Thursday, July 24, 2008
Sinking Radio - Terry Reid's "Rich Kid Blues"
This is my weekly reminder to tune in to Sinking with Sylvia and Todd on Little Radio on Friday from Noon to 2:00 PM. Tomorrow their musical guests will be Les Blanks. Les Blanks is another one of those great local bands that we've all been ignoring for too long. Although Jax had some really positive things to say about their new album here.
Each week Sylvia and Todd feature an official You Set the Scene pick. Tomorrow my pick is Terry Reid's "Rich Kid Blues." Reid is probably best known as the guy who turned down Jimmy Page to become the new lead singer of the Yardbirds. Read a little rock 'n' roll history and you know that Reid recommended Robert Plant and this new version of the Yardbirds evolved into Led Zeppelin. And Led Zeppelin became one of the best hard rocking blues rock bands of all time.
So what's up with this Terry Reid fella? Well, he was still a teenager when he turned down Page. He had a powerful voice, played guitar, had a slot opening for the Stones and a recording deal. It doesn't sound so crazy after all. The future looked bright.
My first exposure to Reid was when I stumbled across his second record, Terry Reid, about five years ago at Freakbeat Records. I was familiar with his story, so my curiosity was peaked. I liked the record and played it for a month or so until an ill advised (I'm guessing) shopping spree relegated it to the music room. Shit gets lost there.....
Cut to 2008. I pick up the new Raconteurs' album on vinyl. I rip it to MP3 files (laborious process) and then file away the vinyl. As I'm listening to the burned disc "Rich Kid Blues" comes on. It sounds familiar and while it fits, doesn't really sound like the rest of the record (not to imply that White/Benson don't completely sell it). But I can't quite put my finger on how I know it. I finally pull out the liner notes and realize it's a Reid cover. (And thanks to the Raconteurs, was able to rediscover Reid.)
Terry Reid still tours from time to time. His voice is strong and distinct, and not too dissimilar from Plant's, and it's easy to see why the Raconteurs were attracted to this song. He's always been on the periphery of the music scene, never enjoying the success of Zeppelin. But if you see Terry Reid at the record store, it's well worth picking up. A well thought out CD compilation was also released a couple of years back. Reid also earned some decent publishing dollars off of Cheap Trick, who covered, "Speak Now or Forever Hold Your Peace" on their debut album.
Visit the Terry Reid fan created Myspace page (where you can actually listen to "Rich Kid Blues" if you can't wait for Sinking Radio).