You get to hear a little of his singing in one of my favorite forgotten movies, "The Return of Captain Invincible." Alan Arkin plays a washed-up former superhero turned alcoholic recluse and Lee is his arch nemesis, Mr. Midnight.
....except they would have had to bring in a pile of Pint glasses for the vodka-martinis
A friend of mine made a little bit of history anonymously with Reed.
Reed was sitting in the bar at Belfast International Airpost (he lived in Ireland for the latter part of his life) which is the main airport, 17 miles outside the city, (not the 'George Best'), and Reed was temporarily skint as regards actual cash in his pocket. He asked my friend to buy him a drink. Now this guy was not a film-goer, he didn't recognise Ollie as anyone in particular, and they chatted and got on very well. Ollie went to the loo, and amazed people sneaked up to my friend and whispered, 'God, you're getting on very well with him ... what's the knack?' He was bemused, until someone told him who he was talking to.
Ollie got onto the plane, and next thing you know, there's a big news item in all the media about how Ollie Reed was detained and removed from a flight by security for being plastered and trying to hawk his wrist-watch in exchange for some in-flight booze.
I think Ollie is magic, personally, but it's clear some minder close by had removed any loose cash when near the public bar.
Another guy I knew was thrown out of a bar along with Ollie, who was showing the assembled throng how to do one-armed handstands on a bar-stool.
No, he's certainly not JB ... too Dionysian. Richard Johnston was once touted.
It is such a shame what alcohol can do to some people. Of course there is two sides to every story. There are some people who act nicer after drinking. I am a good drunk, I get spiritual and more open to the art of understanding. There were some very nice happy times when I was a bit tipsy.But what gets me is the basic idea of alcohol and drugs. When life can be so short and fleeting for many. Why do so many people want to waste their precious moments escaping the reality of life and all it has to offer when one is sober and straight. Such a waste.