Park Engineering

 John Park, 32 the Loaning, Motherwell, North Lanarkshire, Strathclyde, Scotland, U.K. ML1 3HE

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Lionel Richie was with his band The Commodores in the 1970's After two divorces, Lionel has been with Lisa Parigi for two years. Years of jumping about in platform boots crippled me with arthritis so I had to have a new hip .... I'm bionic now.

 

For nearly 50 years, Lionel Richie has been leaping around the stage. But all that energetic strutting his stuff, especially in the early years when he wore platform  boots, left him with crippling knee and hip pain.  For a time, he Couldn't do it all Night Long and dancing on the ceiling was out of the question. So, battling arthritis and unable to tour, the superstar singer had a secret hip replacement. Speaking about it for the first time, he tells me, "Since the Commodore days, we didn't wear those big boots any more because of the knees and the ankles. "I think about it it now, and think. "What was I doing?"  "Every night on stage we'd jump from one riser to the floor. Craziness. What was I thinking? "I have a little knee problem, a little hip problem, but not as bad as all that, although I did have to have a hip operation three years ago. Honestly, I hardly remember which one it is now because technology is so amazing.  "I put it off for about a year, then one day thought. "screw it", and had it done. "So everything about me now is brand new. I'm bionic... Well not really, but "the hip is better than ever and touring  has been great.   The lithe Lionel is bounding around his London hotel suite. He looks supremely fit and two decades younger than his 65 years. The reason he's still got it, he insists, is a rigid beauty regime of soap and water "and some Pilates"    The singer who has sold 110 million records, also has a beautiful Swiss - Chinese girlfriend nearly half his age and legions of female fans on both sides of the Atlantic who swoon at the mention of his name. It's mostly down to that voice -- one capable of melting even the most cynical of hearts. And tabloid hacks. Within seconds of receiving a Lionel bear hug, I am smitten. I could listen to him all day. Which is lucky, because he likes to talk. All day.   While most A - listers look like they would rather fill in tax returns and have heart surgery at the same time than talk to a journalist, he acts as if our interview is the most exciting event in his life. Lionel tells me: "I just love people." And when his PR says I have just two questions left, he interjects: "That's outta line." Anyway back to the women. "They're loud and they take over a show," the dad of three explains. "You'd think with all of my love songs, it'd be a nice, quiet evening under the stars with Lionel Richie. But no, they're out of control. "The newest fad is that ladies come to the shows with my face tattooed on their bodies, then come to the meet 'n' greets for me to sign underneath my face. They go straight to the tattoo parlour and then get that done. "One of the most flattering things is to be in the love--song business and still get this attention"    But he adds: "Any parent who feels they're really sexy, just don't hang out with your kids, though. Nicole, Miles and Sophie and the grandkids are not helping me at all with this. Every time I think I'm looking really, really together, I pass them in the hall and they go. "Dad, you're not going looking like that, are you?"  "So that's my equaliser. But then, thank God, I go out on stage and somebody screams and that makes me feel great." Do the ladies still throw their knickers at him on stage ? "Yeah, yeah! Put that in your article," he replies. "In the middle of a show recently, I'm getting hit on the face with a whole stream of knickers. I'm thinking to myself, "This is incredible, what a show." Then I peer out and see it's just one lady opening a packet of knickers, throwing one pair after another, then opening another package -- at least they were clean."  It's easy to see why Lisa Perigi, his girlfriend of two years fell for Lionel -- he's funny. He jokes "We were introduced in LA and I went over and said "Hello, is it me your looking for?"  "No, to be quite honest, I don't think even knew who I was. And that kinda got my attention." I ask Lionel if he ever wooed a lady by playing one of his own classics?. Once, Twice, Three Times a lady, perhaps? "Absolutely not." he replies. "That would be the biggest turn-off. I figure If you've got to play you're own music, then you're just a loser. I do the opposite. "Smack My B**** up?" I suggest, the prodigy's hardcore dance track is as opposite to Lionel Richie as possible. There ensues a six second silence. "Er no.£ he eventually manages, beginning to edge away from me, "just some generic background music." Moving on to slightly safer ground, we go back to Lisa. Neither of his divorces were what might call amicable. His 2004 split from second wife Diana Alexander. mother of Miles and Sophie, has cost him around 14 million. His first marriage to college sweetheart Brenda Harvey, with whom he adopted Nicole, ended in 1993, five years after she caught him having an affair with Diane. When she saw them kissing outside Diane's LA apartment, she kicked Lionel in the groin and reportedly kicked her love rival all over. When police were later called they found blood up the walls.  In the divorce Lionel was ordered to give Brenda a considerable chunk of his 140 million fortune. Perhaps that's one motivation for his current All The Hits All Night Long tour, which comes to the UK at the beginning of next year. Sipping a latte, Lionel tells me: "I'm a hopeless romantic, so I'll never say never to marriage. When you first start out in love, you fall in love --- I'm now crawling in love. I'm gradually getting myself together now but I'm a little more cautious.    When I first came to Hollywood and looked around I thought all these guys were crazy. It was easy. Get married, stay together for ever. "But actually it's hard to keep a relationship together in this business what with the touring, the studio work. We're in the seduction business ---- "Lisa is fine with what I do. She'll look at the attention I get, and go, "That's a fan." With me, If they don't scream we have a problem, it's time to get out of the business. "I used to say to all my old Lawyer and doctor friends, "If you come with lipstick on your collar, you have a of of explaining to do.  If I come home with lipstick on my collar, that was a fan who grabbed me in the corridor after the show." "It sounds good, and I've been getting away with it for years."    Lionel tours the UK in February and March 2015. Tickets go on sale September from 26th 2014.       

 

Lionel Richie I found my soul in Scotland Sunday Mail 05 10 2014

Lionel Richie has told how he learned his trade playing gigs in Glasgow. The soul superstar played regular gigs in Scotland as his band The Commodores made it big in the 70's. And Lionel said: "We trained in Glasgow"   "I have such great memories of trying to break into that market, then all of a sudden somebody said we'd sold out. "Then the next record became a hit and we sold out again. I was like, "They like us" "Glasgow was the proving ground. Every time we toured we'd learn one more thing about entertaining. We learned our craft there. You can be in a rehearsal hall forever but the only way you can rally practice your craft and learn is when you go on stage.  "And if you think you have it down for New York, try playing Glasgow. Glasgow is not New York.  We'd go from Glasgow to Paris and we would learn how to make a great show in every city with practice. We spent a lot of time getting it right playing those shows in Glasgow.  Lionel 65, went on from the Commodores to a huge solo career and has sold 110 million records in all. He's heading for the Hydro on March 6th next year as part of his

 

How Lionel Richie seduced lovers with his own song.

He is known as the Commodore of love, thanks to the seductive charms of his crooning ballads.   And it seems ladies' man Lionel Richie is not above using those charms on his own lovers. Despite initially insisting he had 'absolutely not made love to any of his own songs, the 66 year old singer has confessed that in the early days of the commodores, one song in particular would be in the background. It would be Three Times A Lady. I'm no fool, because that was our first worldwide hit. The star made the revelation on Piers Morgan's Life Stories, where he was credited with playing a 'formative part in every man's romantic history'. And Richie also revealed that men aren't afraid to show their gratitude -- saying that they often come up to him on the street and do a 'first-pump', which he believes means a 'thank you for everything'.  But when it comes to his own love life, he admitted that his age is finally taking its toll on his ability to keep up with women. He said he no longer invites admiring fans back to his place after performances - and not just because he has been dating much-younger girlfriend Lisa Parigi. He explained: 'When you are 19 the answer is "See me after the show" but then my friend, then you turn 60 and you find yourself going "How are you? Good to see you!" But the thrice married star, who has three children, added that the number of women he did spend time with after a gig in the past is something that he tries 'as much as possible to forget'. Piers Morgan's Life Stories airs on ITV o4 09 2015 at 9pm.                    

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