Pat Blythe – Chris Reed…..way, way too soon

I’ve been finding it difficult to focus on my column this week. Last Friday we received news that a much loved friend and musician had passed away. Chris Reed didn’t even achieve the revered status of joining “The 50 Club”. We’ve all been blindsided….totally stunned and still trying to absorb the news. I had to read his brother’s official FB announcement three times before it sunk in who he was really writing about. I thought for sure I was mistaken….but no, and then I burst into tears.

Chris Reed

I met the brothers Reed just over three years ago. There are many people out there who were much closer to Chris than I, but that made him no less important in my life. On occasion someone enters your world leaving an indelible print on your psyche. It can be as simple as entering and exiting a room. The Reed brothers are two such people…..crazy in love with each other, their parents, their friends and especially their music. Now we have lost one of them and we are numb and stunned with disbelief.  Chris touched so many lives and I am profoundly saddened by his death.

To me Chris was many “someones”…..he was someone who always sought me out in the club when I was shooting to make sure he said hello; someone who always had a ready bear hug, a compliment and was genuinely happy to see you; someone who took the time to chat; someone whose stunned expression and complete loss for words, the first time he saw me in my black wig at Cherry Cola’s, I will never forget; someone with the “quiet” face and that impish grin; someone whom I welcomed into my home; someone who’s warmth and kindness I will miss immensely. Chris was someone I considered my friend.

A fabulous bassist, guitarist and vocalist with a quirky sense of humour, Chris was the other half of The Reed Effect. Together, with his brother Kirk, they would tear up stages all over Toronto.  During these surreal and fractious times they have kept us company and entertained us with their brotherly quips and comments, all while singing and harmonizing for us as we hunkered down in our homes. Chris’s love and passion for music had no boundaries. The Reed Effect recently completed recording, as Kirk called it, “our 6 song, 7 track EP…yep, 6 songs. The 7th track is an extra special track for y’all.” Almost ready for release, it makes this last musical effort particularly poignant.

The Reed Effect

I wrote in a past column that when someone dies we mourn for our loss. It is us who will be missing them. It is us who feel the pain and emptiness of their passing. We celebrate and remember them, but it is our own closure we seek. We shake our heads, weep and sigh for what was and what could have been. We hope (and sometimes pray) those who have taken leave of this world have moved on to a peaceful place, whole and good again. We hope for this because that is what brings us peace and hope for ourselves. In writing this I find my own peace and calm along with the tears.

Carlynn Reed, March 2019

There’s a lovely story behind this photo of Kirk and Chris’s mom Carlynn Reed. During a rather lengthy technical glitch with the guitar amps, Carlynn decided to take over the stage at Lee’s Palace. Moving to the sound of Chris’s bass and the beat of the drums, her beautiful, graceful dance totally enthralled the crowd and she received resounding applause. If we’d all been sitting it would have been a standing O. I would hazard a guess it’s probably the longest bass solo Chris ever played, but he had the perfect accompaniment. This was the true definition of “the show must go on”. I’m not sure if this was the last time she danced to her son’s music but it was certainly one of the most memorable.

To Chris’s parents Dave and Carlynn Reed, brother Kirk Reed and Kirk’s partner Veronica, and to Chris’s partner Shannon, your lives have been shattered. Please know the rest of us are here to help you pick up the pieces. I send you love and strength.

Just a few songs…..beautiful, graceful, ones I find comfort in.

Days Are Never Long Enough – Thomas Dybdahl & Lera Lynn

Letter From Home – Pat Metheny

Free At Last – The David Blamires Group

Last Train Home – Pat Metheny

Of course this column would be complete without this great song and video…..

No Way Out of Here – The Reed Effect

….and on an up note I think Chris would appreciate this….

Don’t Stop Me Now – Queen

Chris, you certainly turned our worlds inside out! In my heart I bid you adieu and a safe journey.


All photographs ©2018-2020 Pat Blythe, A Girl With A Camera “The Picture Taker”


Pat’s column appears every Wednesday.

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dbawis-button7“Music and photography….my heart, my passions.” After an extended absence —  33 years as a consultant and design specialist in the telecommunications industry — Pat has turned her focus back to the music scene. Immersing herself in the local club circuit, attending the many diverse music festivals, listening to some great music, photographing and writing once again, she is eager to spread the word about this great Music City of ours…..Toronto. Together for 34 years, Pat little-red-headed-dancing-girlalso worked alongside her late husband Christopher Blythe, The PictureTaker©, who, beginning in the early 70s, photographed much of the local talent (think Goddo, Frank Soda and the Imps, BB Gabor, the first Police Picnic, Buzzsaw, Hellfield, Shooter, The Segarini Band….) as well as national and international acts. Pat is currently making her way through 40 years of Chris’s archives, 20 of which are a photographic history of the local GTA music scene beginning in 1974. It continues to be a work in progress. Oh…..and she LOVES to dance! 

2 Responses to “Pat Blythe – Chris Reed…..way, way too soon”

  1. Damon Hines Says:

    So sorry for your loss, Pat. My condolences to you and all family, friends and fans. 8′>( ❤

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