NQC 10: Dissent of the day
Today’s honor goes to Harold Reed, tenor for the Kingsmen:
hey thanks for mentioning me twice in your usual useless banter. i will never defend my singing nor should i have to but if you were a real man, my wish would be for you to come find me and give me your critique to my face as id like to meet you. personally i think itd be fun for you to sing in my place Saturday night, i would greatly enjoy it. ill jus end with this..the day i leave the kingsmen, ill never miss folks like you who i dont even think Jesus could please. btw, you will only have to miss the first 20-25 minutes of the night and we will be sure not to assault your ears.
Do you need a mechanic to tell you when you’ve got a flat tire? A painter to tell you if prefer the Mona Lisa to Dali? A meteorologist to tell you to come in out of the rain?
I think a lot of folks like Reed want to believe that guys like me come to NQC just to bitch and moan and that we are never happier than when things go south on stage. And if that were true, you’d have heard me singing “Happy Am I” from my post up in the rafters on and off most of the night last night. But something bigger and deeper than a love of snark and snipe alone is necessary to sustain a listener who, like me, comes for the transformative moments of musical transport. Bad singing, in the end, really just isn’t that interesting.
Still, I sorta feel for Reed a bit. In his time with the Florida Boys there at the end, when the group included Josh Garner and Gene McDonald, Reed was responsible for some really delightful moments of solid quartet singing in the old gospel style from which I and many others derived great satisfaction. And even if a guy like me - who, as Reed notes, has no music skills, no job in gospel music, substantially lacking in “real” manliness - can hear the difference between that and this, then and now, … well, it’s hard to imagine a pro like Reed not only hearing but deeply feeling the disparity himself. And assuming he cares more than I do about his performance, then Reed’s harshest critic is - or at least really ought to be - Reed.Email this Post