THE STORY OF JEFF
CHRISTIE in his own words
PLEASURE AND PAIN
Jeff's and Paul Fenton's
residence in 1971.
"IN 1971, comedian Ruby Wax used to share the flat
I lived in with my drummer Paul Fenton and some other Leeds
lads in Cornwall Gardens, Kensington; she was far more of
a handful then, and hysterically funny.
I became like an older brother to
her in some ways and we had some fun times together and remain
friends today. She invited me down to one of the recordings
in Nottingham of Girls on Top with Dawn French,
Lenny Henry, Jennifer Saunders and a new comic called Harry
Enfield who was the audience warm-up! We all went out for
a Chinese after the show and no-one was in the slightest bit
The Vietnam War stopped me becoming
an American citizen. At 16 my parents wanted to emigrate our
family to California to be close to my mums sister in
San Francisco and went through extensive preparations, when
at the 11th hour the American Consul informed my parents that
if we did go, my brother and I would be eligible for the Vietnam
draft, so to save my brother and I from being cannon fodder
they decided to stay in England. I did however live in the
US for over a year in 75 after the break-up of Christie.
Jeff relaxing at home
in the Cornwall Gardens apartment.
Jeff and Paul horse around
in the Cornwall Gardens kitchen.
My first musical ambition was to be
a flamenco guitarist but in 1956 it was impossible to find
an authentic flamenco teacher in Leeds, so when Elvis emerged
soon after I found the wild excitement of it all and the guitar
sounds to be the nearest thing to flamenco and certainly the
next best thing and was hooked instantly.
People often ask me for my likes and
dislikes. I like love, peace and understanding. For
All Mankind and all that hippie stuff that has an enduring
Add to that the other cliché
of wine, women and song, good food, old friends and lovers,
the people I love (they know who they are), reading (when
I have time), Chaplin, Billy Wilder, Clint Eastwood, Burt
Lancaster, Kirk Douglas (a very distant relation of my mother),
Marx Bros, The Three Stooges, Walter Matthau, Paul Schofield
(a man for all seasons), art, drama, and film (Cinema Paradiso,
like the great classical composers (Shostakovich, Mahler,
Elgar, Tchaikovsky etc), great 20th century songwriters, too
many to mention, The Great American Songbook, people who are
old school genuinely funny and make me laugh like Phil Silvers,
Woody Allen, Mel Brooks, Steve Martin, Tommy Cooper, Benny
Hill and Harry and Paul.
Also the San Francisco Giants! Fell
walking and swimming, squash which I played till I did my
knees in with four operations! Table tennis, and John Charles,
the gentle giant in football. I could go on!
Dislikes: War, poverty, lies, deceit,
corrupt politicians, cheats, thieves, murderers, rapists,
bigots, racists, 9/11 7/7 conspiracy theories and Holocaust
deniers, arrogance, loud inconsiderate people, people who
talk loudly on cell phones so the whole world can hear, drivers
talking on their mobiles and steering with one hand, endangering
life and limb, litter louts, binge drinking, fighting yobs
(male and female) that are a blot on the landscape and make
town centres no-go zones, especially for older folks who are
scared to venture out: why should a minority spoil life for
the majority .. a case for zero tolerance to reclaim the streets?
I don't like thugs in shorts playing
the beautiful game and radiating ugliness on and
off the pitch whilst earning obscene amounts. Reality TV,
the way old people are disenfranchised and marginalised and
the break-up of families. The conspiracy of silence (evil
triumphs when good men and women do and say nothing!). Pain,
despair, depression physical or mental, watching loved ones
suffer, cancer and terminal illness that trap people
in a life of hell and misery, in some cases euthanasia would
be a blessing. I could go on! "