Terry Reid

Terry Reid
Molly Malone’s
Los Angeles, CA
By Victoria Joyce
Photography by Mila Reynaud

It’s three blocks away from the La Brea Tar Pits. That right there makes it cool. Even before that Molly Malone’s Irish Pub on Fairfax is wicked hip and plays host to some truly great and off the beaten track music along the lines of Country, Blue Grass and Blues. You could call it LA’s answer to CBGBs. Except it’s still there and has been for 40+ years. And oh, yes, oh yes, some of the finest vintage Rock, Punk, Metal and Glam has graced it’s low-keyed stage. John Doe? Yes. Peter Case? Uh huh. Stan Ridgeway? Him too

Tonight it’s Terry Reid. The original choice for Led Zeppelin’s lead singer. (He passed and recommended his mate, Robert Plant who got the gig.) We got the heads up in the afternoon from dear Dawn Laureen, shooter of stars and primo rock photographer and could not miss this show.

And no, he hasn’t spent the rest of his career kicking himself. Reid has distinguished himself with touring, recording, and session work that make him the go-to guy and the top shelf choice for guitar Rock and Roll Blues. Before it shut it doors, for years Terry was a regular at The Joint on Pico Blvd., another out of the way LA club that held a legendary Monday Night Jam wrangled by another Guitar God, Waddy Wachtel.

Got to the Molly’s a touch late and just missed Brandy Row’s set – but Lucky covered that base. See it here. Not a bad little crowd for a weeknight packed into the music side of the club – set up like a Kit-Kat with the bar and Irish paintings in one long room and the entrance to the mirror image music room & stage – entrance at the rear separating the drunks from the music lovers, thank you very much. Like most LA audiences – this one was musician-heavy and hushed with reverence.

Terry took the stage with a big smile and bare feet. Chico Reys played bass and Jorge on drums; the set was lean and sweet. Terry played rhythm and switched up guitars with almost every song. By the way – see his Facebook page – he’s selling his 1952 Telecaster. And if you have to ask – you can’t afford it.

Beginning his set with three songs; “Without Expression,” “The River,” and “Ragin’ Storm.” That last one he wrote for and about the music community in New Orleans and how Katrina almost wiped them out. “How could that happen? I couldn’t handle that,” clearly shaken by the devastation on the city and professing his deep love for those people especially the great Fats Domino. Shanking his head, “We almost lost Fats!”

Reid’s playing stance is slightly bent over and head-shaking ecstasy, deep into the music. Next song was a Marty Robbin’s cover; “Bend in the River” performed with a lot of love. You know the old expression – we like both kinds of music; Country and Western. Mos def in the 2nd category, Marty Robbins was the Grammy Winning Gunfighter from the early 60s and the better part of his catalog are ballads of horse stealing, Mexican maidens, shootouts and banging the drum slowly. Terry take was irresistible.

Next song “Faith to Arise” was beautiful and dreamy – a recurring theme for Mr. Reid. With a beautiful segue to a mash-up of “Beautiful Girl” and “Save the Last Dance” but not before a romantic story about meeting his future bride and a young Donna Summer back in the day and cooking in the kitchen with battling chefs; Aretha Franklin and Tina Turner. Terry ran around with the right crowd.

And the between-song banter was delicious. Stories about Keith Richard, Eric and “the boys.” The boys? Terry’s peer group consists of the greatest guitar players alive today. Reid may not have the quite the acclaim but he has the respect and recognition of “the boys.”

Reid covered Brian Wilson’s Beach Boys classic “Don’t Worry Baby” and gave it such a soulful twist it was almost unrecognizable. Good thing he intro’ed it with a story about playing it at a benefit at the Roxy with Wilson present and giving him props as one of the really great, great song writers. Buddy gonna shut you down. We agree.

Someone requested that he play lead. Looking up quizzically, Reid said “Oh no,” and went into a marvelous story about his own musical humility and a tale about Keith Richard showing up at The Joint. “What do you want to play?” Terry asked. “I don’t know. Blues?” Keith retorts. “Now, that guy, he’s a guitar player.” Uh yeah, Terry, right, Keith. Guitar. Check.
















Terry Reid
Molly Malones
Mila Reynaud