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Terry Reid at the Magic Bag, 5 Things to Know

By Gary Graff
ggraff@digitalfirstmedia.com, @GraffonMusic on Twi

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Terry Reid turns 70 this year (in November), and the British singer and guitarist has a substantial life and career to look back on.

Reid joined Peter Jay's Nighthawks at the age of 15 and never looked back. He recorded with famed producer Mickie Most and began releasing solo recordings in 1967, but Reid is best known for turning down an offer to be the lead singer for the group that became Led Zeppelin due to his own touring commitments.

But Reid has no regrets, as he's amassed his own catalog of material and a track record of admirers throughout the rock world. His songs have appeared in films such as "The Devil's Rejects," "Wonderland" and "Days of Thunder," and Reid was celebrated with the aptly titled 2016 documentary "Superlungs"...

Reid, who now resides in California, says he keeps doing music because "I'ma terrible plumber." But seriously, folks..."I love music. I say to friends of mine who have come up in it and been doing it for awhile, 'If you don't enjoy doing it anymore, than don't do it.' But I do. It's incurable. If I get in front of a bunch of people, I just want to sing. Really the only peace and quiet I get is on stage; Between traveling and setting everything up, the stage is what makes it all worthwhile."

Reid opened for the Rolling Stones when he was 15 years old and developed a relationshp with the band that continues to this day. "There were just riots every night when they'd play. It was interesting. It was Mick (Jagger) and Keith (Richard)'s idea to take me on tour; I left school and went on tour with them, which Know sounds biazarre. I toured with them over here (in the U.S.) in '69 and every night somethign would happen. Now it's, like, very peaceful for them. I think Mick soemtimes gets a bit bored, 'cause there's not a lot going on -- not like the old days."

Reid also supported the likes of Jethro Tull adn Fleetwood Mac during the late 60s and toured the U.S. with Cream. "Eric (Clapton) asked me to do that tour. I love Eric. He's a great, straight-ahead guy. It was lovely for him to ask me, and Eric said, 'If my manager calls you up and gives you any crap, call me right away.' Lo and behold the day we left I get a call from Robert Stigwood's organization explaing, 'Terry, you do understand Cream is a blues band and your set and repertoire is not really blues orientated.' So I called Eric and said, 'What's he talking about? You were a blues band when I knew you with John Mayall, but (Cream) is about playing guitar.' I didn't hear it being a blues band, so we did the tour and it was fine."

Of his decision to decline the Led Zeppelin (then the New Yardbirds) offer and, in turn, recommend Robert Plant to the band, Reid feels things happened as they were meant to be. "Y'know, I turned around and just saw this things happening, Robert Plant and (drummer) John Bonham being a perfect fit for what Jimmy (Page) was talking about doing. He wanted this heavy, hard thing. He wanted somebody that would sing teh licks he's playing, that kidn of thing. It's a different way of doing it. And when I saw Robert the first time, he was just perfect. When I suggested (joining Zeppelin) to him and John Bonahm, Bonham said to me, 'If this is a joke I'm gonna beat the you-know-what out of you,' which was a lovely comeback. I said, 'Well, it's not a joke. I'll buy a round of beers, let's go and figure it out'."

Reid says he'd like to do more recording but "it's all about getting somebody that will put the money up so you can play with all the musicians you love. You can't make an album for nothing -- try telling that to the guys in the band! I'm hoping I'll be able to do something later in the year, 'cause I've got loads of songs I really like."

Terry Reid performs Sunday, April 26, at the Magic Bag, 22920 Woodward Ave., Ferndale. Doors at 8 p.m. $25. 248-544-1991 or themagicbag.com.

Web Site: www.themagicbag.com

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