Howard Reid: 20th August 1957 – 29th December 2017
I met Howard at Limpsfield in Surrey (a Christian house party run by Church Youth Fellowship Association) in 1978 – nearly 40 years ago. But it transpired that we lived in the same London borough – he in Leyton and I in Walthamstow. We kept in touch – did a few things together.
In 1980, my band SEA STONE recorded an anti-racism single called ‘Summer Fever’. I asked Howard if he would do a photo shoot with me for the front cover – this was a couple of years before Ebony and Ivory! Howard agreed, and Eric Lives took some shots of us beside a pond in Forest Gate, East London, trying to pretend we were on the beach! The single was released in 1980 by Plankton Records
Howard coped with my rock ‘n’ roll – but had his own musical tastes and, like me, wanted to communicate Jesus through the music. Thus it was that he brought a band called CLARITY to the St. Mark’s Youth Club in Forest Gate and compèred the evening. A fantastic night which was great for the young people – at the time the club was about 70% black – and Jesus was proclaimed and lives were changed.
I learned a lot from Howard – working on some seminars with him at Limpsfield. He introduced me to Martin Luther King’s speeches – especially the one he preached on 3rd April 1968, the night before he was shot in Memphis. He had a passion for the Gospel and wanted people to come to faith – regardless of their background, colour or social status.
I hadn’t seen Howard for a few years but ran into him recently. I shall miss him but know that I will see him again. May he rest in peace and rise in glory.
I finish with Martin Luther King’s last speech – which Howard taught me.
Well, I don’t know what will happen now. We’ve got some difficult days ahead. But it doesn’t matter with me now. Because I’ve been to the mountaintop. And I don’t mind. Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I’m not concerned about that now. I just want to do God’s will. And He’s allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I’ve looked over. And I’ve seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people will get to the Promised Land. And I’m happy, tonight. I’m not worried about anything. I’m not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord. Martin Luther King. 3rd April 1968. Memphis
Rev. Simon Law – Rector of Pitsea with Nevendon/Partner in Plankton Records
Tribute to Howard Reid at his Funeral on Monday 22nd January 2018
Post Script. Bumped into Gary at the funeral – one of Sea Stone’s original fans. He and his friend Kafil (Gunga) Din used to come to gigs and demand that we played “Smoke on the Water”. We always explained that as Deep Purple didn’t play our songs, we didn’t play theirs. Anyway, Gary started attending “The Cornerstone Church” a few years ago and was welcomed by Howard. He knew he had seen Howard before somewhere and, when he found his SEA STONE single in the attic – he realized where!