An early interview
with Brian Longley and Jeff Christie from Record Mirror,
June 6, 1970.
By Keith Altham
PERHAPS the most enterprising thing about
Christie before they establish themselves as individuals
in their own right is the bespectacled benign figure of
their manager Brian Longley.
Brian also happens to be The Tremeloes' publicist,
and it was his initiative which led to Yellow
River being un-shelved after being turned down by
"The group were really formed around the
record," Brian admitted frankly, "but they are
a good competent musical group and in no way copy the Tremeloes
style. Some comparisons have been made between them and
Creedence and that's a little closer to the mark.
"Jeff Christie has played around in groups
like the Outer Limits, which has given him a comprehensive
musical knowledge of most of the popular musical approaches,
and has given him an objective outlook on music.
"Vic Elmes and Mike Blakley were members
of the Epics and have a musically sympathetic attitude towards
Jeff's songs, which should sustain them beyond this first
River has already tinted or tainted Christie as a
top pop group. And they've been booked on the same bill
as acts like Ten Years After and Chicken Shack. How does
Jeff assess Christie appeal?
"We're not out to blow anyone's minds,"
Jeff said. "Our objective has been to get an act together
to capture the kind of excitement there was with early rock
"I don't know how we will be received
on a bill with Ten Years After, but it can't be bad that
we play a different style. Much of our material will also
be original and not neccessarily representative of Yellow
River. We'll play heavy-simple rock!
"We've already been through my other songs
and now I think we've found the follow-up but who can say
if it is a hit or not. Yellow River
was never written to a formula. I just sit down and write
how I feel.
"As a songwriter, my first concern is
with Christie now, but that does not preclude my doing things
for other artists. It just means my group gets first option.
I don't want the band's musical policy to be influenced
in any one direction.
"That is, I don't want us to be thought
of as a teenybopper band, nor do I want to draw us as pretentious
intellectuals. We simply hope people will enjoy our music."
Who chose the name Christie?
"I never considered it," Jeff said.
"I did not choose the name Brian did."
So good luck to Christie. It may be as well
to remember the kind of material the Beatles were doing
in the beginning Please Please
Me, I Wanna Hold Your Hand and Love
Me Do, and what the hell was wrong with that anyway?