Moon, who died in 1978 after overdosing on pills prescribed for his alcoholism, was a regular visitor to Bournemouth in the mid-1960s while he was courting Kim Kerrigan, the local girl he later married. Chris was playing drums in a band, The Nite People, and met Moon at a friend, Nigel Leonard’s 21st birthday party.
“We were playing and he sat in for a couple of numbers and broke three of my drum skins. I had to turn the drums upside down and finish the set with only one skin on them.
The Nite People were no ordinary local band though. As well as releasing a string of singles and an album, PM, that Chris thought was awful (“It’s worth 480 quid according to Record Collector, but I hated it so I never bought one!”), they were signed by Fontana and then Larry Page to his Page One Records and toured with the likes of Martha and the Vandellas, Stevie Wonder, Otis Redding, Small Faces and The Beach Boys.
“The first night we played with Martha Reeves we did a rehearsal at the Scotch of St James club, then played the 100 Club on Oxford Street, then a gig in Leicester and finally an all-nighter in Leeds. We had an old Bedford van and Martha was driven in a car by the American football player Jim Brown who just came over for something to do.”
Chris has a wealth of road stories. Otis Redding complimented The Nite People, but when the soul man’s drummer Al Jackson, of Booker T & the MGs and probably the epitome of the drummer’s drummer, told Chris he liked what he played, it just about made his life.
“Oh, that was the moment of them all – God spoke to me,” smiles Chris recalling the incident more than 40 years later. “No-one ever had timing like Al Jackson and for him to praise me…”
Although Chris had served his musical apprenticeship in Bournemouth alongside the likes of Robert Fripp, Gordon Haskell, Zoot Money and Andy Summers in various local beat groups, pop stardom never came knocking for The Nite People.
“I think I came out of our last tour of Germany with 15 quid in my pocket and that was it. We did it for the love, but boy did we work?
After working on cruise ships for a few years, Chris went into the agency business in 1978 and has been working ever since, mainly in South Africa and the UK. He’s booked major tours including big names like Shirley Bassey and helped bring the UK’s first karaoke to Bournemouth during his time at The Academy in Boscombe.