Couple set to reunite with Cliff
Next Tuesday Alan and Fiona Park, of Byron Bay, will be in the audience watching Cliff Richard and The Shadows perform on the Gold Coast.
More accustomed to sharing the stage with Sir Cliff, it will be an unusual but exciting experience for Alan.
For 23 years Alan played the keyboards in the Cliff Richard Band, while wife Fiona was the band’s wardrobe mistress.
“We are really excited to see Cliff and the other members of the band again,” Alan said.
“We haven’t seen them since 2004 when I retired.”
Alan, who was born in Scotland, joined the Cliff Richard Band in 1981.
As a child he studied classical piano and when he was 15 he started performing in bands.
He turned professional in 1969 with a band called Beggars Opera.
It was not until Alan was 30 that he joined Cliff’s band after Cliff heard him playing the keyboards during a studio recording session.
Fiona and Alan met in London in 1996 when Fiona was touring with singer Judith Durham from The Seekers as her wardrobe/personal assistant.
She then joined Cliff’s band as wardrobe mistress and spent 10 years touring with them.
When Cliff celebrated his 60th birthday in 2000 on a yacht in the Mediterranean, Fiona and Alan were married on board.
Cliff gave Fiona away and also serenaded the newlyweds.
“The wedding was incredible, very special,” Fiona said.
“Olivia Newton-John was also there.”
During his time with the band, Alan travelled the world, performing in dozens of countries, doing Royal Command performances, playing at the famous Wembley Stadium in London and the Royal Albert Hall.
“The time I spent with the band was fabulous. It was hard work and there was lots of travelling and lots of airports, but I got to see the world and got paid for it,” Alan said.
“Cliff is an amazing person with an amazing talent and he is so professional.
“He will be 70 this year and he is still so fit and healthy.”
Alan said his one of his most memorable concerts was when the band performed at New Plymouth in New Zealand in 1998.
“We were in an outdoor amphitheatre and there was a lake in front of the stage, and a massive crowd. It was pretty spectacular,” he said.
“The royal performance in front of the Queen Mother at the Palladium in London in 1988 was also pretty memorable, as was our performance for the Duke of Edinburgh.”
Fiona also has many memories and memorabilia of her time with the band.
“It was a wonderful experience, hard work and for one performance I was in charge of 20 costumes,” she said.
Fiona and Alan have lived in Byron Bay for seven years.
Alan now performs with popular local band The Feramones.