Friday, September 30, 2016

40 Year Itch : Fear for the Laddies

Terry Reid : Brave Awakening

The song begins with a short chuckle. A private joke. A pause and then the strumming of a guitar that sounds like sun rays glinting through golden fields of wild grass. And then comes the voice aged like fine whiskey. The voice of Terry Reid, the first man Jimmy Page offered the role of vocalist in a new band he was forming after the collapse of the Yardbirds. Reid would also turn down Deep Purple and the Spencer David Group.

Even if he never became the next big thing, Terry Reid has made some extraordinary recordings. 1973's River may be the most acclaimed but there is also 1976's Seed of Memory, produced by Graham Nash.

“He did so much more than produce it, and of course he sang wonderful harmonies," Reid tells Uncut Magazine. "He had his own ideas but, it was always give and take. He really nurtured me through it.”

 Reid had moved to California where he lived and worked as a caretaker on a 150 acre property full of old MGM sets, high in the Malibu Mountains. It was here that he wrote the songs for Seed of Memory, recorded, like River,  with slide guitarist David Lindley.

“The places Terry chose to live were really remote,” says Lindley. “In California, if you’re not careful, it’ll suck you in. Resistance is futile. Terry fitted in really well, but he was slightly removed from the main scene. He became part of it but retained his individuality.”

Seed of Memory deserves to be one of the best known albums of 1976 but right after ABC released the album, the label went bottoms up: “I saw it all go down the tubes. ABC simply froze the record and wouldn’t give it back to me. I had three major record companies wanting to take it on. I was broke and busted. Graham helped me out just to get me back on my feet. It’s sod’s law. You have to laugh or that sort of thing could crush you.”

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