Taupo and the Rangitikei River
Growing up in a Royal Air force family, Chris traveled from an early age around the U.K., also residing in Iraq and New Zealand among other places.
Chris is seen here in New Zealand , with the Bradford lads preparing for a day of fishing the crystal waters of Lake Taupo.
L to R: Jeff, Mike (Dad), Billy, Chris.
(His passion for fly fishing has only grown over the years, and yielded many great friendships along with enough rainbow trout to keep a hungry warrior happy for a lifetime. See the Rock & Roll Fly Fishers for more. . . )
After returning to England, but then leaving home as a teenager he sharpened his singer songwriter chops busking around Europe...
Chris left London for Rome in 1969 with 18 quid in his pocket and a Spanish guitar. Traveling by train, he arrived in the February snow. A friend had given him the address of some girls who had a flat in Piazza Navona - three American mature students and a Liverpool hairdresser. He turned up out of the blue at midnight and they made up a bed and looked after him. All had Italian boyfriends (there were Enzos everywhere) so they introduced him to Giancarlo Cesaroni at the Folkstudio on Via Garibaldi, and subtly moved him in with another American student. Playing at the Folk Studio he earned enough to eat most days.
That year in Rome saw Chris and his friend Pete (on flute) from San Francisco dodging the Carabinieri and introducing the tourists to Donovan, The Lovin' Spoonful and Dylan. Accomodations weren't always predictable, Giancarlo provided digs some days, and the Spanish Steps and the Carabinieri did the rest of the time… when it wasn't the catacombs.
One of the reasons for heading to Rome in the first place was that he had read John Sebastian had done the folk scene there before the Spoonful ! Some other guy had also played Folk Studio around the same time: Bob Dylan…
And so the adventures began..
And it's a fair wind
Blowin' warm out of the south over my shoulder
Guess I'll set a course and go…
(Wooden Ships - Crosby, Kantner, Stills)
Chris was in Rome four or five months on his first trip before returning to England. Back in blighty he resumed full time hippy activities: living, loving, music and maids, then met another Pete who was heading for Persia in his VW Beetle. They drove through France, Chris playing for their supper on the way, and eventually hit Rome. Chris hooked up with some buddies and stayed, Pete travelled on to Persia. In Italy the adventures continued: following the shiny tram rails in Milan, high on acid all night, busking at the Doumo Cathedral, last resort digs in The Villa Borghese Catacombs, and alternative lodgings in Regina Coeli courtesy of the 'brave Carabinieri'.