Style Guy
May 31, 2010

Phil a beggin’

Dear Mr. Guy:

I read about the late Seumas MacNeill having a leopard-skin bag cover. I’m 15 years old and I was thinking of getting my mom to make me a cover from a zebra pattern or something.

What’s your guidance on creative bag covers?


Cover Me Bad

Dear CMB:


A great topic, bag covers. I remember seeing in-person the Famous Seumas’s leopard bag cover. (It was not actual skin; just a fabric print, I believe.) It was quite a sensation back then, and, evidently, still is today.


The thing is, that cover fit Seumas MacNeill’s personality, which wasn’t afraid of anything. In some ways, the leopard cover was emblematic of him: quick-witted, agile and fearless. He was also in his fifties and a gold medallist when he began to use it.


That is, one has to earn things like this to pull them off. While a 15-year-old piper might be fearless and worry-free, never feeling the stress and strain of competition, you’re still just a kid. In the piping and drumming game one has to earn one’s place and right to do certain things, and look-at-me stuff like this should be approached with great care, lest it backfire and you get a reputation for being a complete tosser.


So, I would say, save the zebra cover until you’ve won your big prizes. If you don’t, you may never win them.


  1. I’ve seen a leopard cover that had a wee, footlong tail sticking out behind. In its tip there was some fluff of sorts… My cats would love it.

  2. Covers in strange colors or patterns for solo pipers could turn against you. If you have a zebra, tiger or cow pattern as your cover, it should fit you and your style. The zebra cover should tell something about your way of playing. Funny, wild, crazy or artistic. If you walk into the room on a 4/4 march, play Amazing Grace and finish of with Rowan Tree, you should change to a dark blue cover, like me…… if you can realy pull a great show and still play well, keep the animal on you bag…..



Forgotten Password?