The Magic Highway




"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 mother’s sister in San Francisco, and other relatives of mums in LA, Chicago, and New York and my dad’s 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 passport

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 industry’s 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 I’d still be treading the boards at this age and still getting a kick out of it.
Jeff   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 ‘70’s 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 weren’t women!
  Being searched for drugs by armed police at gunpoint in Buenos Aires after being accused of drugging the Minister of Interior’s 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 in question!
  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.



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