Vernon is best known as the founding member and driving force of the iconic rock band Living Colour. He has guided the band through a remarkable career. Among the highlights: a double platinum-selling debut album Vivid, released in 1988; its gold-certified successor, Time's Up, released 1990; two consecutive Grammy Awards in the category of Best Hard Rock Performance; Two MTV Music Video Awards, opening for the Rolling Stones' 1989 "Steel Wheels" tour; appearing on the first Lollapalooza tour and most recently having their song “Cult of Personality” included in the video Game Guitar Hero 3. He is also listed at 66 on Rolling Stone’s Top 100 Guitarist of all time.
Webster's Dictionary defines an artist as "one who professes and practices an imaginative art; a person skilled in one of the fine arts; a skilled performer." By any of these definitions, guitarist and composer Vernon Reid is a true artist, one whose art is a work forever in progress, from his formative years on the downtown New York jazz/funk/punk scene with Ronald Shannon Jackson's Decoding Society, to his leadership of the pioneering multi-platinum rock band Living Colour, to his collaborations with creative spirits ranging from guitarist Carlos Santana and African singer Salif Keita to choreographers Bill T. Jones and Donald Byrd.
Reid has also produced records by Resort (a Mexican hard rock group) and two Grammy-nominated albums: "Papa" by the great African singer Salif Keita and "Memphis Blood: The Sun Studio Sessions" by James "Blood" Ulmer. Blood's most recent album, released in September of 2003, "No Escape From the Blues", was also produced by Reid. Reid also appears on "Guitar Oblique" (Knitting Factory Records) with guitarists David Torn and Elliot Sharp.
Vernon composed the score for the film "Paid In Full", directed by Charles Stone III (well known for creating the "Wasssup!" series of commercials for Budweiser as well as directing three videos for Living Colour) and released by Miramax in the fall of 2002. Vernon also composed the score for the celebrated documentary "Ghosts of Attica" which aired on Court TV in the fall of 2001 and has been featured at several film festivals.
“During the 1980s, rock had become completely segregated and predictable, Vernon and Living Colour helped break down the doors by the end of the '80s, leading to a much more open-minded musical landscape that would eventually pave the way for future bands like Rage Against the Machine, Sevendust and many others.” quoted Joe Palombo, Executive Director of Rock House.
“Reid reinvigorated hard rock with shots of soul, jazz and hip-hop. Reid's solos embraced the free-form abstraction of his early days as a jazz player, but they flexed enough muscle to bowl over any Metallica fan.” Rolling Stone Magazine
Since the formation of Living Colour, Vernon has appeared as a guest guitarist on the records of a many diverse artists: Jack DeJohnette, Public Enemy, B.B. King, The Ramones, Mariah Carey, Mick Jagger, Tracy Chapman, Eye & I, Family Stand, Carlos Santana, and others. He has also composed music for the Marlies Yearby Dance Co., and choreographer Ralph Lemon, scored the music for the film "Fresh Kill" and Johnny Nmemonic, has also composed "Here", a piece for Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company.
Vernon instructional products will be available at MI retailers around the world for $24.99. Stay tuned at http://www.rockhousemethod.com/ , http://www.vernon-reid.com/ for information on release dates. All Rock House instructional products are distributed through Music Sales Corp. 1-800-431-7187.
There are hundreds of videos featuring Vernon Reid on guitar all over you tube but "Cult of Personality" keep calling to me so here's Vernon Reid in one of Living Colours finest. Ummmm if your under 30 please ignore the spandex.
Resources: http://www.vernon-reid.com/ http://www.wikipedia.com/ and http://www.rockhousemethod.com/