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2002-Aug-06: "Mull of Kintyre" Memories

Today's installment of the "Paul McCartney Story" being published in the Scottish Daily Record this week includes an interview with one of the Mull of Kintyre pipers.  Ian McKerrals, a forty year-old barber and piping instructor, recalls being a 16 year-old member of the Campbeltown Pipe Band stepping off the bus at Sir Paul's remote farmhouse:
"The late pipe major Tony Wilson came to the band hall to say he'd been approached by Paul McCartney to do this song.  We thought he was winding us up. Tony had met them and Linda had played the melody of the song on the keyboard so Tony could put it into pipe music. We had about a month to get this tune off and were then invited up to the farm where there was a recording studio. We met Paul and Linda. Paul was very relaxed, wearing jeans, a waistcoat and checked shirt. Linda was expecting her son James at the time. They were both very friendly."
It only took an hour to record the song.
"We then had something to eat - sandwiches and beer for the boys - and we had a party. But we couldn't stay long because we had school in the morning. At that age, it was pretty awesome to be beside a former Beatle."
The pipers were invited back for the video which was filmed on Saddle beach.   The filming was following by a barbecue and bonfire organized by the McCartneys.  Several bus-loads of Campbeltown residents were also invited to the festivities.  Mr. McKerrals continues:
"A few weeks later, we were taken to London for a week and put up in a nice hotel.  We went to Elstree Studios to film another video. We were with Paul nearly every day. He was such a nice guy.  He put on one of the boy's kilts and Linda took photos. They were just full of fun - just normal people.  It was strange to see myself in the video on Top Of The Pops. I briefly felt a bit like a celebrity. But everyone was pretty laid-back about it. I just had some extra homework to make up for missing a little school. When we heard the song, we thought it was great, but we never realized it would do so well."

(kindly submitted by PLUGGED correspondent Joan M. Hopkins)


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