Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Yellow River is in my blood, it's the place I love (Christie)

This is the first song I really, really fell in love with. This and San Bernadino.

The video is a classic - clearly they had a sense of humour filming this on the muddy old Thames when they had 3 mins spare while on tour.And check out those mutton chops!

Yellow River's lyrics are all about the hook - which for me was this magical name/place Yellow River. Those two words in conjunction sound great. My mind was free to conjure up a town and place that this guy was trying to get back to after a war (Vietnam was topical but this harks back to an earlier conflict like the American Civil War with its allusion to 'cannon fire').

At the time (1970) I had yet to develop my cultural love affair with all things American. Maybe this, and San Bernadino, started that mythic journey into American culture for me. I developed in the seventies a fascination for what was happening in Vietnam; American films (westerns when I was growing up like Villa Rides, Eldorado and The Scalphunters); poetry (Robert Bly, Allen Ginsberg and Walt Whitman); and music (Woodstock sent me off into a delirium that still has hold of me).

I'm well and truely over the love affair with American culture now (blame Gangsta Rap, vacuous celebrities, and an endless parade of musical dross over the last two decades).

Yellow River has all the right ingrediants for me - simple story, guitars, it's short , has enough variety in it's structure, and it has a hook. Call it power pop!


I have very few OH MY GOD moments these days, but I've JUST had one!

I went to wikipedia to find out more about Christie and was blown away. For the last 43 years I've thought they were an American band - had to be - civil war, Yellow River is an American place name - gotta be!

Nope! They were from England!! Not only that - but Jeff Christie was from bloody LEEDS. A Yorkshireman! Holy heck fire!

I'm stunned. Thanks wikipedia.

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