An Interview with
(Extracts from a series of chats conducted by Ray Chan)
First of all .. how do you pronounce your surname?
A) Fla-vell, emphasis on the vell,
rhymes with "well". Danny used to call me Razor
Q) What are you doing
A) I am still a professional musician, playing and writing
Christian music as well as playing in a secular band.
I am currently part of a
soul music group called Soul Reddy, and play in a tribute
show to Otis Reddy.
Q) When did you join Christie?
A) Around 1972, when Lem Lubin left. I knew some people
from Edison Lighthouse who had toured with Christie, and they
told me of the vacancy for a bass player.
I teamed up with Jeff, Vic
and Paul, and we did a tour of South America, visiting Argentina
When we returned, things
fell apart and Paul and Vic left. Jeff and I then auditioned
for new members, and we recruited Danny Kreiger and Terry
Fogg, in spring of 1973 probably.
Q) That line-up changed as well.
A) Danny and Terry hung around for a while. But they did
leave eventually and we replaced them with Tony
Ferguson, Roger Willis, and Graham Whyte. Graham did a
disappearing act on us, not turning up on the day we left
for a South American tour!
Q) Did you play on any singles?
A) I played on The Dealer, I'm Alive,
Navajo, Guantanamera, on which I sang
lead ... We played those songs on stage, as
well as the three big hits and Jo Jo's
Band. I remember we did covers of Positively
4th Street, Johnny B Goode, standards like those.
Q) You went to South America a lot.
A) We had thousands of fans there. Our finest hour was
probably at Bogota, when we played to more than 24,000 people.
I remember an embarrassing
incident on one of the trips when we arrived at the Colombian
airport from Buenos Aires at 3am, tired, and had to face the
press. We were bleary-eyed and so fed up with the usual questions
that when someone asked if we took drugs, we said something
like, 'Yes, aspirin'. Only it didn't come out like that ..
the headline in the paper said "we
don't talk about drugs, we take them!".
Q) What happened after you left
A) After our very last tour, Mexico
in 1974, we called it a day. I became a session musician and
played with several artists, and participated in Johnny Wakelin's
hit In Zaire.
I played in a cabaret band
as well, and in 1982 joined the Byron Band, an Uriah Heep
offshoot. It was a fine group, and the sound was certainly
heavier than Christie's!
I also wrote songs, including
working with Vic Elmes on TV scores, such as music for the
Gerry Anderson program The
In 1996, I toured with Lonnie
I keep in contact with Jeff irregularly, and hope to catch
up with Vic soon. In fact, I'd love to catch up with everyone
else like Paul, Danny and Terry.
In the late 60s, Roger was a member
of the band Magic Roundabout, pictured on left at the top
and right at the bottom.