My father hails from a very small town up in the Highlands of Scotland, named Golspie, famous for Dunrobin Castle where my Grandfather once tended the gardens. My mother comes from a small village, Gutenfeld, in what was once East Prussia and is now Russia. My moms family fled Prussia during the war and settled in a beautiful town in Germany named Celle. This is where they met while my Dad was stationed there with the Royal Air Force, and while the family did end up living in lots of places, both my sister and I ended up being born in British Military Hospitals while the folks were stationed in Germany. We moved to the States in 1976 after my Dad ended 25 years of service with the RAF, his last flight posting was on the Harrier Jump Jet/AV8A.
In the spring of 1977 he boldly walked into the wrong real estate office (one of his very few mistakes, ask him, he'll agree) and ended up walking out with a different house, a future Son-in-Law (who is still around) and a member of the Lochaber Pipe Band, also still around and he's still in it. Being from Scotland, my dad's been piping since he was in his early teens and with him joining a pipe band, it seemed liked a natural progression for me to start learning and so he started teaching me. I was playing with the band in 1978 and was a member until 2004, when I moved out of the area. I have been performing at Weddings, Funerals etc for about 20 years now and with some pretty heavy work on my web site, find myself doing more each year, in 2008 I had almost 40 performances (not including St Patrick Day!) and hopefull the coming years will bring more. I do get alot of questions about why "The Bald Piper" . Well, the quick story is I am a cancer survivor, 1996, and actually reshaved my head every year on my chemo anniversary and much to my mothers dismay (she absolutly HATES me bald) I liked it so much, I have just left it bald since 2002 and unofficially went with "The Bald Piper" in 2004.
Being out of a band environment I do miss out on new tunes and most probably don't practice as much I could, to help with this, I started taking some lessons this year from Clarke Abercrombie a well known Grade I piper with the 78th Frasiers Band, who lives in the area. Through this meeting I was able to meet Jerry Gibson of Gibson Bagpipes (you may have seen the show on him on The Discovery Channel) and it was Jerry that was finally able to identify my pipes! Turns out the were made by McDougall of Aberfeldy made somewhere around the 1890's. I also added some E-Z Drones and a set of Hylands In-Line Drone Valves, the pipes are now back to the full, umbrella affect of the drones as they were originally intended and sounding better than ever.
Thanks for taking the time to read up on me.
Cell Phone - 440.396.3075 Email - James@thebaldpiper.com