An Interview with
(Extracts from a series of chats conducted by Ray Chan)
What happened before Christie?
A) I had been with Unit 4 + 2, whose best-known
song was Concrete and Clay. They
split up around 1969. I played with the Mike Cotton Band (a
leading session group) and joined Zoot Money and his Big Roll
Band, who had a big hit with Big Time
Operator. One of the members of the band, Andy Summers,
later became part of the Police. I also became a locum guitarist
of sorts, including filling in for John Rostill of The Shadows.
Q) How did you join Christie?
A) I was invited to audition for the group
by Brian Longley, the manager of Christie. At the time, I
didn't know any of the members, although of course I knew
of the group. (The encounter very likely occurred in the
Spanish hotel where Jeff wrote Iron
Q) What were your memories
of the Christie times?
A) They were great times, great fun. We travelled
a lot: South America, Africa ...
was my own composition and the only one I actually recorded
with the band. But I remember playing on songs such as
Fool's Gold and Iron Horse.
I also remember Vic Elmes going out with
Dee Anderson, the daughter
of Gerry Anderson, because I had been very friendly with her
myself a few years earlier, and here she was with Vic!
Q) Why did you leave
A) Well, how do groups disband? I think it
was a commercial decision, and we were told by Brian that
Christie were no more, although I know they reformed a few
his Unit 4+2 days
did you do after that?
A) I dabbled in the other side of music.
I became a rep for Island and CBS Records. I also acted as
manager for the band Argent when they went on a tour.
I moved to the USA and also started working
with recording artists and had some success with performers
like Ian Hunter (Mott the Hoople), Judie Tzuke, Elton John
and Lulu, whose hit I Could Never Miss
You I produced.
Songwriting success came in the form
of the theme to the TV series Porridge,
which I co-wrote with a good friend of mine, Ian La Frenais,
and Waylon Jennings also covered one of my songs, Cloudy
Q) And you came to
A) Yes, I was there for about a year. I was
asked to produce an album for Men At Work, but after I travelled
all the way there, they gave the job to someone else, which
annoyed me a great deal. I ended up producing an album by
another top Australian band, The Eurogliders.
Q) What are you doing
A) Nothing much .. just enjoying life. I'm
back in London. I have short hair and I no longer have a beard
or moustache! I would love to catch up with all the guys who
were with me in Christie.
Some of the albums Lem produced