April 28, 2008

Off the wall

I received my gratis copy of the National Piping Centre’s Piping Today last week and was both happy and sad to see a profile piece on the late Ronnie Lawrie. I hope he got to read it before he died.

When it comes to the p|d interviews, it’s tough to decide whether to interview those who are in their prime and popular now, or those whose glory years are long gone and may be inching up in age. There are a few folks who I really regret missing before they died. Luke Allen would have been a great interview, and it was actually in the works when I got the sad news. Alex Duthart’s sudden passing came just before I really started trying to capture the greats in their own words.

Jimmy Catherwood, John MacFadyen, Bob Montgomery, Donald MacLeod – all would have been essential reading but for the fact that they died too soon.

When I did the print interviews, I made a point of getting the cover mounted on a plaque, so that I could send the interviewee a memento. Depending on the personality, some no doubt would put the keepsake in the closet with their boxes of trophies and medals, while others might actually hang it on the wall.

So, it was really touching to see the picture of Ronnie with the plaque-mounted cover behind him in a place of honour on a wall at his home. It’s pleasing to me that the he was proud of it, as much as it’s good to know that some of his thoughts and personality are preserved in words.




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