Friday, April 13, 2007

Rock Stars and the Scottish Highlands

It was Paul McCartney who started it with his hideaway in Argyll, prompting 'Mull of Kintyre', the first No.1 hit to feature the Highland bagpipes. John Lennon, a little surprisingly, had an attachment to Durness in the very far north - a magical mystery tour of Highlands like Lennon. Most celebrated of course was Madonna's wedding at Skibo Castle in December 2000 and the christening of her son Rocco at the medieval cathedral at Dornoch. Skibo is a private club but you can stay there for one night as a non-member to try it out (I did so in December and it is a memorable experience). But back to music (and fish): Ian Anderson, lead singer of Jethro Tull founded the Inverness-based salmon company, Strathaird in 1978; and it is still going strong.

And the latest rock star highlander is... Bob Dylan. He recently bought Aultmore, a fine mansion in Strathspey - Dylan 'buys £2m house in Highlands'. We sometimes used Aultmore House as an unusual B&B stop for our Clans and Castle guests, and I see there is still an old website up there. 'The Scotsman' newspaper has found some relevant lyrics - I'm not sure from which song but they go like this: "Well my heart's in the Highlands wherever I roam/that's where I'll be when I get called home". Well, Bob came 'home' to Scotland on Wednesday with a concert in Glasgow and it seemed churlish not to support him. Teenagers and grandparents alike enjoyed a fantastic evening!

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