Park Engineering

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

       mobile 0781 8618547

 "e" mail jpark8@btinternet.com (click on this to send me an "e" mail)
 
 this web site   www.3d-cad-steelwork.com

 

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                                    Neil Sedaka is thrilled to still be in the music business after all this time.

You'll never be as good as the Beatles, grandad!.

When it comes to being able to name drop some of the biggest stars in the history of showbiz, few can top Neil Sedaka.  Barbra Streisland, Liza Minnelli and Ol' Blue Eyes Frankie boy are a few of the friends he's made along the way.  What about Elvis? "He said he'd always always admired my voice as I was a tenor and he was a baratone," Neil told the Weekly News.   "He recorded Solitaire and he told me when he was in the army in Germany, he used to play my records on the jukebox." The king was far from alone in being a Sedaka fan.  In fact Neil's even had the seal of approval from our king-to-be. Neil was invited by Prince Charles to sing at a Princes Trust event at Buckingham Palace. "I used to stand outside and look at it but this time I was driven through the gates in a limo" he recalls, still obviously marveling at the memory. Camilla said she always danced to my records as a youngster and Charles told me privately that was true. "He sent me a beautiful letter later. It was quite a thrill." He might have met, worked along side and hung out with some of the biggest stars on the planet, but it's crystal clear what's most important to the down-to-earth legend. That's family. And he's so proud and happy about the place they have in his life, he's dug into his personal photograph album for us He's shared revealing pictures from the past half-century, right up to the most recent shots that'll strike a chord with any similarly proud grandparent.  "My grandkids bring me such joy" beams Neil. "My son Marc has twin girls, Amanda and Charlotte, as well as their son Michael. We see them loads and they keep you young"  The "we" is wife Liba, to whom he's been married 50 years. "No, it's 51" he corrects quickly, before offering his thoughts on what keeps them together. "Compromise is key, and being friends. We met at a young age and I know I could be difficult, so I'm very lucky she's put up with me.  "I'm generally good natured but when you're creative, you can be up and down, very sensitive, very demanding. "When I'm on the road or creating new songs, I must have time to myself. She's done a wonderful job as my manager for many years. No marriage is perfect, but we love each other." Neil laughingly recalls how grandson Michael told him he'd never be as good as the Beatles. And despite his collaborations with lyricist Howie Greenfield including Oh Carol, breaking up is hard to do, and Is This The Way To Amarillo, he was only to happy to agree. "Michael is a huge Beatles fan, he has all their records and their pictures on his wall" reveals Neil.     "Paul McCartney graciously invited us to his concert in Las Vegas a couple of years back and signed all Michaels stuff backstage." Michael whispered that he liked my songs, but he liked the Beatles better. "I couldn't complain. I adore them. "Greenfield and Sedaka were pretty good but Lennon and McCartney are in a class by themselves. Besides which, I'm not worth a million dollars!"     Neil might be right in not having quite the same level Macca-like hundreds of millions, but the affable super star isn't doing to badly. He has lavish homes in LA and New York, the latter an apartment in upmarket Park Avenue, with Sex and the City's Kim Cattrall as his neighbour.   Things are certainly more than comfortable now but Neil knows how it is to have to worry about how he was going to keep up the lifestyle he'd become used to.    His career to took such a slump in the 1960's -- after selling 25 million records by the age of 23 -- that he found himself playing working men's clubs in the north of England.  "Britain was always faithful.  In America, if you're a star for a while, they seem to chip away at you" he sighs.  "I played loads of clubs. I came with a drummer and we picked up bands locally.  "Then the audience came along, had their pints and fish and chips and frankly didn't listen. They wanted the hits like Calendar Girl and went to the bathroom when I did new songs. I never despaired, though. Somebody else might have quite. But I had great drive and thank goodness Elton John was a big fan. He signed me to his second label. Thanks to him and the UK, I had a remarkable come back after 13 years off the charts." Neil can be sure fans are more attentive on his tour this year, with many of his classics featuring. But what's Neil's personal favourite ? "You know with over 700 songs, it's hard" adds Neil, who'll have a new collection of tunes out for the 2014 UK tour. "But if you pushed me, I'd pick Laughter in The rain"