South Manchester Reporter, 27. May 2004
Author: Sam Preece
A CHORLTON schoolboy is hoping for pop stardom after being talent-spotted while performing in front of the Bee Gees.
Richard Parkinson, 16, of Hartington Road, re-wrote and performed the song Words for the Bee Gees when they visited Oakwood High to open its new recording studio.
And the teenage musician made such an impression that after the song he was approached by top producer, David English, who attended the performance with his close friend Barry Gibb.
He asked the youngster for a compact disc of his music and said to get in touch.Richard said: "Mr English came up and said he was interested in me because of the way I had put the song together and because I wrote my own music. He handed me his card and told me to get in touch."
"I was hoping that the performance would make an impact but I was really pleased that he actually wanted a sample of my music."
The song Words was written for the piano but Richard changed the chords and the melody to make it suitable for the guitar.
Richard's performance was so powerful it moved Barry Gibb to tears. He said: "I think that Maurice wrote the song and everyone said it could get quite emotional."
"I'm always nervous when I perform but this time it was even worse because I was singing a song to the people who originally sang it."
"When I was playing I looked up and I could see Barry wipe a tear away from his eye. I took it as a compliment. The fact that something I had put together could incite such emotion. I was ecstatic when I finished and back stage I couldn't wipe the smile off my face."
Richard plays in a band Short Waves along with other Oakwood pupils, Matthew Saggaini and Jack Hardica, who both accompanied Richard with Words on the bass and drums.
The budding star hopes to carve out a career in the music industry.
Richard said: "Music is my passion and I have always wanted to do it."
"I wouldn't call myself a fan of the Bee Gees but I respect their musical talent."
"If I have a career half as successful as them then it would be amazing."
Richard is finishing his GCSEs and then hopes to study music technology at City College.
(also with thanks to: Bee Gees One B. Schröer & J. Janning).