbirds guitarist Jimmy Page became interested in Reid's work, and when The Yardbirds disbanded, Page wanted Reid to fill the vocalist spot for his proposed new group, the New Yardbirds, which was to become Led Zeppelin. Reid had already committed to go on the road with Cream (as an opening act on the 1968 US Tour). So he suggested to Page that he consider a young Birmingham based singer, Robert Plant, instead, having previously seen Plant's Band of Joy as a support act at one of his concerts. An alternative reason for Reid's refusal to join the nascent Led Zeppelin surfaced in a mid 80's article in NME on supposed satanic connections within the rock world. The article claimed that it was Page's "heavy reputation as a Crowleyan black magician", which frightened Reid away from commitment to the band. Reid later was offered a position as a member of Deep Purple when they decided to replace singer Rod Evans, but once again, he declined due to contractual agreements. Ian Gillan was given the position instead.

In 1969, Reid supported British tours, notably Jethro Tull and Fleetwood Mac. Reid, Solley and Webb toured the United States again when he opened for The Rolling Stones on their 1969 American Tour. He did not appear at the infamous Rolling Stones concert at Altamont Music Festival.[2]

1970s – present

In December 1969, Reid had a falling out with producer Mickie Most, who wanted Reid to become a balladeer, and to strictly follow his own formula. Reid left England and settled in California to sit out the remainder of his contract with Most, making only sporadic live performances during that period. In 1970, he returned briefly to England to perform at the Isle of Wight Festival, supported by David Lindley and Tim Davis. During this period he also performed at the Atlanta II Pop Festival.[3] Reid was filmed performing in Glastonbury Fayre, the 1971 film by David Puttnam and Nicolas Roeg. In 1973, Reid returned with a new contract with Atlantic Records and a new album titled River. Produced by Yes' Eddie Offord, the album received favourable reviews, but failed commercially.

File:Terry Reid in 2010.jpg
Reid playing in New York City, in 2010

Over the next decade, Reid switched to different labels in search of a winning formula; Seed of Memory released by ABC Records in 1976 (produced by Graham Nash) and Rogue Waves released by Capitol Records in 1979. He retired his solo career in 1981 to concentrate on session work, appearing on albums by Don Henley, Jackson Browne, UFO, High Stakes & Dangerous Men and Bonnie Raitt. In 1991, Reid returned with former Yes producer Trevor Horn, on the album The Driver. The album featured a cover version of the Spencer Davis Group classic written by Steve Winwood: "Gimme Some Lovin'", which had earlier appeared on the Days of Thunder soundtrack. "The Whole of the Moon", written by Mike Scott, was released as a single and received considerable airplay, with backing vocals performed by Enya. Reid has since been playing occasional live gigs with a band which has included Brian Auger. In the 1990s he also toured in the US and Hong Kong with ex-Rolling Stones guitarist Mick Taylor. In 1998, "Rich Kid Blues" was the eponymous song on an album released by Marianne Faithfull, produced by Mike Leander in 1984 but unreleased for 14 years. Touring in support of her 2002 album Kissin Time, Faithfull included a performance of "Rich Kid Blues" in her playlist.

In late 2005, Reid returned to the UK for his first tour in years. One venue billed him as 'The Man with a Hell of a Story To Tell'. That same year, three of his songs, "Seed of Memory", (the title track to Seed of Memory), "To Be Treated Rite", and "Brave Awakening", appeared in the movie The Devil's Rejects (2005), directed by Rob Zombie. Also, his song "Faith To Arise" was in the 2003 film Wonderland. In July/August 2007 Reid returned for another six-week UK tour being backed by The Cosmic American Derelicts, a band out of northern New Jersey and Southern New York.

On 26 June 2009, Reid appeared with Cosmic American Derelicts guitarist Eddie to perform at ex-band mate Peter Jay's Great Yarmouth club The Residence. At this gig Terry appeared on stage with the local support band Second Hand Blues to perform a cover of the Donovan song "Season of the Witch", this song has become one of the most watched videos of Terry Reid on YouTube, Terry also performed with Peter Jay for the first time in over 15 years on a cover of The Beach Boys song "Don't Worry Baby". On 28 June 2009, Reid and his band performed on The Park stage at the Glastonbury Festival. More recently Reid's voice was heard on the track "Listen" by DJ Shadow, on his best of album.

The American rock group Cheap Trick recorded Reid's "Speak Now" for their debut album. Also, in 1973, the American rock group REO Speedwagon recorded Reid's "Without Expressions (Don't Be The Man)" for their Ridin' The Storm Out album. "Without Expression (Don't Be The Man)" was also recorded by John Mellencamp on his greatest hits album, The Best That I Could Do: 1978–1988.

The Raconteurs with Jack White recorded a version of Reid's "Rich Kid Blues" for their second album Consolers of the Lonely in 2008.

The American rock group The Split Squad recorded a cover of Reid's "Tinker Taylor" for their debut album, "Now Hear This...", released in 2014.

The pairing of Shine and Reid debuted at the Pigalle Club in London on 26 August 2009. A studio collaboration, Shine featuring Terry Reid, was released as an MP3 EP in November 2009.

He returned to the UK to do a series of shows. The shows he did at The Jazz Café in London were recorded and released as the live album Live in London.

A documentary based on Reid's music career titled Superlungs is currently in production (2016) and features a quote by Led Zeppelin's Robert Plant stating "Terry was probably the best singer of that period".


  • Bang, Bang You're Terry Reid (1968)
  • Terry Reid (1969) (US title: Move Over for Terry Reid)
  • River (1973)
  • Seed of Memory (1976)
  • Rogue Waves (1979)
  • The Hand Don't Fit The Glove (1985)
  • The Driver (1991)
  • Super Lungs The Complete Studio Recordings 1966–1969 (2004)
  • Silver White Light – Live at the Isle of Wight 1970 (2004)
  • Alive (2004)
  • Live in London (2013)


  • Glastonbury Fayre (1972) Directed by Nicolas Roeg features "Dean" (extended jam w/ Linda Lewis) drummer in the band at the time was Alan White who would later join 'Yes', plus lap-steel player David Lindley who worked with Ry Cooder and Jackson Browne.
  • Wonderland (2003) features "Faith to Arise" and "Dean"
  • The Devil's Rejects (2005) Directed by Rob Zombie features "Brave Awakening", "To Be Treated Rite" and "Seed of Memory"
  • Groupies – Cherry Red Films – 1970 performance and backstage footage in San Francisco: "Bang Bang" and "Superlungs My Supergirl"
  • The Summit (2013 documentary) features "July" over the closing credits.
  • Superlungs (2016) a feature length documentary based on the life and music career of Terry Reid.


  1. The Hollies version on Clarke Hicks & Nash Years (released 2011), CSNY version on CSN box set (released 1991), dates from booklets of each. It was also recorded by REO Speedwagon and included on their 1973 release Riding the Storm Out.
  2. [1] Archived 27 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  3. "Isle of Wight 3 1970". Webcitation.org. Retrieved 6 June 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links

Further reading