An Interview with
Gregory who? When were you with Christie?
A: I was with the band for a few months in 1974. I replaced
Danny Krieger for the last leg of the Spanish tours and a
trip to Germany.
Q: Tell us about your musical roots.
A: My very first band was made up of school pals in 1969;
we were called Catalog .. we did covers of the Beatles, Hollies,
etc. But immediately before Christie I was in my first proper
band called Stress. Apart from our own songs we did stuff
by Wishbone Ash, Rory Gallagher, Deep Purple, etc, all the
stuff of that era.
There was me and Pete Rance on guitars,
Pete Walker on bass and Stuart Arnott on drums. Stu had hepatitis
and died of an infection in hospital aged 29; he was a good
friend and it was a great loss.
We were based in the Northwich area
which roughly forms an upside down triangle with Manchester
and Liverpool. We never got a recording contract but we did
support such notables as Vinegar Joe (Elkie Brookes and Robert
Palmer) and the Sensational Alex Harvey Band.
Q: How did you join Christie?
A: Stress eventually fizzled out in early 1974, then came
As I remember it, a guy named Bill
Hurley, who used to roadie for Stress, became an agent. He
later became manager of Smokie. I think he had something to
do with Brian Longley Associates in London, who in turn had
something to do with Christie.
One day I got a phone call from Bill
saying that Christie needed a guitarist and asked if I would
be interested in meeting with Jeff, which I did.
At the time I was living in Sale,
Cheshire, and I used to drive from there to Jeff's parents
house in Leeds where we both ran through relevant songs. We
did this on several occasions preparing for a Spanish tour.
Q: Can you remember the dates?
A: I can be fairly accurate here as I have a bullfight
ticket dated June 20, 1974, from Madrid, costing 250 pesetas.
This must have been the central week of three gigs because
for some reason, that second week of shows had been cancelled.
The band Jeff, Roger, Terry
and myself gigged the first and third week and had
the second week off in Madrid.
Q: Can you remember the set list?
A: Luckily I also have a set list written on the back
of a Spanish promoter's business card! It went like this:
» One For The Road
» I'm Alive
» Iron Horse
» One Way Ticket
» The Dealer
» Yellow River
» Tobacco Road
» Johnny B Goode
Q: That is a sensational set list!
A: I remember that Jeff and I were fans of the Beatles
and McCartney. I remember we both enthused about the Band
On The Run album that was playing in one of the clubs
we played, and we also sang some Beatles stuff together backstage.
He did the John bit and I did the Paul bit. I particularly
remember doing Baby's in Black.
Q: Do you remember any interesting
A: I do remember being approached at one open air gig
by some young gay men, one of them telling me in Spanish that
he had a "grande " (big one). Well, I was young
and pretty at the time, big flares, small hips and little
short satin jacket with an oriental design across the back
.. an easy mistake to make in my book!
Today I look more like French goalkeeper
Fabien Barthez .. bald.
I also have a mental snapshot of Roger
driving us all home from a bar along one of those roads that
was nothing more than a dirt track up through the hills.
It was pitch black and we were all a bit
worse for wear, I was drifting off to sleep as best as I could
on the bumpy road when I heard Roger's voice shouting "Here
we go!". We shot off the road to the left through the
luminous sticks that marked out the track. I was expecting
to go careering down into a ravine but luckily it was just
a bit of an incline, it made me sweat though.
Greg in the 60s
Then came the German tour, which was
just 10 days. All I remember of this was at one gig the owner
decided he didn't want to part with any of his money, and
there was a really unpleasant moment when he appeared with
some sort of a weapon in his hand. I can't recall what it
was or if we ever got paid for that one.
Q: What happened after Christie?
A: I left after the European shows, and when Terry also
left, the band dissolved for a while. The next thing for me
was a residency at a night club called Bailey's in Liverpool,
backing various acts.
In 1975, I got married and had two
Then there was an eclectic mix over
the next 18 years, taking in another residency at the ' Ritz
' in Manchester for two years, 10 weeks backing up the Grumbleweeds
(believe it or not), a duo, a trio, a pop band, three 50's
rock 'n roll bands ... but like a lot of ancient musos I returned
to my playing roots which for me lies along the bluesy side
Q: You write songs as well?
A: There was a song I sent to a fairly well known British
country band called Poacher who performed it on TV
but that was the last I heard about it.
Next there was a band called the Jags
who won a recording contract on Chitern Radio with one of
my songs .. but they then split up.
My current band is called Atlanta
Roots .. we don't strictly consciously follow a particular
type of music, but we do also play blues and some covers which
we try to make our own.