Quantcast
Latest Stories

Tennis–and performing–that’s what keeps Cliff Richard fit at 72

By

CLIFF Richard with his two great loves—tennis and guitar

Cliff Richard is on the phone in Sydney, talking like a long-lost buddy, excitedly updating us on what’s been happening to him. He sounds articulate, self-assured, authoritative even, quick to point out misconceptions or mistakes in our assessment of his 54-year career as a pop icon.

When we ask what it felt like to have been groomed as an Elvis Presley-type rock star when he was about to break into the music scene in England in 1958, Cliff corrects us: “No, I wasn’t being groomed… I became the answer to Elvis!”

But he admits being astounded when he first heard and saw the King of Rock ’n’ Roll: “I told myself, ‘I want to do what he’s doing.’” Cliff was so successful following in Elvis’ footsteps that he not only released chart-topping hits, but acted in movies, as well.

But the arrival of The Beatles in 1964 eclipsed his popularity, even as he never stopped working and has continued recording and going out on tour all these years.

Constant flow

Performing, in fact, is what keeps him fit at age 72. “That, and playing tennis three times a week,” Cliff says.

He’s able to hit the gym, too, whenever he goes home after a tour.

Home these days is Barbados in the Caribbean, whose warm, tropical climate he favors over cold and foggy Britain.

CLIFF Richard chilling

His current tour, dubbed “Still Reelin’ and A-Rockin’,” includes shows in New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, the United Kingdom, Israel, and one night in Manila on Feb. 28 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Again, he corrects us when we comment that his career has gone through highs and lows: “Maybe in the Philippines, yes, because people tend to forget you when they don’t hear about you for about six years. But in Britain, I hardly had a miss, it’s been a constant flow, although the 1970s was my best time.”

We feel the excitement when he mentions the ’70s, because it was in 1976 that we remember him most, when the UK and US hit single “Devil Woman” gave him back the image of a rock star, after a long time singing sappy love songs in the ’60s.

In 1979 he had another hit, “We Don’t Talk Anymore,” which still sounded cool and hip, even if it was a pop tune.

But love songs, he insists, is the essence of music. “The main message of music is love,” he says, pointing out that if rock ’n’ roll changed his life, his biggest idols of that revolutionary musical style, starting with Elvis, the Everly Brothers, Ricky Nelson, including The Beatles, sang mostly about love.

PLAYING basketball

If “Teddy Bear,” a No. 1 hit for Elvis in 1957, is one of Cliff’s all-time favorite songs, “My Heart Will Go On,” the theme from the movie “Titanic,” is not far behind. “That song affirms my life,” he says.

We are almost tempted to add, “What about ‘Ocean Deep,’” a big hit in the Philippines, but whose lyrics we consider, well, so baduy: “Will I ever find a lover/ Maybe she has found another/ And as I cry myself to sleep…”

But today’s rock and pop hits are still about love, he explains: “Finding love, losing love, getting inspired by love.”

Positive force

He pauses to remember a female fan in Australia, who, he says, was practicing the occult until she heard “Devil Woman,” a song that weaves a story about being put under a spell by a psychic. Cliff’s fan heeded the warning of the song and thanked him, he adds, emphasizing the powerful, positive force that music can wield.

We ask if he finds time to listen to new music. He says that the English-Irish boy band One Direction holds a lot of promise.

“I found the boys on YouTube,” he says. “Can you imagine they all lost as contestants on ‘The X Factor’? Which goes to show that you can be a loser and still have a chance to become famous.”

In Barbados, he adds, there’s a lot of reggae music which he also enjoys listening to. That’s music one can dance to, and we wonder if Cliff can still shake his hips at his coming Big Dome concert. But since he still plays tennis, he can, as his debut single says, “Move It.”


Follow Us


Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter


Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Cliff Richard , Elvis Presley , pop icon , Sydney , Tennis , “Ocean Deep”

  • delpillar

    Cliff Richard popularized the song ” THE YOUNG ONES” in 1962.

    He was YOUNG then and he belonged to the YOUNG ONES at that time.

    Now he belongs to the opposite, the ones young, or appropriately, THE ONCE YOUNG.

    Well, that’s the cycle of life.
    Me either, I am in the 40′s now and I was young then, belonged to the young ones at that time when we idolized Elvis, The Beatles, Nazarette, etc.



Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement
  1. Are your favorite malls open this Holy Week break?
  2. ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  3. This is not just a farm
  4. Why is the lifestyle set now afraid to wear jewelry–before Kim Henares?
  5. Clams and garlic, softshell crab risotto–not your usual seafood fare for Holy Week
  6. Sarah Geronimo and Matteo Giudicelli sing ‘All of Me’–and we all swoon
  7. 12 other things you can do at Pico de Loro Cove
  8. Moist, extra-tender blueberry muffins
  9. How Vitamin B can be a remedy for ‘manhid’ and neuropathy
  10. Are your favorite malls open this Holy Week?
  1. Dominique–Gretchen and Tonyboy Cojuangco’s daughter–now an endorser
  2. Why is the lifestyle set now afraid to wear jewelry–before Kim Henares?
  3. Marcos grandson to wed beautiful Rocha scion
  4. France makes work beyond 6 p.m. illegal
  5. Sarah Geronimo and Matteo Giudicelli sing ‘All of Me’–and we all swoon
  6. South Koreans crave Asia’s smelliest fish
  7. How Vitamin B can be a remedy for ‘manhid’ and neuropathy
  8. Ever heard of HydroBob?
  9. 90 percent of Filipino households don’t practice proper toilet hygiene, sanitation
  10. Boots Anson-Roa to wed in Eddie Baddeo
  1. Mary Jean Lastimosa is new Miss Universe Philippines
  2. Did Angara ruin Pia Wurtzbach’s chances at Bb. Pilipinas?
  3. Dominique–Gretchen and Tonyboy Cojuangco’s daughter–now an endorser
  4. Manila in shock over model Helena Belmonte’s death
  5. Vinegar test helpful vs cervical cancer
  6. From Jeannie to mom of suicide victim
  7. San Vicente beaches hidden but not for long
  8. Borgy and Georgina are back; others are off–again
  9. Sen. Angara: I thought Pia Wurtzbach gave a good answer
  10. Ex-Givenchy model fights for ‘Yolanda’ survivors

News

  • DOH asks co-passengers of OFW carrier to test for MERS-CoV
  • 5.5-magnitude quake hits Sultan Kudarat
  • Passengers denied chance to escape sinking South Korea ferry
  • Firetruck rams California eatery; 15 injured
  • Heavy traffic reported on NLEx, SLEx
  • Sports

  • PH youth boxers off to stumbling start in AIBA World tilt
  • Durant has 42, Thunder beat Pistons 112-111
  • Walker leads Bobcats over Bulls in OT, 91-86
  • Man City slips further out of title contention
  • Federer would skip tennis to be with wife, newborn
  • Lifestyle

  • Pro visual artists, lensmen to judge Pagcor’s photo contest
  • ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  • This is not just a farm
  • Clams and garlic, softshell crab risotto–not your usual seafood fare for Holy Week
  • Moist, extra-tender blueberry muffins
  • Entertainment

  • Will Arnett files for divorce from Amy Poehler
  • American rapper cuts own penis, jumps off building
  • Jay Z to bring Made in America music fest to LA
  • Why Lucky has not bought an engagement ring for Angel
  • Derek more private with new girlfriend
  • Business

  • Asia stocks fail to match Wall Street gains
  • Fired Yahoo exec gets $58M for 15 months of work
  • PH presses bid to keep rice import controls
  • PSEi continues to gain
  • Number of retrenched workers rose by 42% in ’13
  • Technology

  • DOF: Tagaytay, QC best at handling funds
  • Smart phone apps and sites perfect for the Holy Week
  • Tech company: Change passwords or suffer ‘Heartbleed’
  • Filling the digital talent gap
  • SSS to shut down website for Holy Week
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 17, 2014
  • A humbler Church
  • Deepest darkness
  • ‘Agnihotra’ for Earth’s health
  • It’s the Holy Week, time to think of others
  • Global Nation

  • Syria most dangerous country for journalists, PH 3rd—watchdog
  • Japan says visa-free entry still a plan
  • First Fil-Am elected to Sierra Madre, Calif. city council
  • UC Irvine cultural night to dramatize clash of values in immigrant family
  • Filipino sweets and info served at UC Berkeley Spring Fest
    Marketplace