The Magic Highway


An Interview with Lem Lubin
(Extracts from a series of chats conducted by Ray Chan)

LemQ) 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 Horse.)

Q) What were your memories of the Christie times?

A) They were great times, great fun. We travelled a lot: South America, Africa ...
   California Sunshine 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 the group?

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 months later.

Lem in his Unit 4+2 days

Q) What 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 Days.

Q) And you came to Australia ..

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 these days?

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.

judie tsukeian hunter


Some of the albums Lem produced