reflects on the African Escapade which rocked the pop world
in 1972. From the Record Mirror.
STONED IN ZAMBIA
By Val Mabbs
ITS true I have gone in a full circle,
says Lem Lubin, most recent addition to the Christie line-up.
And the full circle he is referring to is his
own progress in groups, starting out with unit 4+2, a higly
popular commercial group in the 60s, travelling via the
Mike Cotton Satisfaction to become firmly entrenched in
another pop format with Christie.
Christie have got a bad reputation in
some ways, he admitted.
Mainly because they went on the road
before they were even a working band. Its easy to
get that reputation but hard to get rid of.
But Christie arent just a band,
in fact theyre a good rocking band.
When Id joined them, they had just
gone through a we want to play what we want to play
period, which was completely wrong.
Lem had originally planned to quit playing
in groups after the break-up of Satisfaction, but a phone
call from Jeff Christie changed his mind.
Id originally said I wouldnt
want to go back into another band after Satisfaction, simply
because that was the ultimate in a friendly band,
"But when I saw Christie work, I liked
what they were doing and decided to join them.
That was last October, not long before the
group embarked on their British college tour and the fateful
trip to Zambia.
The story is a long and complicated one, but
it all began when the rain was pouring down
The African group played through it,
Lem said, but there were flashes coming off of their
We decided we couldnt possibly
play under those conditions and we told the crowd that we
would come back the next day to do a free concert for the
people who were ticket holders.
But the crowd would not accept this and when
the groups (Christie and Edison Lighthouse) tried to leave
the stadium in the coach that had been provided by the Zambian
National Tourist Company, they seemed to lose control entirely.
All the lights had fused and so we were
in total darkness except for the headlights from the coach,
Lem explained. People were charging the coach and
they had shut the gates to stop us driving out.
I bobbed up for a second and all I could
see were masses of faces, and people were throwing bricks
and bottles. I was thinking, what an incredible experience,
and I wasnt really frightened at the time. It just
didnt seem real somehow.
The object that struck the groups manager
Brian Longley, as he sat up to give instructions to drive
through the gate, was real enough though, and the next stop
for the group was the police station.
But even there the sight of Lem carrying a
badly injured person hardly stirred any action.
I had to scream at the guy to get me
a chair for Brian, Lem said.
But eventually they did reach the local hospital,
though Brians condition deteriorated drastically sometime
later and he had to be admitted to another hospital for
To recoup their losses and to make enough money to return
home the groups fled to Rhodesia, and consequently hit a
ban from the Musicians Union, which would have excluded
them from working worldwide!
But under the circumstances the ban was eventually
waived and the groups managed to make just enough money
to return to England.
The best part of their tour had been when their
manager organised three limousine cars to meet them in South
all free to them, in return for the cars wearing
a slogan stating that Christie chose the company Udrive
when they visited the country! And they were welcomed in
similar fashion by hotels and bottled drink companies.
Back in the less hectic surroundings of England,
Christie are now planning their next album, which will feature
some of Lems own songs.
As well as spending a lot of time songwriting,
Lem also has a contract with Decca records to produce six
singles a year.
Masquerading as Lemon, he in fact produced
a very commendable recording of Lady
Eleanor, which received a lot of airplay, but was
beaten to the charts by Lindisfarnes version.
Lem was also responsible for producing Satisfactions
Dont Rag the Lady, and
a chunky number, Organ Grinder,
CHRISTIE and Edison Lighthouse
are about to resume gigs in this country, having
just returned from a chaotic African tour which
turned into a financial disaster.
As previously reported, the two groups
fled from Zambia after £1500 worth of their
equipment was damaged by fans stampeding the stage
.. and subsequently a riot developed when a rainstorm
caused the abandonment of one of their concerts.
The outfits moved into Rhodesia where
they hoped to recoup their losses, only to find
that the Musicians Union refused to allow them to
play in that country.
Furthermore, their return air tickets
proved to be invalid in Rhodesia, and at that time
they had insufficient funds to purchase new tickets.
Finally, they travelled on to South
Africa, where five concerts were organized for them
These enabled them to buy 12 air tickets
back to Britain, where they arrived after a seven-week
absence and some £15,000 in the red.