THE STORY OF JEFF
CHRISTIE in his own words
BOTH ENDS OF THE RAINBOW
"THERE have been many memorable moments in my life.
One of the most cherished was going to America when
I was 16 to meet my mothers sister in San Francisco,
and other relatives of mums in LA, Chicago, and New York and
my dads brother
in Canada. These were amazing people who would help shape
and influence my life and who I learnt so much about life
from. The whole experience totally blew my mind, and already
obsessed with Americana in my teens, it only increased my
love affair with the continent, its history and cemented my
affinity with the Native American tribes and the legendary
movers and shakers of those times like William H. Bonney Wild
Bill Hickock, Crazy Horse, Cochise, and Geronimo.
Jeff's first passport,
for his trip to the US.
On the plane to
Vegas in 1976.
It was the time of the Kennedy dynasty and the
dynamism and can do attitude coupled with the
coolness it all impressed the hell out of me. I became a lover
of baseball and American culture and music, not really being
aware of the other side of the coin, which encompassed the
mistreatment of many of my heroes because of their skin colour
or ethnicity. When with the ensuing civil rights movement
started to gain momentum, it was thrilling to watch history
being made albeit from a safe distance.
Another big moment was obviously getting
to number 1 in the UK and 26 other countries, several
gold discs and countless awards including the Ivor Novello
Award, which is the music industrys equivalent to the
Oscars, and being able to help my parents financially after
I became successful as they had invested so much love, faith
and support in me when I was younger.
So many fantastic adventures and experiences, traveling
the world and still being asked to perform the world over,
having world-class artists cover my songs and having written
and recorded four hit records in my career and still hoping
to write the perfect song.
Touring with Hendrix in
1967 was unforgettable.
I turned professional more than four decades ago, never
thinking for one minute Id still be treading the boards
at this age and still getting a kick out of it.
Also, performing in Moscow
at the Olympic Stadium in 2001 and meeting fans who very
emotionally told me they had waited 40 years to see Christie,
after seeing a live broadcast I did at the Sopot
song Festival in Poland in 1971 that was beamed via satellite
behind the Iron Curtain to more than 200 million people.
On the less glamorous side, there was
getting caught up in riots and receiving death threats
in Lusaka, Zambia, due to having to cancel an outdoor stadium
show in a tropical rainstorm in the 70s and the
subsequent adventures and nightmares trying to make our way
back to England and somehow surviving Zambian terrorists crossing
the Zambezi at Victoria Falls in Rhodesia (Zimbabwe), where
we were holed up and then getting beaten up by South African
Police from the checkpoints overlooking the Falls for having
long hair and proving we werent women!
Being searched for drugs by armed police at gunpoint
in Buenos Aires after being accused of drugging the Minister
of Interiors daughter at a nightclub where we were playing
in Buenos Aires. A fabrication and payback for declining
a personal invitation to get better acquainted with the lady
Being invited to the Presidential Palace in Guatemala,
also in the 70s, to have tea with the President's daughter.
We were picked up in a Presidential limo and driven to the
Palace only to be kept waiting for more than two hours; finally
a non-presidential car took us back to our hotel where we
learned that there had been a coup and Prez and family had
legged it into exile in Panama or some such place."
I had a good five years working
with Christie in the 70s, and once the band finished
in 1975, I stopped playing for about 14 or 15 years;
and then I started playing again in the 90s as there
were a lot of people telling me there was a nostalgia
circuit interested in hearing my songs again. I resisted
it at first, but then I kind of fell in with the idea.