An Interview with
(Extracts from a series of chats conducted by Ray Chan)
What did you do before joining Christie?
A: I was with the instrumental group Sounds Incorporated for
the last five years of its existence. The group had a few
hits, particularly in Australia, where their song William
Tell Overture made No 1 in the charts.
We visited Australia often, and I toured
with the group in 1968 and 1969. Many of the group members
decided to stay on in Australia, including Trevor White, who
was to achieve fame in Australia by playing Jesus Christ Superstar.
After Sounds Inc, I joined a group called
Taggett, which included a member of the Rubettes! We made
a nice album.
How did you join Christie?
A: In 1972/73, I answered an ad in the musical
press put in by Jeff Christie, who was looking for a drummer.
I went along to Jeff's house, played some songs with Jeff,
Roger Flavell and Danny Kreiger, and I was accepted.
I was also visiting Australia frequently
at the time, which was made easier because I was married to
a Pan Am air stewardess. I did some session drumming in Australia,
so I was playing for several different groups in one year
(Christie, Taggett, and Australian bands).
What are some of your memories of the days with Christie?
A. With Christie, we toured Spain and South America. We
played the big Christie hits as well as songs like Alabama
and The Dealer, and the standard
rockers like Chuck Berry songs. Christie used to play
Tobacco Road on stage which featured a drum solo (by
Paul Fenton), and we continued that arrangement on stage with
me doing the solo.
I have fond memories of the tours. Danny
was a wild boy and very naughty! I think he's lucky to be
still alive! <laughs>
We didn't make much money
from Spain, but we had a lot of fun. I remember one instance
when we were driving back from a gig on a winding Spanish
road, we were enjoying ourselves so much we almost ran off
a cliff. In South America, it was an experience to remember,
we were treated like royalty. Fans were so crazy for us they
would try and touch us and grab us by the hair.
I also played on four
demos that Jeff wrote, possibly for future Christie releases.
They were very good, and Jeff should have released them. I
can't remember all their titles, but I can remember some of
the verses. One was a song called Long
How did you leave Christie?
A: After the tours, the work stopped for a while and the
band sort of disintegrated. Danny went back to the US, and
I went to tech school to finish a degree in electronic engineering.
I decided to move to Australia as I knew many people here,
and had been visiting regularly anyway. With my degree, I
was able to qualify for Australian residency.
I worked as an electronic technician as
well as session drummer. For a while, I was in constant demand,
until a recession in the 80s which forced many musos to seek
other forms of employment. I concentrated on my electronic
work, fitting electronics for recording studios, but also
because I knew many people in the industry, I was able to
make some breakthroughs in writing jingles and commercials.
What do you do today?
A: Today I still am busy working as an electronic technician,
and at the moment am involved in wiring four big studios for
an advertising agency. I have done contract work for the Commonwealth
Games in Australia. I still get together with many of the
previous members of Sounds Inc who have settled in Australia.
I haven't spoken to either Roger, Danny or Jeff for many years,
but I hope to catch up with Jeff soon!