From the S&S archives: Jerry Reed touring PACAF clubs
Stars and Stripes April 13, 1989
YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan — Award winning singer-actor Jerry Reed plans to spend the next three weeks doing what he calls one of the most satisfying gigs for any performer — playing for military applause.
"Frankly, playing before military audiences is one of the most rewarding things you can do as an entertainer," Reed said. "It's incredible. They're so glad to see you, so glad you took the time to come over and bring a part of home."
Reed started the Far East part of his monthlong tour of Pacific Air Force clubs with a pair of shows at the Yokota Air Base clubs. The series of appearances began at military clubs in Hawaii.
The tour, sponsored by the PACAF Stateside Sounds program, takes in South Korea from April 14-20, Okinawa from April 22-23, and the Philippines from April 25-29.
Reed said he first encountered military audiences last year when he toured West Germany for the Army around Christmas time. He expects the reaction here to be just as enthusiastic.
"The military audiences are at least 1,000 percent more involved," the 52-year-old singer said. "I think they need you more, they want you more. It's one thing for someone to drive 25 miles to a venue but a whole new thing when you wait for someone to come thousands of miles for a limited appearance."
The extra audience volume pumps up the energy level of the show, he said.
Reed's two-hour performance covers his 30plus years of singing and songwriting, and includes Grammy winning songs "When You're Hot, You're Hot" and "Me and Chet."
"You pull out all the stops and leave there hoarse when you have that much audience involvement," Reed said. "You're powerless to do anything else. You may try to play it cool knowing you've got two shows in a day but during that first show, you're just jumping around like a crazy man."
THIS TRIP MARKS THE first time Reed has visited the Far East on a performance tour. The closest he got before was a stay in the jungles of Malaysia to film "BAT-21", a movie about the Vietnam War starring Gene Hackman, Danny Glover and Reed.
"After four months in Malaysian jungles in the middle of the summer, I definitely looked forward to getting back on the road," he said. "Entertaining is my love, and as long as there is a demand for me in concert, I'll keep touring."
Reed's other films include "Smokey and the Bandit," which earned him a Peoples Choice Award for Best Supporting Actor, and "The Survivors," with Walter Matthau and Robin Williams.