a couple of articles in Melody Maker, July 11 and August
CHRISTIE'S CLIMB TO THE TOP
Christie made it after years slogging away for a few pounds
in various different groups, people immediately started
saying their record was a copy of the Creedence sound.
"I wrote Yellow
River 18 months ago," said Jeff Christie, bass
guitarist and lead singer with the group. "At the time
I wrote it, I was playing a regular spot in a cabaret club
in Batley. We used to have many groups such as The Marmalade
and The Tremeloes come down. I used to play them my tapes
to them, but there was never much interest really.
"But when I played Yellow
River to the Tremeloes by mistake, they were all
very enthusiastic about it, and talked of using it as an
LP track. Then they said they were going to use it as a
asingle. But for various reasons they never used it.
"Tremeloes member Alan Blakley asked me
if I would like to get into the group scene with his brother
Michael. At that time, both Mike, who plays drums, and Vic
Elmes, who plays brilliant lead guitar, were in a group
called Acid Gallery.
"But they wanted me to come and live in
London, and with no money it was not possible. And as they
had no money too, they could not pay my wages."
But then now-Christie manager Brian Longley
asked Jeff to come to London and record Yellow
River. "From there, everything started happening,"
Jeff said. "It was too fast to catch. Suddenly, after
two or three weeks, it entered the top 20 and from there
to number 1."
Jeff said he was a great fan of Alvin
Lee. "I used to go and watch Alvin Lee and Leo
Lyons when they had a group called The Jaybirds; even in
those days Alvin was brilliant."
At the moment, Jeff is living at his manager's
house near Ascot but misses his family at home at Leeds.
"I'm looking for a place in London at the moment. It's
good to have some roots, somewhere of your own to go to."
It's take a long time for Jeff to make it,
and a lot of hard work. "I've been playing in different
groups since I was 13 and have been professional for six
years. Playing with so many groups has helped my writing.
I now write progressive stuff, vintage type rock, country
and western and slower ballads."
Jeff is determined to stay at the top.
"If you want to stay big, you have to think big."
CHRISTIE leave for a three-day visit to Poland
tonight, during which they will make an appearance
on television that will be relayed throughout the
iron curtain countries with an estimated 250 million
viewers. The group will also play at the Sopot song
festival. Yellow River is
currently number 1 in Poland.
On September 17, 18 and 19, they do
concerts in Milan and Rome, and play in the Venice
festival. They appear in the Bergen festival in
Norway on September 23, and play in Finland on September
25. In October they play in Sweden from 7 to 14,
in Ireland from 16 to 20, and in Germany from 22