I'm not at all sure this qualifies as a CineSecret but often people who talk to me like to catch an insight into the personality of their favorite stars so I decided to include it......... Nick

A chance meeting with Lionel Richie.


While I was in L.A. making BEST OF BOTH WORLDS I worked closely with the record's producer and co-writer, John Barnes. John is a really interesting guy. He started off in the days of Motown and worked with a lot of music greats. While we were working in the studio a number of renowned recording artists were coming and going. John had associations with Anita Baker & Whitney Houston and had been Michael Jackson's music director for four years. In between discussions concerning our project he shared many experiences with me. I knew that John was in the process of producing a track with Lionel Ritchie and one night Toma and I bumped into Lionel in the studio.

I'd seen a lot of Lionel's videos and to be honest I'd always thought that maybe he might be a little precocious. Well....I'm pleased to report that I was very wrong. We sat and chatted for a couple of hours. I told him about my experiences making movies, he and John told me about their experiences making records and we realized that although the processes are quite different the personalities and problems were actually universal. Lionel freely shared his experience with Toma and candidly advised him about the pitfalls of starting out in the record business while John kept suggesting that I should direct a video for Lionel. We discussed a lot of things that night and a lot of people too, Diana Ross, Tina Turner, (the artist formally know as) Prince, Seal and Woopie Goldberg to name a few. I won't repeat details of what was said..... the conversation was fundamentally confidential, but in the final analysis the discussion came down to this.... The music business, like the movie business, is a tough place to achieve lasting success. Both businesses are full of people just waiting for you to fall on your face and no matter how well known you are, nobody respects a jerk. It's generally accepted that anyone can luck out with one hit CD but it takes three before a new artist is taken seriously.

I have to say that Lionel Richie turned out to be one of the nicest superstars that I had ever met. As for John's suggestion that I should direct Lionel's next video..... thanks for the plug John....I'm still waiting for the call. ..


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