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EXCERPTS from the Christie fan club newsletter
 

The first Christie fan club newsletters were written and distributed by president Roz Fleetwood, followed by Joyce Davies, who was then replaced by Leonie Walsh.

starlite

JULY 1970:

NL1On behalf of Jeff, Vic and Mike, I would like to say a very big welcome, and hope that you will enjoy your year's membership.
   A word of welcome also to Mrs Christie, Mrs Elmes and Mrs Blakley, who we have made honorary members of the fan club.
    Stars who have joined include Stuart Henry, The Tremeloes, Judas Jump and Edison Lighthouse.

Information
   A lot of you have been writing in asking how Christie were formed. Four months ago Vic and Mike were in a group called Acid Gallery and as they were getting nowhere, decided to pack it in.
   Meanwhile, Jeff was living in Leeds, and after writing Yellow River, sent it down to the Starlite offices and asked the Trems if they would record it.
    The Trems liked it but at the last minute rejected it because they wanted to record one of their own songs.
   Brian Longley, the boys' dishy manager, was so sure Yellow River would be a hit, that he phoned up Jeff in Leeds and persuaded him to come down to Leeds to see him.
    After an all-night discussion with Brian, they got hold of Vic and Mike to form a group and record the song. The rest you know.

Gigs
   Nearly died when I read this in the Evening Gazette from Middlesbrough: "A singer who hit the number one spot in the hit parade this weekend will be making HIS first cabaret appearance in a fortnight at Middlesbrough nightclub. HE is Christie." Oh well ..

Telegrams
telegram   The Moody Blues sent a telegram to the boys after Yellow River pipped their song Question to No 1 in the charts.
   And when the boys heard they were No 1, they sent this telegram to manager Brian Longley:
   "It takes a lot in the land of pop before you really happen, so it's right to write and share our joy with those who really matter."


AUGUST 1970:

NL2News
   Christie have finished recording their LP. Vic wrote one song and Jeff did all the rest. I'll let you know as soon as it is released.
   Road manager Jeff Knott is leaving for various reasons and his place will be filled by Mike Stuart, a 21yo guy from Yorkshire. Jeff's brother Pete will still be helping out from time to time.
   Mike's nickname should be doormouse, according to Jeff, as he sleeps all the time in the van, whether he's tired or not.

Briefs
   Jeff wants a lighter guitar .. Vic has had to cancel his driving test due to pressure of work .. at a gig in Derby, an old guy pulled the plugs out of the equipment twice .. at Great Yarmouth, the boys were surrounded by fans at the stage door .. Jeff's got a habit of biting his bottom lip, watch out for it .. Vic has a habit of twisting everything you say .. Mike has a habit of never smiling on stage ..

Best man
   When Jeff's older brother Lester married June Gilbert last month, Jeff was best man. He hired a top hat and dinner suit, and spent the whole reception signing autographs!
   He didn't even have time for one dance. Even the band played Yellow River as a gesture.
   Just before 12 o'clock, there was a request on the radio for Lester and June, and the record was .. Yellow River.

Newcastle-mania
   At Newcastle, the boys were mobbed by hysteric fans as they came off stage. They had to pass through the audience to get to the exit, and the first time they tried to get through the crowds, they were practically pulled apart, so they all ran back to the stage again.
   A dozen bouncers formed a circle round the boys, and they attempted to get off the stage again. Mike and Vic got out of the theatre first, followed by jeff minus one shoe and torn shirt.
Even Jeff Knott got pulled off stage and mobbed while handing out photos.


HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO JEFF

Jeff's 24th birthday in 1970

THANKS to everyone who sent in presents and cards for Jeff's birthday. Originally, my friend Sally and I intended to catch a train to Bridlington, where Christie were appearing on the Saturday, and decorate the dressing room with all the gifts and cards before Jeff arrived, and then disappear. The manager of the theatre said he would let us in at 3 o'clock, and we would have three hours to get it ready.
cake   Anyway, everything went wrong! Saturday morning, at 1am, we couldn't sleep, so Sal and I got up and counted our money, only to find we'd overspent and hadn't even got the train fare to Bridlington. So, hitch-hiking was the only solution. We got Jeff's presents and cards together, and set off at 2am. First, it poured with rain, and one of the carrier bags we were holding some of Jeff's presents in decided to collapse. Luckily, we got a lift at about the same time, so we were able to get it together again.
   The second lift we got was from a speed maniac, so the inevitable happened: we skidded trying to overtake, spun round six times, and crashed into a ditch. Needless to say, we got out of the car faster than we'd got in.
The next lift we got was going nearly to Leeds, so we thought we would go onto Leeds. and drop in on Jeff's mum. The final lift we got into Leeds was from one of the guys who helped with the filming of the documentary Death of a Pop Group, the film that Jeff appeared in when he was in The Outer Limits.
   At 10.30am, we arrived at Mrs Christie's, and she gave us a fantastic breakfast and cups and cups of tea. Had to laugh when she accidentally called Jeff's brother Mack "Jeff", so he burst into a chorus of Yellow River! After being supplied with fruit for the rest of the journey, we said our goodbyes and set off for Bridlington.
   At 3 o'clock we arrived at the theatre, only to find the theatre manager wouldn't be there until 6.30! And there was no-one else in the building with the key for the dressing room. By 6.45, the manager still hadn't arrived, and the boys' van drew up. Our first thought on seeing it: "Great, the roadies could let us in before the boys arrived." Then, horrors, out of the back of the van jumped Jeff, Vic and Mike.
   Seconds later, the theatre manager arrived. So, after giving Jeff orders to stay outside for 10 minutes, the rest of us dashed into the dressing room, laid out all the presents and cards on the table, put Happy Birthday posters and balloons all over the walls, put a massive candle in the cake, lit it, put the lights out and called Jeff in. The minute he walked in, Mike, Vic and the roadies went into their version of "Happy Birthday".
   It took until nearly the end of the evening before all the presents were opened, as everyone was mucking about so much. Mike and Vic were in real loonmoods, and had everyone in stitches. Jeff picked up the first present to open, and it was a booby one .. two cigarettes wrapped in about 20 newspapers. Still, after about a quarter of a century to open it up, he had to laugh.
   At 9, everyone was hungry, so we went for a meal. Mike and Vic kept hinting that since it was Jeff's birthday, that he should buy us all champagne, but guess he didn't hear them!
   By the time we returned to the theatre, the boys were due on stage. As usual, they were great, and everyone went mad. Halfway through their act, the PA system short-circuited and caught fire, so the right hand side of the stage was filled with smoke. But the boys just carried on playing as if nothing had happened.
   They ended up with Yellow River, and had to make a hasty retreat from over-enthusiastic fans. They had to wait for another hour before they could leave the theatre, so someone came up with the idea of throwing the cake into Jeff's face. Mike stood behind the door and waited for Jeff to walk in, but Jeff sussed it out and got in cake-free. Somehow, in the end, Mike ended up with it in his hair.


SEPTEMBER 1970:

awardTHE boys went down a bomb at Batley Variety Club. On the Friday of the evening, the compere of the show presented them with their silver disc for sales of Yellow River and the boys were really and truly knocked out, as they weren't expecting it.
   Mike and Vic were suffering from the flu, and bad attacks too, but they managed to play as well as ever, and the whole audience were captivated by them.
   They have now included the Righteous Brothers' You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling in their act, and they do it to perfection.

LOTS of you have been asking what the boys were like when they were young, so … here goes …

JEFF: When he was little he was full of mischief, and got into everything, but was full of personality and charm. From the age of two he loved listening to bands that played in the park, and whenever he was missing, he was always found at the bandstand. When he was eight, he conducted an orchestra at Blackpool Pier. When he was seven, he took up playing classical piano, and kept this up for five or six years. Then he joined the Tremmers, who later changed their named to the Outer Limits. Then came Christie.

VIC: From the age of four, he was always singing, and his specialty was Goodnight Irene. He was always very musical, and at the age of 14, made his first public appearance at the Merry Fiddlers in Dagenham, with a group called Sonny Peters and the Young Ones. He then joined the Zodiacs, then had a six-week spell with Joe and the Teens, then back to the Zodiacs, and then the Epics, Acid Gallery and now Christie.

NL2
NL2

Bits'n'bobs: Boys recently appeared on the Mama Cass show in the states, and Jeff's grandmother (in the US) cabled Mrs Christie immediately to say they were great. Her phone was red hot after, as all her friends and relations phoned her to compliment her on the boys.


OCTOBER 1970:

NL3WELL, guess you all know that Mike has left Christie. He has left to join the Tremeloes' music company, planning a non-playing career in the jusic business.
   So, good luck Mike, and hope that all goes well for you. His place has been filled by Paul Fenton, whose lifelines are included below.
   Lots of you wrote in and asked why the single San Bernadino was delayed in being released.    Well, the boys decided that the sound was not quite right, so Jeff himself went into the studios and put the drums on.
    Not on himself, on the record, if you know what I mean.
   Glad to say that Jeff is now recovering from collapsing the other day.
    And Paul's hands are better now, as they were covered with blisters.
   At the moment, they are in Exeter rehearsing.
   Member Joyce Davies from Middlesbrough wrote about 200,000 pleases and presented them to Excel Nightclub's manager Laurie Pigg, asking him to rebook the boys.
    He stated: "We get hundreds of letters asking us to bring back singers or groups, but we've never had anything like this before."
   Jeff writes his songs at the front room piano with the tape recorder running. If he does not like a song, then he scraps it, takes it off the tape and forgets about it.
    "I will not finish a song unless it's a good one," he said.

PaulIntroducing PAUL FENTON

Date of birth: 4/7/46
Weight: 11 stone
Height: 5' 10"
Colour of yes: Blue
Colour of hair: Brown
Parents' names: Bernard and Doreen
Brothers: Christopher Glyn, aged 23, Jeremy Russle, aged 14
Instruments played: Drums
School attended: Batley Art School
First public appearance: Dewsbury Town Hall at age 16
TV debut: 5 o'clock Club, in 1966
Hobbies: Making refectory tables
Likes: Jazz records
Favourite food: Pizza
Favourite drink: Coke
Favourite colour: Brown
Previous groups: Contrasts, Nation, Witch Doctors
Favourite singer: Jack Bruce
Favourite group: Cream, Deep Purple
Favourite clothes: Suede


ROZ
ROZ

DECEMBER 1970:

NL4Joyce Davies takes over as secretary.

THE boys thank you for all your good wishes for San Bernadino, which reached No 7 in the charts; bad luck as most of you thought it better than Yellow River and we will hope that the next is another No 1.
   The Christie tour of Ireland was a terrific success, and the boys said how much they enjoy playing there.    To clarify the situation regarding Paul's accident, what really happened is as follows:
   While at Belfast University, Paul put so much effort into his playing that one of his cymbals fell onto his arm, causing a nasty cut which he had to have several stitches in. However, despite this and the discomfort it caused, he played on and finished the performance.
   Well done, Paul. I am happy to report that all is now well and he was almost fully recovered when they departed for Italy on Friday, November 27.
   At the time of writing, they are still in Italy and do not come home till December 13. The tour is going extremely well and perhaps we can look forward to welcoming some Italian fans to our numbers.
   From the 15th to 17th of December Christie will be recording for a special Christmas Top of the Pops - so watch out for them in colour on Christmas Day.
   Jeff returns to his old school, Leeds Grammar, on the 18th to give a special charity performance just to show that he still thinks of home and his days at school even though he is now world-famous.
   Christie will have a 10-day holiday at home for Christmas. A well-earned rest and a chance for them to prepare for their Stockholm concert on the 31st. Then back to London just before they go on to Germany for a short tour from January 8th to 11th, 1971.
   Negotiations are in progress for a far east tour taking in Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Malaysia and Singapore. There will be a six-week tour of United States colleges in March/April and two weeks in Sweden in June.
   Good news for British fans. Because they have been out of the country so much in the latter half of 1970, a special spring concert is being planned to make up for this. The venue is undecided but will be somewhere pretty big and will be worth waiting for.
   Have a great Christmas and the happiest New Year ever and we'll see you again next year.

NL4 xmas


JUNE 1972:

Leonie letter

lEMIntroducing LEM LUBIN

Real name: Howard Lubin
Date of birth: 20/1/44
Weight: 10 stone
Height: 5' 10"
Colour of eyes: Brown
Colour of hair: Dark brown
Parent's names: Paul and Jenny
Brothers: Alan
Wife: Wendy
Present home: Hoddendon
Former occupation: Chemist
Educated: SW Esex College
Instrument: Bass guitar
Favourite bands: Beatles, Argent
Hobbies: Reading Tolkien
Likes: Big dogs, the sun
Dislikes: Vagueness
Ambition: To make others happy
Wife: Wendy



OCTOBER 1972:

NL5
NL5

Interestingly, an item reproduced in the newsletter (see below ) confirms some of the tracks that had been slated for Christie's third album.

Newsletter 1
Newsletter 2
Newsletter 3
Newsletter 4
Newsletter 5

 

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