Riffs: Paul Westerberg on Terry Reid

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The Independent Culture
'STAY with Me Baby' is one of those yearning songs that travelling musicians often write - one which conjures up the feelings you get when you never have time to meet anyone, or if you do, then you're only going to be with them for one night. It's like the Rod Stewart song, 'Stay with Me', only this is very much the flip-side of that. That song has a kind of raunchy, arrogant swagger to it, whereas 'Stay with Me Baby' is more about pleading to be saved from loneliness. There have been good soul versions of this song, but my preferred one is by Terry Reid, recorded in 1969. Our manager in the early days was a great record collector, and he made me a tape of this song which we would listen to in the van, normally at night, after a show, when none of us had anyone to stay with. The instrumentation features a big Hammond organ, bass and drums, and then Reid's voice - which is one of the great rock screams of all time. I've always liked songs which use just one voice and no backgrounds, so you get the power of the single delivery, undistracted. I met Reid once in LA. He was more of a regular guy than I thought. I mean, he doesn't have a whole lot of teeth, and he looked like he'd been up for a week and a half - a battered old cat, but give him a guitar and he was a young man again with the voice of an angel.

'Stay with Me Baby' is on 'Terry Reid', EMI BGOCD 168

(Photograph omitted)

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