Way Ticket (J Christie)
This was a Christie song that Jeff wrote specifically
for the band to play live, which had a lot of punch. According to Jeff,
the only version in existence was recorded at the old CBS studios as
a rehearsal notepad, sometime in 1971/72. This reference template included
other songs that could be used for group members to learn at home, as
well as possibly earmarking for recording properly for future release.
The song was also performed at one of Christie's appearances
on the BBC's Top Of The Pops in 1972. The band members at the time were
Jeff, Vic, Paul and Lem. As was the habit with the BBC, all its shows
were captured on vinyl and sent round the world for airplay, so if you're
lucky, you might chance upon the BBC transcription disc with this Christie
gem on it.
The song itself is very short, just over two minutes, and
retains the Christie country pop trademark but with a harder, bluesier
edge. It is almost a transition between Christie's commercial numbers
and a stage rocker like One For The Road.
There is some nice harmonica playing, probably performed by Lem. Vic's
harmony vocals are almost as loud as Jeff's!
Jeff's songs often feature recurring themes: one involves
American towns and history, another focuses on the need to be independent
and free (Sweet Freedom, Country Boy, I Gotta
Be Free). One Way Ticket belongs
in the latter, with the song expressing the singer's desire to leave
the rat race for a "destination unknown".
This song could have been a likely inclusion on a third
Christie album, had there been one.