Radiohead Fan with Cerebral Palsy

Scope Disabilities Services in Melbourne challenged public perceptions of cerebral palsy in this television commercial, “Radiohead Fan”. A young man sits in a wheelchair at the railway station, apparently showing the signs of cerebral palsy. He’s calling out in a way that turns the head of a young woman standing nearby. What we don’t know at first is that he’s singing along to Radiohead’s track, “Paranoid Android”.

Relax it's just a Radiohead Fan


“Please could you stop the noise,
I’m trying to get some rest,
From all the unborn chicken voices in my head,
What’s that…?”

As the camera zooms closer it becomes clear now that this guy’s singing along to the band playing through his earphones. The text: “Relax, he’s just another Radiohead fan. See the person, not the disability. Scope. Disability Means Possibility.”

It’s a television advertisement made for Scope, a not-for-profit organisation providing disability services throughout Melbourne and Victoria to over 3,500 children and adults with physical and multiple disabilities.

Click on the image below to play the video in YouTube (HD)

Credits

The TV spot, played mostly in the state of Victoria in Australia, July-August 2005, was created by Leo Burnett advertising and produced by Exit Films and directed by Garth Davis – for no cost to Scope. UK band Radiohead gave Scope the rights to use the song “Paranoid Android” at no cost.

The actor in the wheelchair is Joel Barraud, a genuine client of Scope who has had cerebral palsy since birth. He has a diploma in writing and editing from Swinburne TAFE and has recently moved into a unit for independent living. The ad was shot at Box Hill Station.

The ad conveys the strong aspirations of people with a disability who, like all of us, want to pursue independence, succeed and make their own contribution to society.

Paranoid Android by Radiohead

“Paranoid Android” is the second track from Radiohead’s classic album, OK Computer. The title is a reference to a Marvin the Paranoid Android, a character from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

Paranoid Android – OK Computer on iTunes

Lyrics

Please could you stop the noise,
I’m trying to get some rest
From all the unborn chicken voices in my head
What’s that…?
(I may be paranoid, but not an android)
What’s that…?
(I may be paranoid, but not an android)

When I am king, you will be first against the wall
(with) your opinion which is of no consequence at all
What’s that…?
(I may be paranoid, but no android)
What’s that…?
(I may be paranoid, but no android)

Ambition makes you look pretty ugly
Kicking, squealing gucci little piggy

You don’t remember
You don’t remember
Why don’t you remember my name?
Off with his head, man
Off with his head, man
Why don’t you remember my name?
I guess he does…

Rain down, rain down
Come on rain down on me
From a great height
From a great height… height…
Rain down, rain down
Come on rain down on me
From a great height
From a great height… height…
Rain down, rain down
Come on rain down on me

That’s it sir
You’re leaving
The crackle of pigskin
The dust and the screaming
The yuppies networking
The panic, the vomit
The panic, the vomit
God loves his children,
God loves his children, yeah!