Who would you like
to chat with for only half an hour?
Monica Brown, of Reading,
chose JEFF CHRISTIE.
How did Christie start?
Well, there has just been a change. Mike Blakley has left
us to work with Gale Music, the Tremeloes' music company.
He and Vic Elmes formed Christie with me.
M: Who has taken Mike's place?
J: Paul Fenton, who comes from
Batley, and was formerly with three other groups: The Contrasts,
The Nation and Witch Doctors.
M: How many copies did Yellow
L: It hasn't stopped yet. So
far, our version alone has sold over three million ... but
that's going up all the time because it is still in the
charts in some countries.
M: How many cover
versions have there been?
J: At least 40. In South America
alone, there have been 10 versions of Yellow
River, and in France Joe
Dassin had a number one hit with it.
M: Where are you living now?
J: I am sharing a
flat in Kensington with six other people. My brother-in-law
is one of them and he asked me if I would like to move in.
They are all students apart from me. It is a four-bedroomed
flat and I have a room to myself.
Don't you want a flat of your own?
J: Eventually, but I have spent
all this year living out of a suitcase, moving from one
hotel to another, and I haven't got used yet to the idea
of being able to afford a flat for myself.
M: What do you mean?
J: I have never been used to
having money in my pocket, and find it difficult to lose
my old habits of watching every penny. This
whole money scene hasn't sunk in yet. In any case I
do not know how much is coming to me.
J: Because a songwriter gets
royalties anything up to two years afterwards, and I have
not had mine yet. But in six or seven months' time I am
expecting a nice big cheque from Yellow
M: How many other songs
have you written?
J: I have about 150 in the
stockpile. San Bernadino was
one of them and that sold 80,000 in a month in Germany,
and was number one in Belgium before it was even released
here. It has sold 130,000 here in a few weeks, but it will
be a long time yet before I know how well that has done.
M: Have you recorded any others?
J: Yes, I wrote 10 tracks on
our first LP and we are now planning a second LP which will
also mostly be my songs.
M: What plans do you have for
J: The first six months of
1971 will be very busy for us. We are touring Japan, Australia,
New Zealand and Israel, and then hopefully making a six-week
tour of the States. We will finish our second LP before
M: Will it be very different?
J: Oh yes! We finished our
first LP very quickly, but will be taking much more time
with the second one. As a band we have changed greatly.
Our South American tour did
M: What do you mean?
J: Before we went to South
America we were a soft rock band, playing more country-syle
music. Now our music is tighter and heavier, with more drive.
It is hard rock now.
M: How long did you spend in
J: Three weeks. But every concert
we played was in a stadium with 15,000 to 20,000 people.
We had army and security guards wherever we went, and all
this made us give our best.
M: Any other highlights?
J: We were taken on a conducted
tour round a jewellery factory and all brought back gold
rings; Paul brought back a poncho, and we all had gaucho
belts and souvenirs like that.
M: Were you surprised by the
J: Very. We had been number
one in Brazil for five weeks before we arrived, so they
gave us the full VIP treatment. We arrived at Sao Paolo
airport at six in the morning, and there was a crowd of
200 waiting for us, with police and television cameras.
M: With all this travelling,
have you managed to see much of your family?
J: No, I have not been able
to get back home to Leeds for four months now.
M: Do you miss Leeds?
J: Very much. We have a holiday
coming up and I am looking forward to getting back. Ilkley
Moor is only half an hour from where I live and our home
is three miles out of town, only five minutes from the country.
I need to get back to relax completely.