Monday, May 18, 2009
Every once in a while, someone comes along that completely transcends fads, trends, and styles and is so uniquely original that they end up influencing our very culture without even realizing it. What they do for a living is not important…what is important is they are not afraid to be themselves and walk to the beat of a different drummer. Jerry Reed was such a person.
Jerry’s unique guitar style influenced virtually every country, rock, blues, and classical musician that has ever picked up a guitar. His songs like “Amos Moses”, “When You’re Hot You’re Hot”, “East Bound and Down”, and “Guitar Man” are now legendary in the music world. When you heard a Jerry Reed song, there was no doubt it was Jerry Reed. He was totally unique.
On top of that, his unique humor and southern coolness influenced entire generations and it continues to this day. When he hit the screen as Cletus Snow a.k.a. “the snowman” in Smokey and the Bandit, there was no doubt Jerry was the real thing. The others were acting, but Jerry……ah, Jerry was just being himself.
Last year, when we were shooting the “Smoky and the Bandit” show, I had the privilege of sitting down with Jerry for a few hours and talking about his life and career. He laughed when I told him about my attempts to learn his guitar riffs when I was just a kid and about seeing him on Scooby Doo. Most of this stuff never ended up in the show, and we didn’t realize at the time but this was to be Jerry’s last interview with anyone. Since this interview was so much fun, and Jerry was so open about sharing his experiences, we’ve decided to post some of it on the site so you can enjoy some cool, off-the-cuff moments with an entertainment legend…..Jerry Reed…..the Georgia Wildman.