Terry Reid has stories … lots of them.
It’s well-known that Reid almost became a member of Led Zeppelin during its formation, and the session player has remained active throughout the years.
He’ll be playing at the Purple Room in Palm Springs on Saturday, Sept. 19, and Friday, Oct. 9, with Nigel Dettelbach and Nigel Carnahan of Slipping Into Darkness.
During a recent interview, Reid, aka Superlungs, explained how he ended up in the Coachella Valley.
“About 25 years ago, I knew people who lived here, and I used to come to town and stay at the La Quinta Resort,” Reid said. “After the first time I went to the La Quinta Resort, I went, ‘Oh, this is unbelievable!’ It was so beautiful and peaceful out there. I started coming here all the time during the weekends. I was living in Santa Barbara, and it was a bit of a stretch, and to drive here for the weekend took serious consideration.
“Years later, I got married, and my wife was living in the Los Angeles area at the time, and I was ready to get out; I never really liked Los Angeles much. I told her I wanted to move to the desert in La Quinta, and she said, ‘Oh that’s funny; my parents just bought a house down there.’ I went, ‘Oh! That was easy.’ I just love it out here.”
How did this veteran musician wind up performing with two members of Slipping Into Darkness, the locally famous Desert Hot Springs band? Dettelbach and Carnahan met Reid in the spring.
“We have a mutual friend named Alex. We got together, and she wanted to sing some songs at this event,” Reid explained. “She came in, and we worked some things out, and Nigel (Dettelbach) and the guys were playing. So that’s when we first met. We moved on from there, and Nigel and I talked about putting something together. Nigel only has about seven bands, anyway!”
Dettelbach said working with Reid has been quite fulfilling.
“It’s been great and a lot of fun,” Dettelbach said. “He plays guitar like no one has ever played it, and he can play cross-rhythms. It’s definitely a whole different deal than I’m used to.”
Dettelbach and Carnahan, who also used to be part of the group Little Red Spiders—which this year won the Tachevah block party competition and earned a slot at Coachella—backed Reid for that performance at Coachella.
“That was all Nigel, too,” Reid said. “I was leaving the next morning for Europe to do a six-week tour. Nigel had been talking about it and the Tachevah competition. He asked me if (the band) won the Tachevah competition and got to play Coachella, if I would come and sing some songs, and I went, ‘That’s lovely! Thanks, Nigel. Now go win the competition first. Let’s not hatch rabbits here.’
“Lo and behold, they won it, and then he asked me, ‘Do you want to do Coachella?’ I asked, ‘When is it?’ and he said, ‘Tomorrow.’ I got all this stuff packed in the hallway, and we went and did that. Then I was gone for six weeks.”
Dettelbach also set up the gigs at the Purple Room.
“I was looking into casinos and more high-profile gigs, basically to try to get the band paid what we deserve,” Dettelbach said. “I contacted a few people, and Tony Marchese from the Purple Room responded, and he agreed to pay us what we demanded, and I guess he’s already sold enough tickets.”
The performances will feature songs throughout Reid’s solo career.
“We have so many bloody songs to go over,” Reid said. “We’re still formulating which ones we’re going to play. … You try to find things that work. You sometimes think, ‘Oh, they’ll love this,’ but the reality is they fucking hate it. Whether I like it or not, you have to work as a clock and as a whole unit. Bands argue all the time about that shit.”
Reid and Dettelbach both said they hope to continue working together.
“It’s all a matter of what the ticket is. If you can do well, and people want to come watch you play, you’re OK,” Reid said.
Dettelbach said he’s working on adding more gigs with Reid.
“I’ve been talking to some booking agents up in Los Angeles, and Terry has fans all over the world,” Dettelbach said. “We’re working on one gig at a time and talking about doing some residencies. Right now, we’re just working on figuring out the songs.”
Terry Reid will perform with Nigel Dettelbach and Nigel Carnahan at 8 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 19, and Friday, Oct. 9, at the Purple Room Palm Springs, 1900 E. Palm Canyon Drive, in Palm Springs. Tickets are $20. For tickets or more information, call 760-322-4422, or visit purpleroompalmsprings.com.