from the August 1970 issue of Mirabelle magazine.
By Sandie Robbie
CHRISTIE are a reasonably new group
although the members are not new to the pop scene. It was
Yellow River, written by 23-year-old
Jeff Christie, which gained them fame.
When I arrived at their publicist's office,
Brian Longley informed me they had been busy with photographers
and reporters all day, so I wasn't sure how they'd react
to me, being the last reporter to interview them.
I need not have worried because even though
they were excited about the success of their record, they
remained pleasant and quite co-operative.
The only problem throughout the interview
was that their minds were somewhere else and everyone wanted
them to go and listen to some tapes, and Brian found it
nearly necessary to chain them to their chairs.
Christie as a trio all began when Jeff
sent some demo songs he had written to London in the hope
that some well-known artist would record one of them.
However, everyone was so impressed with
Jeff's own singing voice that he was persuaded to record
himself. Eventually Vic Elmes on lead guitar and Mike Blakley
(Tremeloes' Alan Blakley's younger brother) on drums formed
to make Christie.
was originally offered to The Tremeloes. I asked Mike how
the band reacted when the record soared high in the charts.
"They were absolutely knocked out,
which I suppose is a bit hard to believe," he said.
"They weren't at all jealous because, let's face it,
they have no need to be.
"They are a top group in their own
right. They sing Yellow River
in their own act so that shows how pleased they are about
Why did they turn the song down when it
was offered to them?
Mike replied: "They wanted to go
on to their own fields to try and write their own music
so I think they thought that if they had accepted Yellow
River, they would have been going back instead of
forward. They really want to get down to writing their own
Is there any jaelousy between Mike and
"Everyone asks this question and
even when I assure them we get on very well, they still
don't believe me. I think I was always musically-minded
because when I was fairly young, my parents bought me a
"Later on I decided I didn't want
to be in the background all the time so I began to learn
playing the guitar and Alan took over the drums. I've never
been jealous of his success, I think of him as a father!"
When the record was released, did you
ever doubt it was going to get anywhere?
"It was the same old feeling,"
Mike said. "We all had records out before which had
been failures so we didn't get over-excited.
"I was working for Phone-a-disc at
the time and when I got news the record was gradually gojng
up the charts, I really felt like packing up everything."
Do people approach them in a different
"Being in the business for six years
made me approach it differently. I didn't rush out and buy
a car just for the fun of it. But it was nice to hear from
old friends again!
"I do find that more people tend
to run around after us and do things for us, like buying
drinks and making sure we're comfortable."
How does Vic feel about it?
"I don't see it the way Mike does.
It's great of course, but I just take it in my stride and
I just feel the same. Mike is a bit excited about everything
"Obviously people will sit up and
take notice of us now that we're in the public eye. My parents
are hanging on for all the information on what we're doing
and what's happening. They are very pleased about it."