Charles Everest and Terry Reid have crossed paths twice in the last 40 years. Their first encounter was during the 1970 Isle of Wight Music Festival when Terry made a brief return visit to England having recently moved to California. Their second was in June 2012, 42 years later, when Terry once again returned for a UK tour, and Charles was a guest at his Sheffield gig. On both occasions Terry became the subject of the “CameronLife” cameras.
Terry’s story is an amazing one. Born in Huntingdon on November 13th, 1949, he left school at the age of 15 and played for a local band the ’Redbeats’. Whilst playing at a gig alongside the Jaywalkers, Peter Jay asked Terry to join the band. He quickly turned professional and embarked on a career that has had many twists and turns. Terry took the lead vocal spot and soon saw his profile soar when the band was named as a support act for the Rolling Stones.
1966 saw Terry set out on a tour of Britain supporting the Stones, (also on the Bill was Ike and Tina Turner and the Yardbirds), and a year later he made his first single, “The Hand Don’t Fit The Glove,” for Columbia. He then formed his own trio, playing guitar in front of an organist and drummer, and was signed up by Mickie Most, to join a stable that already included the Jeff Beck Group, the Yardbirds and Donovan.
Terry’s profile continued to grow and in 1968 he toured America as part of Cream’s farewell tour. On his return Reid was approached by Jimmy Page to front the New Yardbirds after the original Yardbirds had all but folded. At this time Reid was about to go into the studio to record his debut album and having managed to wrestle more artistic control away from Most, would have been mad to accept the job. In hindsight perhaps he should have taken Page up on his offer, but that slot went to Robert Plant, and the New Yardbirds became Led Zeppelin. The decision not to join Page has made Reid famous in Rock history as the ‘Man who turned down Zeppelin’.
An opening spot on the Rolling Stones’ famous 1969 tour of America seemed to point towards even brighter prospects for the future but unfortunately Reid’s career stalled soon after as a battle ensued between Terry and Mickey Most. This litigation was to all but halt any of his studio activities during the early 1970’s.
On the 27th August 1970 Terry appeared on stage at the IW Festival along with David Linley (ex -Kaleidoscope – multi-instrumentalist) and Tim Davis (ex-Steve Miller Band – Drummer). Reid’s Isle of Wight appearance went well and he returned to the U.S where he continued through much of the 1970’s as a solo act. Later in that decade Reid was approached to be the new vocalist for Deep Purple but he declined the offer and so the title was given to Ian Gillian.
1976 saw Terry’s song ‘Seed of Memory’ briefly chart but sadly he has barely recorded since although he has played some sessions and released The Driver album in 1991.
Reid has always kept a loyal and dedicated following in the UK and played regular gigs over here to his fans. It was in one of these intimate shows in Sheffield that we found ourselves sat listening to one of the best singing voices I have heard in my life time. A rasping voice that fills you with emotion and is so full of soul, (Aretha Franklin loved his blue-eyed soul so much she recommended him to Atlantic Records).
Charles was delighted to have met Terry again and remembered him fondly until his death in 2015. It was a real privilege to meet with Terry after his gig and to chat with a genuinely funny, nice guy who still has a voice to die for.