Vernon Reid

Born: August 22, 1958
London, England

Reid and his family emigrated from London, England, to Brooklyn when he was only 6 years old. By the time he was a teenager, he was listening to jazz and learning to play the guitar. He studied furiously, and learned very quickly. In 1980, he joined Ronald Shannon Jackson’s Decoding Society, which was a jazz band. Together, the band pumped out six albums, and Reid enjoyed working with many different and experimental musicians over the 10-year period he was with the band.

The eighties brought about a guitar-metal craze, and Reid was instantly enthralled in what was going on with the metal bands. In 1983, he formed the band that would later become Living Colour. A couple of years later, he also formed the Black Rock Coalition with Greg Tate. The organization was set up to promote black musicians that wanted to break out of the stereotypical rolls previously thrust upon them by the music industry and society in general. In 1986, Living Colour was discovered by Mick Jagger. Jagger was so impressed with them that he asked them to play on his upcoming album. He was also inclined to persuade the Epic Records label to sign the fledgling band. In 1988, the band released Vivid to much acclaim and fanfare. Reid’s signature guitar style fused jazz, world music, and guitar virtuosity, and the band possessed a unique, intelligent sound and feel.

In 1990, they released Time’s Up, which didn’t do as well as it’s predecessor. In 1993, they released Stain, which also failed to sell. After Stain, the volatile band split, and Reid has since gone on to release solo material. In 1996, he released Mistaken Identity, is a hip-hop album that fuses metal and jazz into the new sound. Reid is an extremely innovative and experimental musician, who will most certainly come out with some material in the new millennium.

Instruments Played / Skills:
Guitar Songwriter

Heavy Metal Guitar Masters

Bands That Vernon Reid Has Played For:
Living Colour

Vernon Reid Has Worked With:
Doug Wimbish Corey Glover Muzz Skillings

Vernon Reid Was Influenced By:
Jeff Beck James Brown Miles Davis Jimi Hendrix Curtis Mayfield John McLaughlin Jimmy Page Carlos Santana Eddie Van Halen

Artists That Were Influenced By Vernon Reid:
Michael Hill
Guitar Techniques used by Vernon Reid
Funky Whammy Trick
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