78th Halifax mull it over with Macca
Whenever Sir Paul McCartney includes his 1977 hit “Mull of Kintyre” in a concert play list he engages a top local pipe band, so when he rolled into Halifax, Nova Scotia, on July 13th he enlisted the services of the Grade 1 78th Highlanders (Halifax Citadel) to join him on stage.
The best pipe band in the Canadian Maritimes found themselves performing to more than 50,000 McCartney lovers at the Halifax Common just below Citadel Hill after working with McCartney and his band during the afternoon to get the sound and the score correct for the show.
“It was great experience,” said 78th Highlanders Pipe-Major Roderick MacLean. “When we were finished playing I looked out and there was what seemed like an ocean of people stretching away from the stage. It was a little overwhelming.”
The earlier sound-check saw McCartney joking with members of the 78th Highlanders, and he reminisced about composing the song.
“Sir Paul walked over, offered his hand and asked about the logo on the drum,” said Kahlil Cappuccino, the band’s bass drummer. “After I explained about the inscription, we chatted a bit longer and then McCartney said, ‘Right. We know it. You guys know it. So let’s do it!’ And we proceeded to do the first take.”
Pipe-Sergeant Bruce Gandy managed to get an autograph from the former Beatle, who has been described as the most successful musician of all time. “We had a question about one note in the score,” said Gandy, “so I took the opportunity of a lull in the proceedings to ask the accordionist about it. Sir Paul was listening to the conversation and, when we had confirmed the score, he joked, ‘You guys better get that right!'” Gandy then asked if McCartney would mind initialing the change and the singer responded by autographing the score with the accompanying caption of “Get it right!”
Other pipe bands have performed with Paul McCartney in Canada, most recently the Peel Regional Police in 2002 when he last performed the song in Toronto.