Interview with John Reed – Gospel Star of Tully’s of Tacoma
John Reed’s life has been filled with dramatic ups and downs. Married at 19, he once was a bright young man from a good Christian family in Ohio’s rustbelt region with a promising future marked by a full ride scholarship to his state’s university. But within a few years he would be divorced, separated from his children and addicted to drugs and alcohol. He managed to escape his situation by joining the army where he rose in the ranks to captain, only to find himself in the clutches of addiction once again. Discharged from the army, Mr. Reed checked himself into a VA rehab center in Jacksonville Mississippi. Midway through his treatment, Hurricane Katrina swept through the Gulf, forcing the still fragile Reed to be evacuated to another center near Fort Lewis. Last week, Mr. Reed became homeless following a dispute with his landlord and now finds himself unemployed and living at the Tacoma Rescue Center.
And yet Reed remains hopeful because of his self-evident talent for gospel music, which he now performs for spare change at Tully’s Coffee House at the intersection of 9th and Broadway in downtown Tacoma. Over the course of the following interview, Mr. Reed shares his thoughts on gospel music and how it has touched his less than blessed life. Mr. Reed ultimately concludes that perhaps gospel music is his ticket to success – as well as salvation.