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The Magic Highway

"What a nice website you put up for Christie! It was a pleasant surprise that I found your site recently.
   Christie played in Singapore in 1971. The concert was held at the biggest concert venue in the country.
   As a student I could not afford the ticket price, it was a much regretted miss. I read the write-up in the next issue of the local weekly pop magazine. It was a marvellous rocking night but a tad too heavy for the reviewer's taste. Who cares, the fans loved it.
   I could only afford to buy singles with my meagre pocket money. I had a few singles including Peace Lovin' Man and Freewheelin' Man.
   LP albums were beyond my budget when they were first released. Many years later after I earned my own salary, I bought the vinyl LP of For All Mankind from the second hand market. I still have them until I find CD replacements.
   Why do I like Christie? I was first drawn to Christie's music by the "jingle jangle" guitar riffs. On further listening, I like the meaningful lyrics with straightforward rocking rythmn. Christie's bass run especially on turnaround is unique and almost recognisable as a signature.
   They deserve a higher place in the history of rock music rather than just a disappearing act.
   I am glad to discover that there were in fact CD releases for the first two Christie albums.
   But even if I can buy both of these CDs, I still miss some songs that are only available on singles, for example Freewheelin' Man. Where can I get them?"

Chin K W: Singapore

Good news! All the songs are now available on the Repertoire sets. — Ray


"I remember hearing San Bernadino once or twice, and I liked it a lot.
   It was probably not considered to be a big enough or memorable enough hit in the US to be coupled with Yellow River on a re-issue 45. Instead they matched up Yellow River with a song called As The Years Go By by Mashmakhan."

Regina Litman: Philadephia, USA


"Yellow River reminds me of the summer of 1970 when I was only 14. The yellow album reminds me of the following autumn when my parents bought their first Tandberg/Phillips HiFi stereo system and I got my first long-play record.
   Yellow River and San Bernadino were quite famous then, also in my little hometown in nothern Norway.
   I can still remember the exciting feeling that album gave me, and my friends too, and we played every song almost every day for a long time. My next albums were Abbey Road and Cosmo's Factory, but to me Christie was the best LP and my favorite musical group for years.
   I was also happy to become the owner of the second album, For All Mankind, and that little change of sound and style made it quite interesting to me.
   When I heard Iron Horse on the radio, in '72 i think, I just had to buy the single. I really liked the song, but unfortunately that was the last I heard from Christie. A lot of things have happend since then, and a lot of good music has been made, but songs like Yellow River, Mississippi Line, Inside Looking Out, Until The Dawn, For All Mankind, If Only and more are still among my favorites."

Edvin Paulsen: Norway


"I'm truly amazed by the interest in all things "Christie".
   May I just say it has been a pleasure to be a member of Christie since 1990.
   Now I can check in here to read your letters, it's great!
   See you on the road soon, I hope."

Simon Kay: Christie member


"When Yellow River first appeared, I was shocked. It opened something new for me — it was something unknown at that time, it was unlike the other music, and impressed me by its sincere kindness.
   And when I saw the group's photo, I couldn't forget it — even till now.
   It was difficult to get the records, as the prices were and remain today too high (and usually it took a lot of time before we could listen to the next disk). But I immersed in Christie's music world and imagined as if I were together with them. It was an unforgettable time!
   Christie had everything: success and disappointment, but time proved that they are "the qiants of music"!
   One day I hope to meet and to speak with the group, but I can only do this at their concert. I don't know if I will ever be able to go to England so I hope that if they arrive in Russia again, we can meet. I have deams ...
   Let me wish Jeff everything a person can wish to his friends: a successful work and a lot of happiness in life, and also to continue to gladden his admirers with his songs. I am thankful that time has has presented us with such a wonderful musician and man.
   I want you to be happy and always young! We love and always will be with you."

Demidov Igor Vl: Belarus


"I'm 27 years old, like the music of Christie and have been a great fan for many years. I saw Jeff and his band live for the first time in Wernesgrun in Saxon on January 25, 1997, with Hermans Hermits. It was the greatest concert I have ever seen.
   Wernesgrun is a town famous for good German beer. The band tried a lot of glasses of beer and they liked it.
   Till this day I drive to every concert of Christie. I hope I'll see them again soon.
   My favourite song is San Bernadino, it is one of the greatest hits. I can dream by their music, it's wonderful for me and my friends."

Isabel Mey: Scheibenberg, Germany

Jeff germany

Isabel took these
photos at the gig.
Thanks, Isabel!
   — Ray

Christie germany

Ticket


"This is a legendary website to a legendary group!
   When will Jeff answer our questions?"

Fabrizz: somewhere in Europe

Jeff gets forwarded all the mail that fans send in, and reads every one. He is very busy but replies whenever he can. — Ray


"Today I listened again to For All Mankind and realised what a perfect song it is for the troubled times we have.
   If only our leaders will listen to it. Thank you, Jeff."

Ernest: Italy


"Congratulations for forming the Christie website. As a fan of all their music it was great to find it.
   I first really got hooked when I heard Iron Horse and to this day remain amazed that this fine release never made it bigger in the UK. I understand however that it was outselling Johny Nash's I Can See Clearly Now, which moved way up the charts whilst Iron Horse did not. Shame.
   I spoke to Jeff on the phone about 15 years ago when I rang up Christabel Music to enquire about Christie sheet music. After chatting for a while Jeff very kindly offered that if I sent him a blank cassette tape he would return it to me with some largely unreleased, more recent (then!) recordings on it. The tape is now a treasured possession. It's a great shame these recordings haven't been more widely heard or the songs snapped up by other artists.
   Do Christie still play at the festival of the seventies weekends at Butlins, or anywhere else in the UK?"

David Elderfield : United Kingdom

Jeff reports that he is not currently playing the UK circuits, but that it is not an impossibility that he will return. — Ray



Autographs"I saw this autographed sheet being offered on e-bay.
  It shows Mike Blakley's signature but I can't see Jeff's. Since Mike was in the band right from the start, was there a Christie before Jeff joined? Who are these members?"

Vanda: Holland

Dear Vanda: There are a few of these sheets doing the rounds. If you look closely, you can see Mike's and Vic's signatures. The other two names are Mick Wilson and Peter Morrison. They were part of a Christie Revival outfit that Mike and Vic put together in the early 80's. There was no Christie before Jeff's involvement — otherwise the band could not have been called after Jeff's surname. Read here for further information. — Ray




"Thanks for a great site.
   I cut my teeth on Yellow River as a guitar player way back when, somehow the music helped us get through the times in South Africa. As a "non-white" listening to the white music, when I think about it now it sort of helped to maintain the innocence of growing up in a world filled with the harsh reality of apartheid.
   Christie's music transported you to another world and time like all great art should. Anyway it still sort of sends an incredible feeling after all these years.
   So is it a little bit of nostalgia or is it cathartic that I write this?"

Allann Munsammi: South Africa/New Zealand



"Back in the 70s there were two songs that were the biggest ever in the USSR - Shocking Blue's Venus and Christie's Yellow River. No Beatles song, no Deep Purple song — nothing could compare to Yellow River.
   I had a Polish LP (hope it was licensed) that we played 'till it could not be played anymore."

Sergei Zhukov: Moscow, Russia



"I remember when Christie came to Brazil.
   And I remember when we could listen to true music and true artists of rock like Jeff Christie, Badfinger, Creedence, Guess Who, and others.
   Now and then, when I walk in the streets of my country, I can listen someone playing Yellow River, San Bernadino at homes or stores. Today's kids stand still hypnotised by Christie's music as they ask: Who is singing this song?
   The good music never dies. Thank you Jeff Christie for making great songs for us."

Wilson Silva Alexandre: Brazil



"Very interesting site on the band. I have always enjoyed their music but my singles and the two albums are old and worn out. Any ideas how I can replace them? Are there any CDs out there with all the singles, album tracks? I would love to get another copy of The Dealer."
Shem Tighe, UK

"I was a big fan of Christie, and have a lot of their records. Do you know where I can find CDs with Christie?"
Ronnie, Sweden

"I have been looking for Christie CDs and I don't think they are available. Why is that?"
Keith Lin, Asia

"I grew up with the Yellow River LP, and I have been trying to get the CD format of the LP. I have tried to get this CD from various sources, but all have failed me thus far. I know CBS had it on CD format some time ago, but I have not been able to obtain it. Is there perchance any suggestions you may offer on how I can get this CD? I appreciate your help with this."
Alexander Liems, att.net

"For years I have been trying to get the recordings of Christie. Especially the LP/CD'S Yellow River and For All Mankind. I would be very happy if you could advise where to get these recordings."
Kjell Haga, Norway


This is a very frequently asked question. The Christie vinyl albums and singles, of course, are no longer available, but you can find them in most specialty stores that deal in used records.
   The CDs are much easier to locate. There are many different CDs available (made in various countries such as the US, Russia, Germany and Italy).
For track listings of each CD, go to the Discography section of this site.
   If you buy the two Repertoire CDs and the Christie Again CD, you will own a copy of every Christie song released.
   The easiest way to find stores which stock the CDs is to go to the site
www.gemm.com. Type in the word Christie in the search box, and you will get a listing of various outlets which sell Christie items.
   The other reliable method is to use e-bay, which constantly lists Christie records and CDs for sale. Make sure you check e-bay listings for several countries, as listings differ for each country.
   Happy hunting! — Ray


"I have been a Christie fan for a long time and I would love to see them live on stage. But the last time I saw them in Germany was in 1998 in Hagen. Who can help me? Where can I get information about live concerts in Germany?
   In 1998 I got the information from "Good Times", a magazine about the music of the 60´s, 70´s and 80´s, but since then I never got any information. I hope someone can help me get more actual information."

Birgit: Germany

Jeff and his band play in Germany more than any other country in the world, because there is a big demand there for "oldies" groups. — Ray


"First, congrats on a great website! Second, many, many thanks for including the section on the Epics.
   Yes, I was the bass player and to this day don't believe we got the breaks that we deserved!! Vic was then (and still is) a brilliant guitarist, and we were, even if I say so myself, a very good band!
   We had a reunion a year ago, and a good old jam went down, I can tell you!!
   Vic and I have talked about doing some acoustic stuff, but so far nothing has materialised."

Stuart Tann: UK


Sabbath   "I was the drummer with Australian group Harry Young and Sabbath. One of the other members of the band was bass player Tony Mitchell, who later joined Australian super group of the 70's, Sherbet. Tony also co-wrote Sherbet's enormous UK hit, Howzat.
   Sabbath's first record was one of our original songs, The Wheat in the Field, which made No 7 in the Australian charts in 1970. The next release was our version of San Bernadino, which also made No 7.
   At the time there was an international record ban in Australia. Record companies wanted royalties if their singles were played on radio. So the stations stopped playing them!
   It proved a bonanza for local acts. All they had to do was get a copy of an imported overseas hit, record it and more than likely, score with a success on the local charts.
   We had stablemates called Autumn. We'd come in second to them in a national band competition, we worked the same venues, had the same record company. They grabbed Jeff Christie's Yellow River, and the single shot to No 1. The record company pushed San Bernadino at us one day in the studio, and it was finsihed that day itself. Before we'd left it was on the way to the presses.
   (This was no easy task. The major studios wouldn't press for a relatively new band like us. I hand pressed the discs (powder on the plate, wind the press down, turn on the steam tap, etc — we churned out thousands of the bloody things in a Kings Cross porno magazine cellar). Anything to make a quid! But no 7 it did achieve, so t'was worth it.)
   As the ban broke and some of the originals made air time, Christie toured Australia. Jeff saw our show and he and one other Christie member jammed with us at the Whisky Au Go Go, a somewhat notorious nightclub in Australia."

Mike Cassidy: NSW, Australia


   "I was 13 years old when I heard for first time Jeff Christie's songs in my best friend's home. By the way, he has the only LP around, I think, in our town. For two years we learned to play our guitars and drums listening all Jeff Christie's material and we learn too to love all the songs. Vic, Mike, Paul and Jeff, today they are our idols .
   We were crazy when one night watching TV advertising said "Jeff Christie and his band .... and Yellow River .. comes to BogotÓ (in Colombia)". That was in 1973, I remember it, all our band flew to BogotÓ to Jeff Christie's rock concert.
   That night we meet our idols ... that night we were in the Yellow River heaven. By the way, in the last minutes of the concert, Paul* performed a drum solo, I was so near him and he left me to play a drum as a ragtime ... I was in the Yellow River heaven again.
   My best friend and his parents later went to Holland, and the only LP of Jeff Christie was in their baggage! 28 years ago, I was in London with my wife, and we were walking around Picadilly Circus .. and I said this is my last chance to find my best and favorite Jeff Christie album .... and I found it!!! That night in the city, again I was so happy in my Yellow River heaven.
   By the way, Paul .. thanks again for that drum solo chance .. and for the gift of the drum sticks."

Alfonso Morales: Bogota, Colombia

*Actually, the drummer in Bogota was Terry Fogg, not Paul Fenton.— Ray


   "I have to say that while I wasn't a Christie fanatic, I enjoyed their music. I used to have Freewheelin' Man on a 45 single, and I played it so much I had to dump it due to scratches. Whoever wrote that song is my kind of songwriter."

Jimmy Ward: Belfast, UK


   "I became a fan of Christie when I won a radio competition. We had to send in the lyrics to Man of Many Faces, so I taped the song from the radio and listened to it over and over again to get the words. In our country, it was not easy to buy the actual Christie record in the shops.
   I was chosen one of the winners and my prize was an autographed copy of Christie's first album. I listened to it and found that I loved every single song! It was fantastic, the first LP which I liked every song.
   From then on, I became a Christie fan, and tried to buy all their records. In my country at the time, there were many pirated records around, and I have a collection of Christie pirated records!"

Lim Eng Tiang: Malaysia


   "Yellow River was a very big hit in Japan, and a lot of Japanese know the name Christie, and a lot of Japanese know the song!"

Takaoka: Japan


   "The first time I got in touch with Christie's music was in 1970, when I bought the first LP. This was very good, but in 1971 came the milestone for me in their career, with the second LP, For All Mankind. This LP contains so fantastic songs, especially the title track. For me, that album is as important for pop music in the 70's, as Sgt Pepper was in the 60's.
   In 1993 a lifetime dream came true when for the first time I saw them live on stage. Of course, it wasn't the original line-up. On that day, I got my first autograph from Jeff. The second time I saw them in Aachen (Germany) in 1994. Before the gig, Jeff signed my Christie LPs with a dedication.
   The next time I met Christie in 1995, I had the chance to speak with Jeff and the others - we spoke for more than three hours!"

Rainer Frank: Germany


   "I don't think that there's another song that can take me back in time quite as effectively as Yellow River. I must confess that although I know Christie's songs, I had no idea who the band was. I'm the type of person that just enjoys music without worrying who wrote or sang it — but Yellow River is different.
   This was the one song that I recall most vividly from when my late wife and I went on honeymoon 11 years ago. Both she and I had a love for the oldies type of music, and on the five hour car trip to Kariba, we listened to the oldies. As a result, even now whenever I hear Yellow River, I am transported back in time to one of the happiest times of my life, and can relive the memories.
   Thank you, Christie."

Dez: Harare, South Africa


   "I must say I always have been a fan, especially as Jeff comes from my home town of Leeds, although sadly I have never met him. One day I would love to be able to meet up with him, I live in Castleford which is 12 miles outside of Leeds so there is every opportunity that I could still meet him one day:-)
   I was never a member of the original Christie fan club as in them days money was tight so we didn't have a lot to spend.
   I have met Paul Fenton twice, once in Leeds and once in Bradford in 2000, when he was playing with Mickey Finn's T-Rex.
   My favourite singles of Christies were San Bernadino, Iron Horse and Yellow River.
   I used to have the original Christie album, it was yellow all over with Jeff on the left and Vic on the right, that was a great album."

Linda: Leeds, UK


   "Hi, this is great stuff. I have been a Christie fan from way back when. It was a real godsend when I managed to get both albums that have been reissued on CDs. I really appreciated the addition of the post-For All Mankind singles on the CD. That has really helped me catch up on the missing singles that came after the For All Mankind album.
   I remember Christie playing Singapore back in the '70s but I was too young and poor to make the concert. Too bad they can't capture the moment on video or DVD like what we have today.
   I am glad that there are people out there like you that appreciate the great talent in Christie and help spread the word."

Foo Sake Liang: Singapore


  "Christie's first LP was one great album. I was a kid of 13 years when it was released. I cannot remember all of the songs on the album, but I do remember they were almost all really fine songs."

Carl Stainback: USA


   "Fantastic job! I love Christie. I saw them live in Israel, I think it was in '71 or '72. Keep up the good work!"

Hovav Frenkel: San Francisco, USA


   "I was 13 in 1970 when I bought Yellow River. One of my cousins who was fishing in Scotland bought the album. His brother and I used to play this record again and again.
   I got a very huge record collection. Although I got about 3000 items of LPs, 7" singles, CDs, and videos, I have only two bands I am really a fan of. And that is Christie and Wishbone Ash."

Johan Peter: Faroe Islands


   "I, together with a few other guys from Leeds, used to share a flat in London with Jeff and Paul in 1970/71. Please pass on to Jeff the fact that even though he used to lock his food cupboard so we students couldn't get close to his marmalade, we still remember him fondly !
   I now live in Leeds, and play drums in a covers band. Ruby Wax and Anthony Cohen were two other famous people in our flat. We think Jeff still owes for two weeks rent ;))"

Johnny Ross: Leeds, UK


   "How could we ever get this kind of group together again to produce such great music!
   I have listened to For All Mankind more than 500 times. I don't even know are the guys still alive after such hard rockin' years. I just like the music."

Jyri Haljoki: Finland


   "It's many years since I last saw Jeff, though we do go back a long way. One day at Leeds Grammar School, he accidentally bent my thumb back on itself! Damn near dislocated the thing! Mind you, we were only about 12 at the time ... "

Trevor Midgley: UK


   "I sung San Bernadino when I was on the push chair, amazing everybody, and I flew to the city without the permission of my parents to buy my first Christie single when I was 10 years old.
   And then I began to sing, play guitar, piano and drums and collecting Christie stuff. And made concerts and composing songs, and never left the honour place to my favourite group: Christie."

Lorenzo Gabanizza: Bergamo, Italy


   "It was 28 August, 1970. Christie played at the Sopot Song Festival (in Poland). They performed three songs: Yellow River, New York City and San Bernadino and Yellow River once more (because when they did Yellow River for the first time there were some problems with sound, with Jeff's mike I think.)
   I remember that gig in details because I recorded it from our old black and white TV set on a tape recorder and besides, which is the most important thing, I shot 8mm film from the screen of TV set. You know, there were no portable home video tape recorders in 1970, even in Japan I think.
   Yes, Christie was the very first Western rock group televised live to Soviet viewers. But I should note that it was late after a midnight and not a lot of my school mates were able to see it. So I played them a tape and showed them my 8mm film.
   Twenty years later, together with director Andrey Krasivitchev we did a documentary film about first Soviet rock groups and also we told about Christie as the band which impressed a lot of our first rock musicians. The film was televised many times in Russia and in some other former Soviet Republics."

Alexei I. Zaikin: Moscow, Russia