SO THERE was Terry Reid, harmlessly going about his business in the gents' at the Mandarin Oriental, when he overheard the attendant humming a tune by the late, great Chinese opera singer Yam Kim-fai.
Before you could say 'aria', inspiration had struck and rocker Reid was on the verge of something highly unusual. That encounter happened during the Los Angeles-based British singer's last visit to town.
Last week, he took to the stage at The Jazz Club once again and delivered a song called Gonna Sleep In The Old Hong Kong Tonite. And in two weeks' time, he is going into the recording studio with a small ensemble of Cantonese opera musicians to cut the song.
Reid describes the East-meets-West composition as 'a catchy rock number with a commercial jingle hook that would be perfect for the HKTA [Hong Kong Tourist Association] or even Cathay Pacific'. His eyes light up at the commercial possibilities and the song seems to have inspired a band of backers, who have supplied the sponsorship to get the song recorded.
With the help of Jazz Club musical director Ric Halstead's Kindred Spirits label, Reid has also put one of his Jazz Club gigs on DAT (digital audio tape) for a possible CD release later.