in conversation with jeff christie
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A UK TV series featuring John Laing (JL) interviewing noted celebrities, including Jeff Christie (JC). Featured below are excerpts from the program, televised in the mid-90s.



John Laing

JL) You got your first record deal when you were 21, and the Outer Limits toured with Jimi Hendrix. It must have been quite a time.

JC) Touring with Hendrix was quite an experience. I was a young lad working my way up and it was a real insight for me.

JL) Did you get close to Hendrix?

JC) Not in terms of being big buddy-buddies, but I got to watch Hendrix go in and come out of the dressing room, and backstage in the wings. You learn things from every experience, and I picked up the stagecraft, how to work an audience, the finishing skills. We were bottom of the bill, but being alongside the likes of Hendrix and Pink Floyd was kind of exciting.

Jeff and Jimi

JL) Would you change anything? Do you have any regrets?

JC) Not really. You always have regrets, but if I could, I'd do it all again. I feel fortunate because other people as talented as me, or more, didn't get the breaks.

JL) You almost dressed up as Batman ..

JC) They wanted a band to dress up in Batman outfits. We had won an audition to promote the Batman TV series of the time, and I had my misgivings, even though it would have meant regular appearances on TV. We had even been measured up for the costumes, but it all fell through because of merchandising problems. I was relieved.

JL) Tell me about the break-up of the group.

JC) With the Outer Limits, it was a case of me having tunnel vision. It was a case of when, not if, we would achieve success. The other guys did not have the same faith.

JL) What about Yellow River? You took it round to other people ..

JC) At the time I didn't have a band, and I was writing a lot. I knew a lot of people in the industry and could see them easily, like Alan Price, Marmalade, the New Seekers. I knew the Tremeloes and went to see them. The song I wrote with them in mind, they didn't want, and they picked up Yellow River. I could see they were getting excited with the song, recording it a few different ways, and there was feedback coming back about the song and a buzz about it from the industry. I would never say a song was bound to be a hit, but you always hope.

Yellow PagesJL) The song was used for a telephone book advertisement. Yellow River became Yellow Pages. Were you happy with that?

JC) I was NOT. It was news to me. I was just asked to put the TV on one day when the ad was playing, and I was outraged. They didn't need the writer's permission for this, they just did a deal with the publishers. I was the last to know. Lots of things like that went on.

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