Making an appearance in Liverpool two days before he plays at the London Olympics opening ceremony the former Beatle said English teacher Alan Durband had instilled a love of literature in him as a Liverpool teenager.
He said: “He inspired me which I think later helped me in song writing. I had something behind me that informed some of the songs I was to write. And LIPA has an inspirational group of teachers.”
The 70-year-old, who was accompanied by his wife Nancy, was speaking at the LIPA graduation ceremony at the Philharmonic Hall where more 260 students from the UK and more than 15 countries – including Israel, South Korea and Venezuela – received awards having completed either foundation certificate or degree programmes.
Seven arts luminaries were also made LIPA Companions, an accolade given for outstanding achievement in the arts and practical contribution to students’ learning.
They included choreographer Matthew Bourne and 10CC and Godley and Creme founder Kevin Godley.
The pair were joined by stage and production manager Jason Barnes, UK pantomime producer Michael Harrison, choreographer and creative director Gary Lloyd, sound engineer and sound designer Owen Lewis, and reminiscence arts pioneer Pam Schweitzer.
Victor Greenberg, a promoter of live jazz in Liverpool and one of LIPA’s original supporters, was made an Honoured Friend.
Kevin Godley told the graduates: “The world no longer appreciates talent the way it used to. It seems to be more excited by celebrity and gimmickry.”
He added: “Honour your talent, always punch above your weight and, most importantly, find your voice.” own true unique voice. Be brave enough to keep testing its worth. Don’t become part of mediocrity.”.