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Your email will never be sold, and I won't burden you with tons of meaningless drivel (just an occasional spoonful!) I will keep you posted a couple times a month on upcoming shows, music releases,and the occasional free download for fan feedback! I look forward to writing you. Mike "Pops" McGee

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Played Vegas?

Last year I was asked to play for residents and families at the new Marquis Care at Centennial Hills Skilled Nursing & Rehab Center in Las Vegas. It was a holiday party, and I was the surprise entertainment. I used one of the un-occupied suites on the upper floor for a “Green Room” and I must tell you, these accommodations are VERY nice.

At the appointed time I entered the elevator playing Scotland the Brave and descended to the first floor, exited the elevator and marched into the party. The effect was wonderful. I was introduced and then played another tune, then the guest speakers, followed by a blessing and Amazing Grace. During the meal itself I switched to the small pipes and played to individuals, tables and groups.

I must tell you that the warmth and care exuded by the attentive staff was truly remarkable. This must be one of the finest facilities in the country! So have I played Vegas? Well yes, not “The Strip”, but I was able to help some very warm and caring people brighten the day of individuals who were having a hard time of it. I’ll take my gig anytime!

Slainte mhor! Pops :-)

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Thrown in front of the Bus!

One of the neatest birthday parties I have ever played was for the hostess's husband's 40th birthday. As a surprise present to him she was going to take the celebrant and all guests (some 40 of them) "pub crawling". In a remarkable display of social responsibility she had rented a double-decker London Bus for the job.

I was to meet the bus half a block from the house and out of sight, and then when I received a phone call I was to Pipe the bus up to the house. The call came and to the skirling of Scottland the Brave and The Minstrel Boy I piped the bus up to the house where all were assembling in the front yard. I continued piping while guests and copious provisions were loaded onto the bus, and then as it drove off into the night.

I have always regretted not being able to accept their generous invitation to accompany them on their grand adventure. It must have been quite the party as late the next afternoon I received a call asking if I had found any items left on the bus!

Slainte! Pops :-)

Sunday, September 04, 2011

A private service

It was a beautiful morning to be piping at Roadrunner Park.  While working through my tunes a friend approached me with a request.  His father had been given 90 days to live and he wanted a Piper for his funeral.  He wanted to video tape me so his father could see me perform.  I readily agreed and went through Amazing Grace. 

Sadly, the appointed day came even sooner than expected.  To begin the service I piped Danny Boy in the lobby as everyone was seated.  As soon as the service began I left and walked over to the Mausoleum where the interment would be.  A short time later the family and mourners arrived at the site and there was a brief additional service.  

At the conclusion of the graveside remarks I piped Amazing Grace to each of the four corners, and having finished piping to the East I slowly marched into the East playing Highland Cathedral.  The family and mourners departed for the wake, and I and my thoughts left for home.  Such days are bitter sweet, drowning in a dark sense of loss and dispair, and then the pipes, breaking the floodgates and releasing the grief.