An open letter from Paul McCartney in the Liverpool Echo about his old school

Friday, February 24, 1989

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From Club Sandwich N°52:

Fame – I wanna live forever!” Well, Paul can’t arrange that, but he can certainly do his best to ensure that Liverpool has its own School for the Performing Arts. Depressed on visiting his old school, the now defunct Liverpool Institute, last year, he remembered a friend saying after the Toxteth riots that the city needed a Fame type school with moderate fees. Paul mentioned the idea to George Martin and made some enquiries, culminating in a McCartney open letter in the Liverpool Echo of 24th February. Via the Echo, Paul asked the people of Liverpool to say ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ to the idea: the response was overwhelmingly in favour. “I am sure,” Paul had said, “that if the answer is a positive one we will be able to attract interest from many other sources.” George’s experience suggests Paul is right: the London School for Performing Arts and Technology should open late next year in Croydon. The money is coming from the government (under its City Technology Colleges programme) and the music industry, with the site being donated free by the local council.

The Institute encouraged us all to be individuals,” said its last headmaster, Jack Sweeney. “It gave us an atmosphere in which we could all develop.” Paul confirmed that he “got a great start in life there” and “would love to see other local people being given the same chance.” It looks as if his wish may come true… Another Institute product millionaire Steve Norris, became MP for Epping Forest in December. When head boy, he had to drag the truants back to school from the Cavern!… Rock is certainly flirting with cap and gown these days. Bristol teacher Tim Cain scored an immediate hit with his GCSE music coursebook, featuring illustrated rock classics… West Lothian College of Further Education offers an HNC Business Studies (Music Management) course, including law, economics and publishing – 80% of graduates have found work in the music business; one discovered Fairground Attraction; Simple Minds’ manager was so impressed he promptly hired a student…

Last updated on March 21, 2020

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