Interview: Terry Reid

Terry Reid talks to Hit Channel about his current projects, playing at the Isle of Wight Festival in 1970, recording "Seed of Memory" album with Graham Nash as producer, turning down offers by Jimmy Page and Ritchie Blackmore and what were the Jimi Hendrix-Miles Davis recordings sounded like.

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HIT CHANNEL EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: March 2024. We had the great honour to talk with a legendary singer and songwriter: Terry Reid. He is best known as “the man who turned down both Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple”. His songs have been covered by Marianne Faithfull, Joe Perry, Jack White and Chris Cornell. He toured with the Rolling Stones and Cream and has performed at the Isle of Wight Festival 1970 and the first Glastonbury Festival in 1971. Read below the very interesting things he told us:


What are the projects you are currently involved with?

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I am doing various things. I did a concert last week here at a place (ed: McCabe’s Guitar Shop) that I really love in Santa Monica, it’s one of the few places that left from -I don’t know- the ‘50s. It still has manuscript music that you can buy and they repair instruments, everything from violins to guitars. It’s great. I mean, I’ve known it for years and years. So, I first did it with a friend of mine, David Lindley (guitar), who sadly we lost recently. I also did it with Jackson Browne and Tom Waits. So, when I did it last week, a week or so ago, I called Jackson Browne because he lives in Santa Monica and we ‘ve been talking about doing some things together. So, I called him and I said to him: “If you wanna pop down, come down”. He calls me and he says: “I coming down”. So, we ended up doing a song together on stage, which is always really a joy and a pleasure working with him. He is a good friend and he has a great touch doing a song. He is very moveable with it. It was a Woody Guthrie song we did years ago called “Deportee”, which is about Mexican workers and the border thing, which ironically, it’s very current at the moment, but that’s not why we did it; we did it because we ‘ve done it 35 years ago (laughs) and it seems like some things don’t change, really. All they get worse. I am just playing dates in late April though May in New York at various different places like The Cutting Room in Manhattan, which I love to play, it’s a great place. Later on, in September, we go to England and there is a whole myriad of gigs all over England. So, that’s basically what we ‘ve been working on, at the moment, planning the year. We are trying to get ahead of it.


Are there any updates regarding the “Superlungs” documentary by Richard Frias?

We don’t work together anymore. We stopped working on this a long while ago and I went in a different direction. I started talking to Johnny Depp, he got interested. We were working together with Joe Perry (ed: Aerosmith -guitar). We were sitting around, he was kind to me and said: “You should definitely do a documentary and put this thing together”. So, he’s been very helpful and I don’t want to say any more, because it hasn’t come true yet. We are just on paper stage of figuring things out. That should get very interesting because Johnny is really into it from a movie standpoint. That now gets interesting instead of just being interviews with other rock musicians and things, which is very good and it’s very nice to have people to say nice things, but to make a real designed documentary of how all of it came about and where your life goes this way and that, is a whole other challenge, you know. It will be interesting. Everybody does a documentary on how their life is. I mean, it will be interesting to see how mine is when I am looking at it (laughs). That’s always something. That’s in the works, so, I am just waiting about to come true. Hopefully, it doesn’t all hit at the same time -well, I shouldn’t say this- while I ‘m on the road and then we get stopped by that, be running in all directions and everything, but that’s usually the way things happen: You start one thing and then something else you ‘ve been waiting for, happens. Any way it comes, I am looking forward to doing it. It will be very interesting.


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Did you enjoy working with Joe Perry (Aerosmith -guitar) on his “Sweetzerland Manifesto” album (2018)?

Yeah, yeah! That was great. That’s how I met Johnny, because the studio was a studio that Johnny owns up in Hollywood (ed: he was also the executive producer). So, I was working with him and Jack Douglas (ed: John Lennon, Aerosmith producer) too, who was producing it and it was great. I ‘ve known Joe on and off for years with Aerosmith and he is a really sweet and nice guy. He’s totally real and he ‘s been for years to all of this, like me and all the gang. Nothing really impresses him that much (laughs). So, just him, Johnny and the whole gang there, we were all just sitting around working on the songs and I ended up writing four songs with him for the album. We were just sitting and we didn’t plan it that way, at all. We were sitting around up at this studio with Johnny and we were all sitting around with a paper and pencil, basically. I worked with him on the backing tracks that he had and writing the songs and it worked out really good. You never know with that, sometimes it doesn’t work. You sit down with a pen and an empty piece of paper and then you have to put somebody in it that knows what they are doing. But this worked out really good. I got on with Joe really well and Jack Douglas is great, too. I ‘ve known Jack for a long while and he is very easy-going. We got a lot of work done instead of sitting and talking.


Is it a kind of vindication that Marianne Faithfull, Joe Perry, Jack White and Chris Cornell have all covered your songs?

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Yeah, it’s true! All really unbeknownst to me. The first one, Marrianne Faithfull, she did an album called “Broken English” a long while ago (1979). I love that album! I mean, Steve Winwood (ed: Traffic, Blind Faith -vocals, guitar, keyboards) was on it, there were all the real great guys in the gang in London, a lot of real good musicians were on that and the next thing I heard, she had done “Rich Kid Blues” (ed: she also called her 1985 album “Rich Kid Blues” which was recorded in 1971 -originally on 1969’s “Terry Reid” album) and I said: “Oh, I didn’t see that one coming”. I knew her with the Rolling Stones  -oh, God!- since 1966, when she had a relationship with Mick Jagger and she was hanging with all the guys when we were on tour and she always was a total sweetheart. Over the years, I got to know her a bit more and had many conversations on the phone and she is an absolute cracker, she would get me laughing. I am telling you, you ‘ll fall on the floor. She is a very funny lady. It’s funny after all these chats, she still has got the same sense of humour. Marianne sent word to me; I don’t make it (ed: he refers to his song “Rich Kid Blues”) to her Paris album (ed: “Negative Capability” -2018). She turned up in Paris and I don’t really get in touch with her, because she stays there most of the time.


Looking back, did Mickie Most (The Animals, Donovan, The Jeff Beck Group producer) help or harm your career?

Ah… that’s a good question. Initially, he was very-very helpful with his reputation and everything else, one thinks: “What could be wrong with this? This is fantastic!” and I went along with it as were making the albums and doing this act together, along with Rod Stewart, Jeff Beck and all the people I knew really well. So, everybody was on the label and then I got to met Eric Burdon, who lives there in Athens actually, I love Eric and Eric was with The Animals at the time. He took me on and as we developed the thing, I ‘m not sure he really knew which direction he wanted to take me. I had in my mind the direction I wanted to go with the music and I’m not sure whether he wanted me in a suit with a bow tie. I know there’s Tom Jones and Engelbert Humperdinck or something, but I was more interested in going the way of Traffic and Steve Winwood and all the people that I respected; that way. So, we had a difference in the music. The thing that Mickie was it’ s very: “It’s my way or the highway” thing. “If you don’t like what I do…” and I said: “Well, alright. I know. So, I ‘m splitting”. It wasn’t a pretty big thing then, I didn’t realise he would be that vindictive. I thought he would say: “Oh, ok, we don’t agree, well, go and good luck” (laughs), literally. But at the time he was partnered with RAK Records, which was him and Peter Grant (ed: future manager of Led Zeppelin).

So, I always got on with Peter really well. I mean, you would never meet two people that were more different than each other. I had to question myself even though they were in the same office, on the opposite side of the room: “Were they really in business together?” (laughs) It didn’t quite figure to me. I never had a problem with Peter, but Mickie, he had an itchy feet and went off the deep end. I said: “No, this is not what I wanna do”. So, there you go. You make your choices. It’s kind of the same, what would have happened if I hadn’t stopped with him and everything. But then, after I left, Donovan tried to leave and Rod Stewart and Jeff Beck left and went in another direction. So, I thought: “Wait a minute here, that’s not help to me” (laughs). They went on their own careers and good luck to them. Everybody moves around. It’s very hard to create music if you don’t have the freedom to do what you want. What are the options? What can you do with the ideas that you have? If you aren’t free with those, you feel trapped very easily. So many friends of mine that I’ve known for years, they got trapped in something and their whole life became very difficult, literally. Their personal life and everything else went to pieces. I don’t know, I hadn’t really got to that point, I hadn’t got a personal life (laughs). I was always working so much on the road and everything, I ain’t got time for personal life. You know, things just went as they went. I don’t know, we all will figure it out in the end. You have to work.


Do you have any memories from your performance at the Isle of Wight Festival in 1970?

Oh God, do I? I don’t know a way to start on that one. I have some very funny memories. I always look at the funny side of things. It rained like crazy and everywhere it was just like mud. Everywhere. Actually, many years had been that way. I always say it’s like the battle of the sun with music. It was like a trench warfare area there. So, we did it and these people who were turning up backstage, they were coming in in army vehicles and all sorts of things, just to get through the mud. I remember spending quite a bit time with Jimi Hendrix and he was explaining to me about “The Star-Spangled Banner” (ed: the national anthem of United States) that he was doing. I was trying to figured out what he meant (laughs). I think the funniest thing that happened was Keith Moon, which was hysterical. Keith came with this truck with all these searchlights on it, because they suddenly realised they were gonna be playing later in the dark and there weren’t enough lights. He showed me all these Second World War up-lights that they used when they saw airplanes up there. He came in on a truck with all these up lights. One thing I didn’t get was the asbestos gloves that you have to have because they are so hot. He burned his hands.

So, what happened was when he did the gig, the one hand that was really badly burned, they actually taped the stick to his hands in bandages. When you look really closely at the show, you can almost see it. He was crazy. I mean, a little medication and way we go. Yeah, I know, it was pretty crazy. There were so many things that happened. I did a lot of different festivals that you aware of, but they talk about how many people were at the festival. You can’t stand now from the stage and count all the people or how are you gonna look at the ticket number when just people were cutting holes in the fences and getting in? It was out of control. But recently they made an estimate, I don’t how, if they had a satellite -imagine how wild it was- but they figured out that there were over 300.000 people. That’s unbelievable! Nearly 400.000 people. I think it ended up being that year bigger than Woodstock and it got the #1 spot to be the biggest nightmare in the world. I mean, trying to describe the thing, it couldn’t stop blowing up all over the place and it was barely kept it going, like they did with Woodstock. They just dealt with the problems and the show literally did go on. It was very interesting, it was a lot of fun.


I know that you cherish your performance on the Pyramid stage at Glastonbury Festival in 1971. What’s so special about this?

That was the first Glastonbury concert, that was the first one, so literally were just a few people in a field on a really nice day and it was very hot and it was very warm and everybody was taking their clothes off and they were running around. I thought: “Ok” (laughs), but it was not like it became with hundreds of thousands of people. There were 10.000 people at the most, all spread out. So, my fond memories of it were: I got to sit backstage talking to David Bowie for quite a while and he mentioned that when they asked him: “What do you remember about the Glastonbury Festival”? What happened was that everybody took so many drugs. When we sat backstage everybody would be talking to different people, but when you walked away, it would be a little difficult to remember everything word for word. So, they asked David: “What do you remember about?” and he said: “All I remember was talking to Terry Reid and Linda Lewis, but I can’t remember what the hell we were talking about” (laughs).

It was that kind of event: It was great for everybody to get together and to see your friends like that very often. But when you do a festival you are all in one place backstage and you are killing time. It’s like making a movie: You spend more time waiting than you do playing, obviously. When we got on stage, it was hysterical because everybody was flying and there is a thing there if you watch the movie (ed: “Glastonbury Fayre” -1972), there is a joint that they are passing around. That was mine! I gave it to Alan (ed: White –Yes, John Lennon –drums, he performed there with Terry Reid) and I expected he was gonna hand it back to me and he started playing, we started a song, so both my hands were beating. Then, it goes to Lee Miles (bass) and then it goes to somebody else who has nothing to do with us and it disappears into the wind. So, I never saw that again. Just silly things, but we had a hell lot of fun at that first one.

I ‘ve done it 4-5 times and it got bigger and bigger… Then, it became just like the Isle of Wight and all the big ones. I ‘ve played over in the States, I ‘ve done some big ones here: Atlanta Pop Festival, that was one of the first ones that was really enormous. That was another one and that was with Jimi Hendrix, too. I did quite a few gigs with Jimi and it was always fun because you could always sit down and have a really good conversation with him. He was always interested in something, at the time and he was full of questions. I remember Jimi as being the man of a million questions. God, he always had all these questions about things he wanted to know about. About Europe, because he was so American and he asked: “What’s going on? What’s this about?” A very great guy, other than being the supreme guitar player of all time. The one. How many musicians are there around the world? (laughs) I figured: “How just they know?” and then he gets you right with that one. Anyway, that Glastonbury was a real fun.


I love your song “To Be Treated Rite” (from “Seed of Memory” album -1976). Please tell us everything we should know about this incredible song.

Well, there is a story to that that you would appreciate, being in Greece, with the history and things. It’s a historical song, in a sense. What it is is that the Franciscan monks when they came to America they walked a pilgrimage from Mexico City, way down in Mexico, all the way up to San Francisco and along the way, you could look it up online and you will see: They built all these fantastic missions, these beautiful church missions and at the same time they were helping in a religious consequence. I wouldn’t say “convert” because at the time people were Indians and they always use that word “pagan”, which I hate, because everybody thinks you are crazy when you use it and that’s not what it meant really, it just meant that they were not Christians yet (laughs). So, they walked all this way. Now, if you come here today and you drive up what they call Pacific Coast Highway, right by the ocean, all the way up to San Francisco, that road, as you are driving along, on the side of the road, you see these steel poles with a bell hanging on it.

All the years I live here, I drive that route all the time to San Francisco and I’ve seen these bells and they say: “El Camino Real” which means “The Royal Road”. The bells are the commemoration of the actual route that they walked. They walked by the ocean, I suppose, because California has been a very fertile land inside and then there is the ocean, so you could fish along the way. They came up with these missions all up and down the coast, so, in my mind I wrote a story, “To Be Treated Rite”. It wasn’t as easy as you think when they came along. These monks when they turned up in the town, they looked at them like: “Who are these guys?” (laughs) Especially to the Indians they must have looked not just different, very alien to them. It ended up that the culture in California is based upon the different Indian tribes as you go from Mexico all the way up and there is a balance between Indian tradition and Catholicism, Christianity. It’s a mixture, but it’s interesting when people have to get on, they somehow work it out, so that’s really what the story is. “To Be Treated Rite” is the key, I’m talking about things that the monks obviously had to deal with, with not just convincing people there is a better faith only, just showing them day-to-day things like chilling the soil. They were very important in farming, agriculture and everything else. To me, that was fascinating.

When we were doing “Seed of Memory”, I was staying up with Graham Nash (ed: Crosby Stills Nash & Young, The Hollies -he produced the “Seed of Memory” album) at his house up in San Francisco. He had a studio there and it was lovely to stay there anyway and hanging out together. The day that we finished the album and we were mixing, Graham said: “We are done. Let’s party”. The next morning he comes to my room and he says: “Get up. We are not finished. We need one more song” and I say: “Oh, no! You must be joking. I thought it was true when you said it is done, it was three months”. He says: “There is a story that you are telling me about the El Camino Real. That thing you were playing, put that together. That would be great for a song to finish up the album”. I say: “Oh?!”, so I sat all day messing around with it and I wrote the song and the next day we recorded it and damn, we were finished. We didn’t want to make a double album or anything. So, that’s the whole story of the song which is very interesting and it was a lot of fun doing the album. It’s really good, you know.


Are you proud of “Seed of Memory” album that Graham Nash (Crosby Stills Nash & Young, The Hollies) produced?

Oh very, yeah! It’s the most fun I ‘ve ever had. I ‘ve been in the studio a lot, I’ve done a lot of different things, with other people, for me, whatever. It’s the most fun I’ve ever had in the studio to do a whole album. Graham always said: “We are going to the office” (laughs) and we got in there and we got things done. There was no arguing, no big attitudes or anything like that, just to really get done with the work and the songs and figure out how we were gonna do it. I also got to be with a whole bunch of people I know and people he knows that he brought into the sessions, which was fantastic. There were very different musicians, but I ‘m really proud of the album because Al Schmitt (ed: engineer of the album) who was a famous producer and engineer for years, from Sam Cooke to all sorts of things, which was amazing to have him running the whole thing, running the sound. We put him on the album as co-producer because he really did guide the whole thing sound-wise. It was just amazing what he knew about the equipment.

Between him and Geoff Emerick with The Beatles (ed: engineer), that just about covers it. Everybody learned from that, everything came after that and they all use those techniques still to these days. Actually, Al Schmitt wrote a couple of books about recording, which is very interesting, the dos and don’ts of recording, as you might say. Yes, it was a real experience doing the album. Every time you go and record something, it’s always different. I hate having to plan it. If you have to plan it totally, it’s no surprise element left. They call it “spontaneity”. Spontaneity is the magic that happens in the studio. You could learn a song, learn the lyrics and once you step in the studio, I don’t know what happens, the song becomes different. It’s not the way you had it when you were outside the studio, you listen back to it and you say: “I don’t know”. You might wanna change a little bit the tempo, everything changes when you go in the studio. People say: “It doesn’t, that’s how I want the song”, but it doesn’t work that way.


How did Jimmy Page’s offer to join the new version of Yardbirds come about?

You got it right, he wanted to find a new version of Yardbirds. Peter Grant (ed: The Yardbirds and Led Zeppelin manager) talked to me first and said: “Ah, Jimmy is putting another group together” and he was looking all really upset and weary. I said: “What is it about?”, so he said: “He is talking about calling it The Yardbirds. If he calls it ‘The Yardbirds’ I want nothing to do with it, I will never talk to him again and I am not managing him and that’s it. What is he gonna call it, ‘Yardbirds 13’? (laughs) We had so many Yardbirds. I told him: ‘You ‘ve got to get another name or something’”. Jimmy Page and me, we were all with the same management company, RAK Records of Mickie Most and Peter Grant. They ran around and he was putting a group together and they were asking different people to do different things and all that and my name came up along with other things and… I don’t know. I was on tour with the Stones and I didn’t quite know what he wanted to do. He said: “Well, we’re doing it now, that’s it!” I had to think about it, it ‘s not something you jump into and then while we were thinking about it, I ran into Robert Plant and John Bonham in a group (ed: Band of Joy). To me, everything is like a picture, whether it’s a band or a song or whatever is that you look at, it’s a movie. Life is a movie. So many of my friends like Steve Winwood leaving Spencer Davis and it’s like: “Ok. So, what do you want to do, Steve? Do you want to put a band together or do you want to just play acoustic guitar? What do you wanna do?”

It was interesting, at that time, all the different people that we got, were different movies from moving around: Eric Clapton putting Cream together and the Rolling Stones changing after Brian Jones radically. I was watching all these different movies and I saw Robert and John Bonham and I said: “Oh-oh, I see a movie here (laughs). I see a raw movie here”, because they were all nuts, they were all crazy. Jimmy Page asked me what Robert looked like and I said: “He looks like a Greek God” (mad laughs). That’s exactly what I said to him. He said: “Oh, really?” and I said: “Yeah, he looks bad like you” (laughs) which Jimmy reacted to angrily. He did, with all these curls and I thought: “This is your perfect movie”. I said to Jimmy: “You ‘ve gotta get the drummer. Ginger Baker (ed: Cream, Blind Faith –drums) is not gonna be at ease when he sees this drummer” because he’s got all that power like Ginger Baker, if not more and he’s angry. I got on with him really well, actually, but he could be really edgy. Drummers are that way: They are really nice or they are animals. Somewhere in there, they are. I said: “You ‘ve got to get the drummer because him and the singer work right together”. He (ed: Jimmy Page) was running around in circles with it, so I got Peter Grant to go and look for him (ed: John Bonham), but he couldn’t find him in Birmingham. So, we looked everywhere and they had gone underground doing something, I ‘m not quite sure. But we finally bumped into him and they got him into the office and the rest became history.

Sometimes it does. Same as with Steve Winwood and Traffic. You would never know how Traffic was gonna turn out, you would never know how Cream, a three-piece group with 2000 watts (laughs), was gonna turn out. You never would imagine that could work. “Well, don’t they have a piano player?” No, no, no, just three guys. I was on tour with them, I’ve never seen three people making so much noise in my life (laughs). I mean, very designed-wise, very instrumental and just very clever. If fitted really good. Ginger Baker was always cool; Jack Bruce, he was a great cello player. Not just being funny, Jack Bruce’s style on bass is very classical when you listen to it. He is not James Jamerson (Motown Records), you know what I’m saying. He is a very classically-trained bass player and he played cello. It was interesting how that worked with Eric Clapton, because Eric Clapton is such a designed guitar player, he is just brilliant. So, all these movies become very interesting over the years and people say to me: “What would you think it would be like if you had been in it?” and I say: “Ah, I have no clue”. My mate, Eric Burdon asked: “What it would have been like?” and I said: “I don’t know”. You just don’t know how these things will turn out. But I know one thing: 100 million people can’t be wrong (laughs). I mean, that thing took off and that was really the beginning of heavy metal. There was not heavy metal before that. They started that thing that Jimmy had been working on for years. I knew Jimmy since Screaming Lord Sutch & the Savages, which is a whole other story (laughs). It was a movie, it was a big movie.


Did Jimmy try to get Ginger Baker on drums for the new version of Yardbirds?

Yeah, he wanted everybody. You see what I am saying: He was going for a heavy drummer. I didn’t say “Ginger Baker”, but I had heard that too. He asked Steve Marriott (ed: Small Faces, Humble Pie -vocals, guitar) to be the singer I heard somewhere, where Steve was not happy about it at all (laughs), but I don’t blame him. I mean, you are putting a band together and you look all the options, it’s not just who is gonna fit musically, it’s not really. It’s who is available, who is interested, how do they look, they all flow in movie parts. So, I don’t blame him if he asked everybody in London, everybody, in every group, because you don’t know until you try. Jimmy knew everybody in the business, everyone. He knew every musician. He had already had an amazing career and built his guitar style and everything, because if you think about it, you had Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page. Let’s stop there before you get to Mick Taylor (ed: Rolling Stones, John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers -guitar) and all the other ones. Just those three styles, those three guys started off playing when they were really young, playing Buddy Guy-ish, BB King-ish. They ‘ve been influenced basically by the same thing. They didn’t come in from different influences; that was their base and it’s interesting when you look over the years how they went into three totally different directions.

Like I said Eric Clapton became very symphonic, 2000 watts to be violinist (laughs), he was so loud. So, Eric was very structured and beautiful in the past. He took blues licks to another level. Jimmy Page had the rawness to it, but turned it into more rock ‘n’ roll, it was like very raw and Jeff Beck, I’m still trying to figure out where Jeff Beck took it. He is in that company between him and Hendrix my favourite guitar players in the world. Jeff Beck took it to a whole other level, and if you think about it, what he was doing, he was playing pentatonic blues licks originally, but then he suddenly became… I can’t figure, he could play anything and he developed his own style of playing the guitar and nobody could do what Jeff Beck did, still can’t, God bless him. You can’t touch it. It’s like with Jimi Hendrix: You could try doing that, but good luck (laughs). It’s not gonna happen, you waste your time. So, once you get that magic going and that’s why they are still iconically famous to all of us and you really can’t touch it. If you copy them and get that style done, you are copying Jimi Hendrix or Eric Clapton, it’s not you, so, there is not really much point in it. They didn’t know which way they would go. Who knows what Jeff Beck in the years to come would do or Jimi Hendrix. Jim Hendrix was working on an album with Miles Davis (laughs), so who knows where that one would have gone. It’s still fascinating to me, like I said earlier: “Everything is a movie”, in the shape, when you are looking at it. Now, you close your eyes and you look at it and you can see what it might be before you hear what something is. It’s interesting.


Actually, you didn’t say “no” to Jimmy Page.

Yes, I said: “I ‘m going on tour, when I get back, let’s give it a try”. I ‘m not gonna say: “No”. I’m telling you, I hear things that drive you crazy. It does, because I did so many other things that I am involved in, it’s not that. It’s only because they later became so big, but there was a thing one time they asked Jimmy Page: “Why didn’t Terry Reid join the group?” and all these things that they have asked him too many times. He got really excessively pissed off one night, they asked him and he said: “Well, he turned me down and I’ve got enough of that actual question”, which I don’t blame him. They already sold out 100 million records and everybody says: “Why didn’t Terry join the group?” It doesn’t really matter (laughs), it’s like: “We are doing really good without him”. And not only that. “He helped put the group together”. Get off that thing. It’s very fun. I said: “Look, when I get back from the Stones tour, let’s give it a shot”. In the meantime that happened and Jimmy wanted to move really quick to put a band together, not The Yardbirds and they had to come up with a name, but he had to do something quickly because he had heard that that way works. There wasn’t another thing going on, like I said, all these movie parts: Cream were breaking up, because I was on tour with them, on their farewell tour, they were splitting and it’s all over.

Jimi Hendrix was gone, so that’s two 3-piece groups gone and everything was sort of falling apart with those things. Jeff Beck and Rod Stewart (ed: then in The Jeff Beck Group) with Ronnie Wood on bass, they argued themselves and they were splitting up, so that’s another one gone. They looked at the picture and these three of the biggest 3-piece rock ‘n’ rock, futuristic, hard rock bands just split up and go on their own. So, Peter Grant and Jimmy saw that there was a big hole in the picture, in the movie, and there was a big gap there and ‘ve got audiences that love Cream and Eric Clapton, they love Jimi Hendrix and the Experience, they love all these 3-piece groups. What are they gonna do now? They are not there! So, whoever formed that 3-piece group right in there, was obviously gonna be very successful because they had already made a 3-piece audience. That’s how the thing blossomed so quickly, because the audience was already ready to listen to that kind of music. All you had to do is tailor the music to those audiences, but if you got it right -which you never know if you get it right, all the groups try to get it right, but they didn’t get it right- and hit a nerve, you are on your way. Jimmy studied it for a while, being with all those hundreds of Yardbirds bands and he developed it and good luck to him and it was great. Like I said, 100 million people can’t be wrong. I mean, I ‘m quite proud being involved and putting the band together (laughs).


You suggested Robert Plant and John Bonham to Jimmy Page when he was looking for band members. Did you feel a bit weird when they became superstars?

See, you are getting a whole wrong idea. People fall into that trap. The answer is “no”. I didn’t feel weird about it. I was more worried about then getting together with Keith Moon and burn a hotel there. Jesus Christ! I mean, we were all crazy back then. I didn’t feel weird about that. They ‘ve always been really nice to me: Jimmy has always been really-really nice to me, Robert Plant and me are best friends and I got on great with Bonham and now I get on great with his daughter and his wife. I always got on really good with the family and Jason Bonham calls me “uncle Terry” (laughs) and it makes feel a bit older. “Uncle Terry”, I don’t know about that… You know what I mean, I’m part of that family. Everybody’s destiny is the same. Everybody has their own right. If I had done it, I wouldn’t have done “Seed of Memory” and I wouldn’t have met a whole lot of other people that I met along the way.

So, they say: “Oh, you could have been a big rock star”. Well, I ‘m a big a rock star (laughs), but I don’t see that as being a problem. I can deal with it, it’s just when the other people can’t. What the hell big? (laughs) I don’t know if you are happy when you are big. Friendships are a lot more important than all stardom in the world. People can get all that fame. There was a time I thought I probably would never record and it’s talking about all the things that happen to you when you are famous. I should record it when it was very hard to get through and it’s talking about friends, I don’t mention names, but it’s a very difficult thing, it’s rough at the top. I’ve heard the stories, I’ve had folks who called me and they were really upset about some terrible that has happened. You have to be very supportive of what they ‘ve done and what they are going through and be more helpful. Not all that: “Oh, what would have happened if I had been in the thing twice?” Well, here you go. Now you are answering in a phone call about problems of what it could and what it would have been. Just be helpful and keep the friendship, otherwise none of it’s worth it. If we can’t help each other, it becomes really rough up there. That’s my opinion.


You knew Ritchie Blackmore for years. Why did you turn down his offer to join Deep Purple?

That wasn’t my thing. I love Ritchie, I’ve known him for years, but that’s not what I wanted to do and he understood. I said: “I don’t see me doing that”. You know what their songs are about and the concept and it wasn’t my deal. I wanted to play all different kinds of music, I didn’t want to get locked into that one thing, which worked perfectly for them, God bless them. I have nothing wrong to say about them or what they became. Good luck, that’s what I say to you, but that wasn’t my thing. So, I told Ritchie: “No, I don’t want to do that”. I mean, Spencer Davis wanted me to join him when Steve left (laughs) and that worried me a bit, because I’m a big Steve Winwood fan and I got a little worried about what size shoes I had to wear for that one. Really, that was a tough one, but Spencer understood. He understood, he said: “Ok. Do you know why I thought of you? Steve thought you ‘d great in the band” and I said: “It’s really nice that Steve agrees with it”. That’s amazing. But he thought it was ok. It’s lovely that everybody is ok with it. It’s fine.


Did you have fun touring in the United States with the Rolling Stones in 1969?

“Fun”, it’s a big word but I can never find a word other than “fun”. It was amazing. I toured with them before in 1966 in England when Brian Jones was in the band and I did one tour with the bunch, so I knew them. I ‘ve known them as much as you can know people on tour musically, but the ’69 tour was a long tour. There were a lot of cities in America and we all got to know each other, you are really living together there, because you are traveling together and everything else. Then, they were just an ultimately interesting bunch of guys. They are individually so different than each other. You would think when you are living with them enough, that they really don’t have anything in common: They don’t hang out together, they don’t do the same things and at the gig they all get separate rooms. But they come together on stage and that happens and I think that’s why that happens because they keep it clean. If you all just agree on everything, I’ve never known a band that was ultimately successful that liked each other (laughs).

They are all so different than each other and they all end up arguing about the most stupid things. I mean, you wouldn’t believe it. It’s the differences that makes some show, the cohesion when they get on stage to play music, they all play something different but it goes together. It’s very interesting. Every successful band they don’t like each other. On the other hand, every time I see a band that likes each other and get on great, I don’t think there are gonna get anywhere. Funnily enough, when that happens, they don’t, they are not successful. The reason is that that anger, that cohesion, is making things work. I know it’s seems like a weird way of make friends, but that’s how it was. It’s not what people think it is. “Oh, I love this guy!” No, you can’t stand him. That’s usually the norm with bands. I wish people would look at things a little more realistic below that, and then they may not get themselves into such big trouble. But if they know each, they ‘ll hate them right away.


Was it an interesting experience to sing at Mick Jagger’s wedding in front of half The Beatles, Salvador Dali and Brigitte Bardot in 1971?

I know! I know Brigitte was there. The way that happened, I didn’t see her sitting there. We were at Byblos, a big round hotel in Saint Tropez, that’s where the reception was. So, it was packed with people. I was standing up on a rise and this goes down into the lower levels, it’s all circular and I was standing talking to Charlie Watts and I wished then everybody is doing what they were doing and he says: “Have you ever met Brigitte Bardot?” (laughs) Just like that. I say: “No, Charlie! No!” I thought he was pulling my leg. He says: “Oh, you ‘ve got to meet Brigitte”. I say: “Have you seen Brigitte?” and he says: “Yes” and he taps this lady on the shoulder, who was sitting just on the next level in front of us. She says: “Oh, Charlie!” and she stands up and takes the shades off and it’s Brigitte Bardot! I thought I was gonna pass out (laughs). It just happened like that. Charlie of course was very funny. If Charlie parties, it’s just got to be really good. The whole party after the wedding was just a riot. It was everybody on that one: Paul McCartney, his kids were really young at that time and Linda (ed: McCartney -his wife) had said to him: “I ‘m not going, unless you look after the kids, because I ‘m fed up going to these things with you and you are out there being Paul McCartney, one of The Beatles and I’m stuck with the kids”. Paul was on the higher level that night and the kids of course, would run away in the other way and he spent a lot of time chasing the kids around, so suddenly they didn’t get lost. There was that and then there was Ronnie Wood, Rod Stewart, Eric Clapton and everybody just hanging around together and getting loaded. It was a lot of fun, boy. I couldn’t believe it.

My funniest memory -I ‘m still trying to get and pick the picture, I saw one of it, 8×10- was when we got to the airport in the morning to go to Toulouse, on a charter flight. So, we got to Gatwick Airport (ed: going to France), on a private runway and they had to go back and forth, which nobody was really that keen, because they had lost of few of those, they were not too keen on that airplane; they were all puny. We get there and the call to leave was 7:00 in the morning. Now, you are asking these musicians to be there at 7:00 in the morning. Well, I think the only way to do that is to just stay up. I thought I never got up at 7:00 in the morning in my life, at this point. So, everybody that was going to get on the airplane, there is a picture that they took a pose and absolutely everybody, even Paul’s kids, everybody had (ed: Ray-Ban) Wayfarer shades on (laughs). There wasn’t one person that didn’t have sunglasses on. It was like everybody was staggering around. I have actually a fond memory of it, that was really funny. So, you ‘ve got all the little kids with Wayfarers on them, and mum and dad and it was just very funny. You know, people are paying to go on these group tours of Europe on holiday. This is the weirdest bunch you ever saw in your life!!! (laughs) Oh, dear! As soon, as they got on the plane, of course everybody started singing and it was hysterical. I think that was the real Magical Mystery Tour.


What was your reaction the first time you saw Jimi Hendrix playing at the Scotch of St. James club?

It was at Scotch of St. James, not Bag O’ Nails, yeah. Well, I had known him a bit before and I sort of knew what was coming, but nobody else did. See, Chas Chandler (ed: The Animals bassist and Jimi Hendrix’s manager) invited everybody in town. He waited and waited and waited until the rumour got around town. So heavy it was that when you mentioned the word “Jimi Hendrix” they said: “Oh, that’s that guy with all the weird clothes and the big hair”. He was already well-known but they didn’t know what he did. Yes, he plays guitar. “Well, we all play guitar, not so well”. But when he got out… Everybody was there: Paul McCartney, Mick Jagger, I mean, everybody in town. The funny thing was Brian Jones. Me and my friend, Peter Jay (ed: Terry was a member of Peter Jay and the Jaywalkers when he first toured with the Rolling Stones in 1966) were sitting in the back, we got there all the time, and there were never all these people there. We wondered what the hell happened, so Brian Jones came back after Jimi played and he said (ed: in a theatrical voice): “Oh Terry”, I said: “What?” and he said: “All down the front it’s terrible, you wouldn’t believe it!” I said: “What happened?” and he said: “It’s flooded! All in front of the stage is flooded!” I said: “What the hell are you talking about?” and he said: “All the guitar players are crying. It’s terrible” (laughs). That was very funny. But you could feel like that. Everybody was in such a shock.

I think Eric Clapton had known him before. I think he had met him before. What Jimi wanted to do was to just meet all these guitar players, he sort of idolized all those English guitar players who we ‘ve been talking about earlier and that whole thing that they all came from the same roots. But Jimi has come from those roots, but this is a different deal here. This is a jazz musician, a blues musician that plays jazz like Wes Montgomery and Buddy Guy and it’s all wrapped in one, he is like George Benson and all these guitar players. Jimi would sit there and play jazz chords and he would scare you. He could scare you with the chords he could play. Some people asked: “What does he play? Does he play a Wes Montgomery or George Benson style of guitar?” No, he plays “Wild Thing” (laughs). Three chords. We all know that it gets horrible and that is what got everybody in: He had the utter nerve to play that horrible song, but do that to it. Every time he did it, it was a whole different deal. He was all over in one night. The next daily, he was in. Everybody who was there that night, say they were his friends, something that I didn’t like. I won’t mention names, but there are all in the paper: “Oh yeah, I think Jimi is really great”. They had never met him. When I talked to him, he said: “I will tell you that shit: I was trying to call them and they never answered the phone”. Before (ed: Jimi’s death).


One day you were at Jimi Hendrix’s home and somebody knocked the door. You opened it and..

…It was Miles Davis! Yes, yes! I looked through the eyehole that you have in your door -he lived in New York- and New York is a dangerous town, so there is no door handle on the outside of the door. It’s just the lock when you put your key in, that’s it. On the inside you ‘ve got bars, locks and all these things that come down; you need a tank to get in there because so many people get robbed. So all you have is the lock on the outside and the little convex eye, that you can see around the sides and see if somebody is standing there waiting to rob you. I looked through this eyehole -here we go back to that movie again- and I see this person standing there that it looks like an album cover and it could only be one person. It’s got these big shades on and this shiny hair, he wears very purple, he is really dark and I thought: “It’s Miles Davis!” There isn’t anybody on the planet that looks like Miles Davis. I know he was not gonna rob me. Before that, Jimi was gonna take a shower. He knew he was coming by, so he said to me: “Man, I’ll take a shower. I ‘ve got a friend coming by, just answer the door and let him in”. I said: “Oh, ok” but then I really see it’s Miles Davis. I opened the door and he didn’t want to talk to me at all. He said: “Is Jimi here?” I said: “He is in the shower, he said to come in and wait for him” and he said: “I will be right here” (ed: outside the door) and somehow he shut the door on me.

I don’t know how he got the doorknob on his fingers and he shut the door. Still to this day, I can’t figure out how he did that, because there was nothing to grab on the door: there were no handles or anything. That scared me a bit. I looked back through and Miles stayed on the outside, waiting a minute there. I was confused. I looked back through the eyehole and he was still standing there. I went to Jimi and I said: “The weirdest thing just happened. Miles Davis is here. I think he’s cool, isn’t he?” (laughs) and he came out and let him in and they went to the other room and he still never talked to me, because I didn’t have anything to do with him. So, that’s fine. That’s just fine. Miles was a different kind of character there. He picked his own people. But then, we were talking about this (ed: with Jimi), there were a lot of recordings I still don’t know what happened to them: Whether Michael Jeffery (ed: Jimi’s manager) had them or who ended up with those recordings of him and Miles Davis. Somebody’s got them. I don’t know why with all the stuff that comes out (ed: Jimi’s posthumous albums) that nobody has put them out. There is somebody out there that knows about them. I would really appreciate it if they let me know where they are.


Did you get to jam with Jimi and Miles together?

No, no, no, no! He didn’t talk to me and it’s not just because I’m a white guy, no. But, I don’t know, he just didn’t have time for me. He was on a mission. He said: “No, no, you don’t do that”. I wouldn’t be in the same room with them, anyway. Are you kidding? I mean, they were in the other room and they were playing some stuff more like Thelonious Monk. They were off to another planet. That was the only time that I heard them together. That’s why I said if everybody does know through discographies and everything, who’s got those tapes that they were playing together, I would love to hear them myself, because I actually got to hear them playing together in the other room thinking: “Wow! I can’t wait for this album to come out” (laughs). This is something I really love because I love Thelonious Monk, I love Miles Davis and all the things from Charlie “Bird” (ed: Parker) all the way through Coltrane and everything. He (ed: Jimi) was more along the later path of John Coltrane. He was just a master. He became a really good friend. I knew him, he was a very straight ahead guy and a really sweet guy.


Did you get to know Miles?

No, no! No, Miles! I mean, I bumped into him at the Isle of Wight Festival (ed: in 1970), he was on that. He stood with his back to the audience for the whole show, anyway. He was into “Bitches Brew” and it was a very left-field album. He was inside his head. He was not really an audience guy. He wasn’t very much a people person. He didn’t really like people.


Did you enjoy the American tour with Cream in 1968?

Yes! That was really good. It was good hanging with those guys. It was nice of Eric to ask me to do the tour. We had a good time on it and it was the first time I had been to the States, so it was important to me to actually come over here and see what everybody was talking about.


How did you feel when you played at the Madison Square Garden opening for Cream?

Well, I did it three times. I did one with Cream and then twice with the Stones. It was interesting that first one: Recently, doing this discography, which is building up to do with this documentary thing with Johnny, my researcher, just a lady, she found out that that show was the first rock ‘n’ roll show at Madison Square Garden. Before that it was always sports events or basketball or ice hockey. I thought it was a bit strange that the stage was in the middle of the arena and the speakers that were up above us were pointing downwards. All I could think was: “In the blue corner we have… and in the red corner..” (ed: a boxing commentary). It just felt like it was gonna be a fight (laughs). So, somebody told me recently that was the first one. On top of that, that meant that I started the show off, so I was the first rock ‘n’ roll guy that stepped on stage to do a rock ‘n’ roll concert at Madison Square Garden. I should be in the Guinness World Records for that one (laughs). It’s interesting.


It is flattering that Aretha Franklin once said: “There are only three things happening in England: The Rolling Stones, The Beatles and Terry Reid”?

Yeah, that’s right. It cost me a fortune to get her to say that (laughs). I still owe her for that one. No, I couldn’t believe that. There is nothing a can say about that. It’s not my place to even say anything. She came to a club that I was playing in London with Ahmet Ertegun from Atlantic Records, it was called The Revolution Club and all I can say is I ‘m on stage singing and I am looking in the audience about 6, 8 rows back on the left -I ‘ll never forget it- I’m looking down and I think: “That lady sitting there, she looks like a double of Aretha Franklin” and I kept looking her over a bit. This girl she was having a good time. I thought: “Man, this woman really looks like Aretha Franklin”. I finished the set, I got to walk around that way and I met a guy, who I don’t know who he is at the time and he said: “Hey Terry, come over here, Aretha wants to meet you”. The penny dropped and I said: “You ‘ve got to be joking. Do you mean it’s Aretha Franklin? What she is doing here?” (laughs) So, that night we had a drink together and she would join us, and all this and I don’t believe this has happened. I must have dreamt it! The look on my face: I couldn’t keep my jaw from dropping.

I was sitting there and talking to my idol. She was the nicest person. Do you know how she called me? “White boy” (laughs) That was a big joke! She called me whatever she wanted, really. Probably, the finest R&B singer ever. Anyway, the next day I walk in the office, to pick up a check or something, at RAK Records. So, I walk in there, I get up the elevator, I walk in the office and everybody looks at me with this strange look and I say: “Did the cat die? What happened? Why are you looking at me like this?” They say: “Have you seen the paper?” and Peter Grant comes in and says: “Oh, you’ve done it now”. I say: “Why?” and he says: “Look at the paper” and I read all what she said. I say: “Oh my God, what the hell!” It was just a big shock, that one. There is nothing I can say about that, really. I just can’t get over that. When I actually met her she looked just like Aretha Franklin. Of course, I saw her a bunch of times a lot of years later when I moved here. I mean, I didn’t see her a hell of a lot, but she was always really friendly and really kind to me, which is a total honour. Because she wasn’t nice to everybody. Even amongst the R&B community, they think she could be really tough on people. It was: Her way or that situation doesn’t change. You couldn’t do any other way, honestly.


Rob Zombie is a huge fan of yours. Is he an easy-going person to hang out with?

Yeah, absolutely, he’s really. I mean, I’ve known him a bit with the movies and things that he put the songs in. They had rap parties in that. He is an absolutely nice man, he’s just a really nice guy. I wish I had spent more time with him, he’s a very busy guy and good luck to him. His wife too, she is just adorable. The thing is when you get people like that that are genuinely really nice people, the other people around them, they are also very nice people. On the other hand, when you have people that are like: “Oh, I can’t stand it”, the music and the people around them are the same way (laughs). When we went at the rap parties, all the people around him were very friendly and very sincere. They dress crazy, I’m telling you! Jesus!


You sold your 1952 Telecaster to Joe Bonamassa. Please tell us a few words about the guitar and your meeting with Joe.

The 1952 (ed: Telecaster) with the ’49 neck, it’s when the company just started. I wanted to sell a guitar -well, I’ve got a lot of guitars- and when you go to sell a guitar you get stupid people get on the phone. I don’t blame those who want to spend as little money as possible. I don’t blame them for that, but don’t be stupid. Don’t say about a ’52 Tele which is rarer than hell: “Oh, it’s not original condition”. I mean, it’s got some of my blood on it and blood from a guy that had it in Chicago years ago. I don’t know what more you want. What do you mean “original finish”? Do you know how much blood has been shed to get it like this? (laughs) I find it so stupid that they want “original condition”. I can’t get it. I refused, I asked for a figure and then I gave up; I wasn’t gonna sell it because all the stupid people kept calling me. So, all of a sudden, I get a phone call and this guy says: “Hey Terry, I don’t know if you have heard of me, my name is Joe Bonamassa”. I said: “Of course, I have heard of you. Great” and he said: “About the Tele: Do you really want to sell it?” I said: “Yeah, but I don’t like to see these people who say: ‘It’s not original condition’”. I told him the story and he said: “God, it’s so insulting that they are even doing that. Well, I am interested in it. Tell me what you want” and I gave him a figure, a really high figure and he said: “So, what are you doing tomorrow?” I said: “Well, I ‘m not doing much”.

I live out in the desert and he said: “Is it alright if I pop up?” and I said: “Yeah, you ‘ll be more than welcome. It’ ll be nice to see you”. So, he pops in, he sits down and plays the guitar, he doesn’t say a lot, he plays all sorts of stuff, he doesn’t say “ooh” or “aaah” and he suddenly puts it down, runs out to the car, I thought: “He doesn’t like it. That’s it. The deal is off”, he comes running back with a briefcase and he opens it and it’s full of money (laughs). He said: “Terry, you count that” and he picks the guitar up and starts playing again. He said: “You count it” and I said: “I’m not counting all that money! I will flick through a few piles, but I ‘m not gonna sit and count it all. I trust you. I’m sure. I think you bought yourself a guitar” (laughs). Then, we ‘ve become really good friends. The guitar spurred a relationship between the two of us and now we play together, I would go and sing with him now and then. We did the Blues Cruise where we sailed from Athens and then to Mykonos and then to Turkey. We did that a couple of years ago and we are talking about doing a Caribbean one. I haven’t seen him in a bit, but we always get on really good and ‘ve done a lot of interviews, we’ve done some interviews for Gibson and different things where he is interviewing me, which is very interesting. So, we have a good time together. He’s a real, decent guy.

I love Joe, he’s not trying to be Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton, he loves all those people and he’s got to know all of them very well, but he’s not trying to be the Eric Clapton. He just loves all those guys and he loves the guitars. It’s fascinating how many guitars he has. It’s just more and more and more. They are worth a fortune. He is interested in whether I knew the guitar before, as much as what the model is and how old it is. He is one who was born not too long ago and he asked me: “Did you know the guitar?” because I knew one of Tommy Bolin (ed: Deep Purple, Zephyr, Billy Cobham) and I know you probably will be familiar with. Somebody offered him this guitar and he said it was Tommy Bolin’s. He said: “Everybody says these things” and I knew Tommy really well and it was the Les Paul with the Stars & Stripes on the pickups and he says: “Look at this” and he opens the case and I say: “That’s the one who has the flag on the wrong way round” and he says: “Oh, right” and I continued: “And I know that cigarette burn on the head. That would be hard to fake because it’s so deep”, you almost compromise damaging the guitar with this burn hole on it. It wasn’t one cigarette burn, I mean, they had done it 100 times. So I thought: “That definitely is the one”. It’s all beat-up like an “original condition”.


You knew everybody. Who was the most talented musician you have ever seen?

Most talented guy? No, no, no. There is no most talented guy. There are a lot of talented guys and a lot of talented girls. Let me put it this way: We all have opinions of music that we like and the way I judge it is: Some people move me; I don’t care what their singing or playing or whatever is. There are persons that they move me that I break into tears, I feel like coming home and I say: “Oh, wow!” If somebody will be talking to me and the music is playing, I won’t hear what the person is saying anymore. I just hear this person singing like Bonnie Raitt. Bonnie Raitt does that to me, Aretha Franklin does that to me, Gladys Knight does that to me. These people, they just have it. They will grab your soul. In a conversation, just open the radio and get in there and it ‘ll just move you. Those people are very talented, that’s what a called “talent”. That’s a gift and that’s the only way I look at it. There are so many of them and that tells you to develop a style of yourself. You have a whole big bag full of all these people that are really incredibly talented and you don’t try to copy them, you try to get little bits of all those things that they do, just little bits and you put them into what you do and you hope they will all come out right together. But little bits, you know. That’s really all it is: If somebody moves you, they move you and everybody is different. So, whoever gets you to move, god bless. You need those differences.


Do you think popular music in the ‘60s and the ‘70s was much better that today’s music?

You can’t say that. The way they made music, the way the music was made -not just in the ‘60s and ‘70’s, even before like the ‘40s and ‘50s- it was song by song and it was designed. The techniques of making records and making music these days, it’s a totally different way than then. Once the electronics shaped the thing, it changed everything: You are getting a backing track with the loop and it’s two chords, which is very interesting and you design a song on top of two chords, The Beatles did that a lot, anyway. They were the ones that really started doing that, writing a whole song on one chord (laughs) like “Tomorrow Never Knows” (1966), things like that. They did experimental things, but it’s got where everybody is doing it in these days and they use the same effects and plug-ins that they are all the same stuff, so things tend to really all sound very similar, even though the people that they are buying them are very-very different. So, that’s dangerous and it didn’t use to be like that. It used to be where everybody sounded really different. They didn’t see any point in copying The Beatles or The Stones or doing it some, purposely. The whole object before was to be different. These days the object isn’t to be different. It seems to be, anyway and I ‘ve been listening to a lot of stuff all the time, but it’s interesting. I wouldn’t say anything was better, there never is any better or anything. There are some people saying: “Who is the most talented musician?” or “What is the best song ever written?” There is no better, there is just more (laughs), which is great. Who knows where it will go? I always find, the more you get of one thing, the more you need of something else. So, it’s very-very hard to mentally guess the next thing that will be popular. Nobody should do that. Just enjoy it.


Do you like other singers from your era like Steve Marriott?

Yes, I know all of them. Steve Marriott was a really good friend of mine. We would hang out and go and drink a beer and everything and he would get into trouble. Steve Marriott was a real prankster. He was a practical joker, he was well-known for that. I don’t know if you ‘ve noticed it enough, he started he career as an actor.


Steve Marriott, Terry Reid & Kenney Jones

I didn’t know that.

Do you know the theatre production and the movie of “Oliver!”? Lionel Bart (ed: director) wrote all the music for it and he was Artful Dodger on the stage in London, which was perfect. I said to him: “Oh, you were! You probably didn’t even have to dress up in rehearsal. That’s you!” He said: “Yeah, I went to rehearsals and I read a few lines and they said: ‘You got the part’”. So he started up as being an actor on the stage in London. Big time, in “Oliver!” which was big, it ran for years. Then, they put the group together he started out a whole career. Great guy! I think he was really good.


Jerry Shirley, the drummer of Humble Pie told me that Jimmy Page asked Steve Marriott to join Led Zeppelin and he said “no” because he didn’t want to leave Small Faces and he suggested you to Jimmy.

Steve was pissed off, he didn’t like the idea! He said to me: “I’ve got ten #1 records, why the hell am I gonna do that?!” (laughs) Really.


A huge “THANK YOU” to Mr. Terry Reid for his time. I should also thank Mrs. Annette Grady for her valuable help.

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