Terry Tales : Some delicious moments from an eventful life
Just off Route 66?:
In the early 70’s Terry was living with his then wife Lynne in a trailer in the hills of Ventura County on Tony Duquettes property (Tony Duquette is an interesting guy in his own right go here for more info)
It was a fair old walk down a track to the mailbox. One fine morning Lynne set off as usual to check for mail. On arriving at the road she came across a guy looking around looking a little lost. Lynne said: “Hi!” The guy said: “Got any shacks for rent around here?” he was checking the district out as he’d heard it was a cool place to live. He asked Lynne about the area and she invited him up to the cabin to see for himself. Up they go to the cabin and meet up with Terry who discovers their visitor has a mutual interest in music and they spend some time looking over Terry’s guitars talking songs playing etc (where was the tape machine!!!). Eventually the visitor ups and says his goodbyes. Later on he buys a large chunk of the area.
So Terry has a visitor, big deal, except the visitor was a little known folk singer by the name of Bob Dylan.
The time the place, guess it wasn’t such an unusual thing then.
This was the place Terry wrote Seed Of Memory.
(thanks to Lynne for that one)
Terry’s dad was a dealer in cars and other vehicles, an occupation which came in useful when Terry was on the road in the 60’s. A side issue was, as Terry related, increased job security, ‘You don’t sack the man with the van, or his son’
As well as providing transport for Terry and band, Mr Reid senior was able to arrange deals for other bands.
On one occasion he sold a van, at what seemed like a very good price, to the Yardbirds. They were well pleased if a little puzzled at the deal. On coming across them a couple of years later he, Terry’s dad, was mortified to see them still using the same van. His claim being that he’d sold them a van with only a very limited lifespan hoping to get more business when the van packed up after a short but reasonable time.
I was on the phone to Terry whilst he was in the UK for his recent gigs. Terry was taking the call in the living room, his parents were in the same room. The conversation turned to WW2, one of Terry’s interests. Mid sentence I heard Terry’s mum saying something. Terry paused and repeated aloud to his mum “you’ve what? you’ve got a Gestapo medal?” “Yes” came the prompt and unfazed reply. No explanation and stated in the manner of one admitting ownership of a particular knitting pattern.
I didn’t get anymore of the story, one can only assume/hope the medal was acquired as a momento from a returning WW2 serviceman and not for services personally rendered by Mrs Reid. She seemed such a sweet old lady when answering the phone.
Enter The Pain Reliever:
I’ll begin this story at the end, if that makes sense. Terry’s in the Joint doing a gig, some celebrities turn up, one of whom is James Coburn. In between songs Terry goes over introduces himself and exclaims to a confused Mr Coburn “Hi, we’ve never met but you know my dad.”
It happened thus. Many years previously Mr Reid senior was talking to a mate of his and explaining that he’d hurt his shoulder and was in continual discomfort. The friend was with another guy who he introduced as… yep, James Coburn. James expressed his sympathy and offered to call a friend in who might be able to help. Mr Reid senior gratefully accepted the offer. James leaves and returns soon after with a small fit looking guy of mixed Chinese/European appearance. Enquiring as to the nature of Mr Reids pain, the new arrival proceeds to work him over, fully relieving the pain.
A newly restored Mr Reid thanks the guy profusely and is introduced to Bruce Lee.
Terry and the TVs:
No, not a rock and roll tale of Terry chucking TVs out of hotel windows whilst on a drug fuelled romp around the states. Much more interesting, this involves cross dressing and steam irons.
Whilst on the US tour as support to the Stones , Terry and Stones end up in the same New York hotel as a radical touring theatrical group called The Cockettes. This group coined the phrase ‘gender fuck’ and were into challenging notions of sexuality and gender.
They were mostly blokes with beards, dressing in glam dresses and very camp.
Terry and Keith Richards were hugely entertained by the group sitting around the Hotel chatting about people and in particular making bitchy remarks about Mick Jagger. At some point one of the group took notice of the state of Terry’s clothes and enquired as to who was (or rather wasn’t)
looking after Terry’s wardrobe, “bring me an iron” commanded the Cockette. there being a serious shortage of irons in Terry’s possession, the Cockette marched off, returned with a steam iron and proceeded to do Terry’s ironing. I bet he’s never been so well turned out.
Its a month after the horrific events in New York on Sept 11th.
So Terry’s checking in for his flight to the UK for his first gigs over here in years. Everything’s going OK and then Terry’s guitar goes through X-Ray, its an acoustic with an internal pickup, on the XRay screen some wires and a battery like object show up, uh oh.
What exactly occurred next , I’m not sure , as in what Terry actually replied to the inevitable “Excuse me sir, but what exactly is that” question posed by the security guy. A joky reply? a little bit of expat brit humour?
Whatever within an instant Terry is surrounded by security guys, the national guard and cops. A lengthy search and interrogation ensues, Terry misses his flight.
Terry caught the flight, the next day.
May be a bit of a non story to USA readers and no, its not an American civil war story, Terry’s not quite that old, though judging by appearances at the UK gigs some of his fans might be.
Terry began his career in earnest by entering into talent competitions in Butlins (chain of UK holiday camps).He was progressing through the various heats and doing well. Whilst at one of the camps a particular Redcoat (camp staff with a brief to keep the campers happy and organise entertainments) took a shine to Terry and made encouraging comments about his talent and potential for the future.
The Redcoat was Roy Hudd (well known veteran Brit entertainer) just at the beginning of his own successful and continuing career. Nice one Roy you had an eye for talent
Sort of a follow on from the Redcoat story, Terry was doing well in the holiday camp talent contests and was entered in the final. It would take place on a proper stage, full band, Compere and audience. Up to that point Terry had been successfully singing music hall ballads. Terry’s dad had the bright idea of getting him to sing a chart hit of the time to set him apart from all the other young singers. He chose Lollipop (you know, Lollipop, Lollipop, hey lolli-lollipop and so on…) Terry wasn’t keen but ever the opportunist saw a chance here. Terry had long wanted a full Roy Rogers outfit (younger readers, do web search) and said he’d agree to do the song on condition that he got the kit, win or lose. There followed a round of intense contract negotiation, with threat and counter threat, surely a forerunner of negotiations to come for US tours, record deals etc. Eventually Terry and dad reached a settlement, Terry convinced he’d get the kit come what may.
The contest begins, enter Terry (8 yrs old). The band strikes up and Terry sets to, all goes well and then, halfway through …. he forgets the words to Lollipop… The band continues gamely behind the now silent Terry, slowly grinding to a halt as Terry’s silence continues. A silent pause, then enter the Compere in full penguin suit, stage left, over to Terry , leans over Terry; “umm is that all then son?” “Uh yeah that’s it” replies Terry. Compere leads Terry off to the wings and awaiting dad.
Terry: “So uhh, do I still get the Roy Rogers kit dad? I did me best.”
Mr Reid: “@@%$%$%#####!!!”
So if anyone out there owns a Roy Rogers suit, how about fulfilling a 36 year old dream for Terry. Imagine him in The Joint wearing it.