He started out working in the automotive department at a local retail store, but Junior Reid’s drive was for music.
As a young boy growing up in Whitbourne, music was a big part of Reid’s life, having played in bands during his teenaged years.
When he came to St John’s in 1970, he began working in automotive at K-Mart.
“Lunch hours, I used to go play the keyboards at a nearby music store,” said Reid, who began playing piano and keyboard instruments at a young age.
“I looked forward to it every day.”
Reid eventually landed a job at that music store and after 18 years as an employee, he decided it was time to start his own business.
In 1991, Reid Music came to be.
“I didn’t have a trade, but I could play and I enjoyed music, so I decided I would do it myself,” he said.
It wasn’t hard to conjure up business, as Reid had become well-known in the local music circles, for both his experience in retail and having played in various bands around town.
“Being a musician, I was out playing a lot, so a lot of people knew Junior Reid,” he said.
While he’s played with various musicians and bands throughout the years, he’s been in a duo with a neighbour since 1972.
“We’ve been together longer than The Beatles,” he said laughing.
Reid also joins The Ducats occasionally on piano.
But most of his time is devoted to his company, in which he takes great pride.
“We’re just a small family business, carrying the best musical instruments, and we’ve got a good, knowledgeable staff,” he said.
“We focus a lot on service.”
Just before Reid sat down for an interview, he took time to chat with Glenn Simmons, who had popped into the store to check out the guitars Reid has on hand.
“Even though I’m not as big as some other stores, you’re treated good here, with personalized service,” he said.
“You’re not treated like a box store. People like dealing with the small, local businesses.”
Reid Music carries top lines of guitars, including Martin, Taylor, Gibson, Fender, as well as a selection of Yamaha acoustic pianos and keyboards. The Topsail Road store also has a music school.
Reid’s wife, Gina, handles all the administrative work at the business and his daughter works there part-time.
Reid says he’s optimistic about the future.
“I’m happy with how things are going,” he said. “But I always try to strive for more.”
What is your full name?
Isaac Edward Junior Reid.
Where is home for you today?
Growing up, when you weren’t playing and listening to music, what kind of trouble were you getting into?
I didn’t get into too much trouble. I will say that I didn’t make the honour roll during my school days, though.
What was one act of rebellion you committed as a youth?
I would walk as slow as I could to Sunday school. They would send you home for being late.
What is your personal motto?
I try to do the best I can for the people who are closest to me.
What is your most treasured possession?
First, it would be my business. Second, my gun and Argo (amphibious all terrain vehicle).
What would you do if you wonthe lottery?
I would invest money into my business, build my own building and lay off my wife. Ha!
Who is one person, living or deceased, you’d love to have lunch with?
If you were premier of the province, what is one thing you’d try to do?
I would offer more funding for organizations like the Shriners and Camp Delight, which help kids with threatening diseases.
What do you like to cook?
My first choice would be fresh codfish, but a nice steak on the barbecue is not too bad either.
What’s your favourite article of clothing?
After being dressed up all day with a shirt and tie, I would have to say my jogging pants.
What are your hobbies?
I enjoy the outdoors — fishing and hunting or just taking my Argo and going for a hike. And, of course, I enjoy playing hockey.
What is one thing about the music business you wish people knew?
It’s not quite as easy as it looks when you visit a music store. I spend a lot of my time trying to make Reid Music more successful, both at the store and at home.
What do you see as the biggest challenge for your business in the next
five to 10 years?
Trying to keep the Reid Music name on top of people’s minds.
What household chore do you hate most?
Very easy answer — all of them.
What’s the best part of your job?
I enjoy everything about my job, but socializing with the employees and customers would be the most enjoyable.
What is your favourite place in Newfoundland and Labrador?
I have to say going back home to Whitbourne.
Do you have a hidden talent?
If I do, it’s well hidden.
What’s your favourite genre of music?
Old country and classic rock.
Who do you admire?
My wife. She deserves it; putting up with me isn’t easy at times.