excerpts from an article in the Italian magazine Sorrisi
e Canzoni TV, November 1970.
A GOLDEN YELLOW RIVER
has been one of the greatest hits in Italy. Behind the song
is 24-year-old Jeff Christie, who plays bass and keyboards
for the group named after him, along with Mike Blakley on
drums and Vic Elmes on guitar. He wrote the song before
the group even existed.
I had written
this song with the Tremeloes in mind, Jeff said, and
I sent it to them. But the Tremeloes decided to release
their own song, Call Me Number One,
and Jeffs hopes of them recording his song went
But fortune shone on
Jeff in the form of a man named Brian Longley, now the manager
of the band. He believed in the potential of Yellow
River, and persuaded Jeff to form the trio with Mike
and Vic and record the song themselves. The record was a
huge success and thus was born Christie.
The group definitely
occupies a special place in the world of pop-rock music;
their songs are composed with melody at the forefront. In
this regard, they are closer to a band like the Bee Gees
than Jethro Tull. Their second single San
Bernadino, released soon, is perhaps even more catchy
than Yellow River.
was very good for us, Jeff said. We hope San
Bernadino does just as well. Sometimes the second
single can bomb and we dont want this
I would say we
are a rock and roll band, Jeff said. Too many
artists play a snobbish brand of music; we want to recall
the good music styles of a few years ago, of the great rock
era. Jeff said he had already written about 150 songs
before the band was formed.
and Vic were used to playing more boisterous and lewd songs
when they were in the band called The
Epics, gigging in Copenhagen. But now they favour the
tunes of the Beatles, Canned Heat and Creedence as they
aim to emulate the success of Yellow
The boys dont
yet own their own cars and are limited to dreaming of them
(Michael a Miura, Vic a sporty Mercedes). Vic aims to have
a success on every record he releases with the band, while
Mike said he simply wants happiness. For his part, Jeff
hopes to have enough financial security to buy his parents
a big house with a pool.
How can Leeds, a city
based on steel, be the inspiration for Yellow
River? I just got up one morning and felt I
had to write a song, Jeff said. The title of
the song was the first to come to mind, then the rest of
the lyrics and melody followed.