There’s a bit of controversy surrounding charity tickets to Paul McCartney‘s December 5 concert in Melbourne, Australia.
Seven tickets for the show were donated to the local Salvation Army by Beatles fan Chris McDonald to be given to homeless people in the city. But after two of designated recipients couldn’t use theirs, the tickets were given to the daughter of Salvation Army major Brendan Nottle.
Nottle told Australian media that the tickets were returned “at the last minute” and that a Salvation Army manager gave the tickets to Nottle’s daughter without consulting him, and only after he tried to give them to “other homeless people and volunteer staff.” He added that his daughter took the tickets with the proviso that they “look out for” the five homeless people who did attend the show; Nottle said that, “The tragic thing is the daughter who’s involved is one of the most giving people I know. In this work you don’t do this stuff for the kickbacks.”
The Salvation Army plans to reimburse McDonald for the tickets, while Nottle also took a bit of a shot at the gesture, saying, “to be blunt, do homeless people need tickets to Paul McCartney or do they need a roof over their heads? Do they need assistance with mental health issues or trauma or do they need food in their belly? I think the answer’s pretty obvious. We are not Ticketmaster, we are not concert promoters, we don’t do that stuff and we get it wrong sometimes, you know. (We will) absolutely learn from this.”
McDonald, meanwhile, remained supportive of the Salvation Army, which he said helped him at one point in his life.
“They do an awful lot of good for people and for the homeless,” he said. “I have been a recipient of their relief so I know how important the work they do is, but the golden rule is never to dip your hand into the donations — it calls the integrity of the entire organisation into dispute.”
Gary Graff is an award-winning music journalist who not only covers music but has written books on Bob Seger, Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen.