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THE NERDOFF-ROBBINS MUSIC THERAPY CENTRE
Two days after its release on 5th November last, All the Best became significant as well as hugely popular. In a highly imaginative move, Paul and EMI agreed to give 12 1/2 pence each to the Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy Centre for every copy of AW The Best sold on 7th November, the first Saturday it was on sale. Happily, 60,000 copies were sold that day, so the Centre benefited to the tune of £15,000.
The Centre is in London's Kentish Town and was founded in 1974 by Doctors Paul Nordoff and Clive Robbins, both Americans. Dr. Nordoff unfortunately died the following year, but the Centre's reputation and influence have grown steadily since, so that therapists bearing the City University's Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy Diploma teach in schools both in Britain and abroad and in various London hospitals.
The aim of the Centre is to treat children with all kinds of handicap through the medium of music and to train musicians to become music therapists. Up to ten post-graduates per year study to obtain the diploma and the record industry has long been active in fund-raising. The Complete Works promotions agency arranges functions for the Centre on an expenses-only basis. Mike McCraith of the agency told me more.
"We make up programmes for various functions, for instance banger racing at Wimbledon Stadium last Sunday (27th March), which raised £30,000. It was organized by Dave Dee, who does a hell of a lot of work for the Centre. I'm on the committee of the inaugural Music Therapy May Day Golf Classic at Silvermere in Surrey and the record industry's June lunch has been going for eleven or twelve years. The lunch is the main fundraiser: it usually raises about £100,000".
As Bob Geldofsaid after Live Aid, it's not enough to make one grand gesture: the effort must be sustained. So we are delighted to report that Paul's contribution with All The Best inaugurated Record Retailing Day, an annual event to be, marked by similar donations.
Millions find Paul McCartney's music positive and uplifting, so it is fitting to find him promoting the nourishing properties of music through the Nordoff-Robbins Centre as well. As our picture shows, he certainly enjoyed his meeting with three year-old Ruby Hodin-Brown, a patient at the Centre.
LONG AGO AT THE ROXY
After the sterling efforts of Mike Ross and Geoff Dunbar, it seemed odd that Tyne Tees TV's Roxy programme should want to film another video for 'Once Upon A Long Ago'. However, Gavin Taylor directed Paul and band at Tyne Tees' Newcastle studios on 17th November and the results make for an interesting comparison with Mike and Geoff's efforts.
There's also an echo of Paul's 'No More Lonely Nights' video in the gloomy caretaker, sweeping up when the theatre has closed. And could the legend Christmas Spectacular 1979 posted outside refer to the final tour of a certain Winged group?
Anyway, Paul and co.'s Christmas 1987 Spectacular opens with Linda at the upright piano and Paul in long coat with flecked black scarf. Warming up, Paul throws the coat to an audience of curious children, who grin back. Now in black jumper, racy black-and-white shirt and grey bags, he seems about to be overrun as the children pour on stage.
They raid the props basket, one boy donning a topper as our gloomy friend drinks tea, oblivious. A girl runs a stick along railings to the line "Counting the bars of an iron cage". Children surround Linda at the piano and a judge appears to illustrate the reference to the House of Lords. (An idea already tried: see That Long Ago Video.) Still surrounded, Linda dons a bowler hat.
Then all goes briefly black-and-white at the start of the acapella section. The children join Paul in a spot of arm-waving, football crowd style. One lucky boy gets to touch Paul's guitar strings after his first solo, whereupon the maestro mugs in best Al Jolson manner during Nigel Kennedy's violin spot.
When the final guitar flourish has died away, the caretaker emerges to find the judge's wig, a Paddington Bear (or close relation) and other signs of recent merriment. Looking at the idyllic backdrop of green, rolling hills, the poor old chap can only scratch his head. The viewer, in on the secret, can afford a contented sigh.