The Magic Highway


Part ONE


Jeff baby
Jeff boy

"I WAS born July 12, 1946, in St Martins Rd, Leeds 7.
      My older brother, Lester, always kept an eye on me and helped me stay out of trouble. I used to follow him around and used to get on his nerves a lot I’m sure. We were very different, he was always more steady and controlled and stayed out of trouble whereas I was a loose cannon ready to explode at any moment. I looked up to him although we often clashed as small kids. We would become much closer in our 20s and remain so today.
      Two other brothers, Robin and Mark, were to arrive several years later, to make us into what I hoped would soon become my own football team! It took me some time to get over the disappointment of the fact that it wasn’t going to happen!
      I was creative and rebellious with a fertile imagination, and fell under music’s magical spell at four or five years. My parents would take the two of us to Roundhay Park and my mum would tell me in later years they couldn’t drag me away from the bandstands on the Victorian Follies where there were always brass bands playing, I was mesmerized!
      My dad was an entrepreneurial spirit who set up one of the first, if not the first, greetings cards businesses after the war. He was away much and was often crossing the Pennines to Lancashire selling direct to shops. He was a man’s man with a work ethic and strong principles and a twinkle in his eye that could charm anyone at 10 paces. He was well liked and respected and considered good looking with an easy laid-back personality that belied a tough side when crossed, as I often found out in my rebellious youth!
      I was in awe of him, a little scared, but felt safe, secure, protected and loved which probably is just about as good as it gets. A good role model for any kid.
      He was a gentleman.

Jeff parents

Jeff Christie with father Michael, brother Mark and mother Tony

Jeff, Robin

Jeff and brother Robin

    My mother was a trained ballet dancer who during the war toured the country with dance troupes, often soloing, performing to audiences and servicemen on leave and who along with the other dancers often kept dancing when the bombs were falling and the Nasties were still blasting, to keep up morale. She would tell me amazing stories of her experiences and near ‘misses’ when I was old enough to understand.
      She gave up her dancing career not long after she met my dad to marry and raise a family. My mother whilst on tour was always looking for digs in Leeds, Darlington, or wherever, when she knocked on my dad’s door to ask about digs in Leeds. It was love at first knife as my dad opened the door in the middle of carving the Sunday joint and boom, out went the lights for both of ‘em!
      She was proud of my success and did some work liaising with my fans. Her favourite song was Until The Dawn.


Friends and family are important to Jeff.

      They lived ‘happily ever’ after until my dad died in 1975. My mum was heartbroken and carried on as best as possible with all her family around her to love and support her, which by now was four sons and her extended family of grandchildren until she succumbed to cancer in 1993.
      She was strong, beautiful and elegant and not frightened or intimidated by anyone. She taught us much about courage and dignity.
      She was a lady.

      I married in 1978, divorced 1983, and have no kids. I also have one uncle in Guernsey and an aunt in San Francisco. I have three nieces and a great nephew and great niece.
School was mostly fun in that I never took it seriously and it’s where I developed my survival skills in the playground and how to neutralise bullies eventually by showing no fear when standing up to and indeed challenging masters in the most robust way!
      I do remember having a childhood crush on Mrs James, one our teachers who seemed to epitomise grace and classic beauty as she led the class in her quivering soprano with heaving bosom in a rendition of ‘Blow the Wind Southerly’; many a knee quivered under the owner's desk in sympathy also! "

A newspaper article on Jeff and brother Mark. (click on it for a larger version)


By the time I was 13, I knew I wanted to somehow earn a living as a musician; it would be just the coolest thing I thought, and I was starting to get tired and bored of piano lessons when I heard Elvis Presley's Heartbreak Hotel on the radio, and the sound and the singer just sounded so exciting. Rock'n'roll had arrived and the excitement of what I felt listening to it reminded me of how I felt when I first heard flamenco, so I nagged my dad for a cheap Spanish guitar and took to it like a duck to water, improving quickly and formed a group and within a couple of years, started playing small gigs and progressing nicely until we were good enough to try to get a record contract. But we were playing other people's songs as were most bands that didn't have a contract. It was now in the mid-sixties and I remember a guy once told me "you're not going to get a record contract by playing other people's songs, you've got to write your own songs".



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