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From themorningbulletin.com.au, December 12, 2017:
FOR MANY musicians, it would be a dream to share the stage with a living legend of music like former Beatle Sir Paul McCartney.
The dream came true last weekend for four members of the Maclean and District Pipe Band, who were part of an ensemble band who played in front of more than 50,000 fans at Suncorp Stadium during the encore of McCartney’s One on One show.
The band helped perform McCartney’s song Mull of Kintyre, but the performance came as a last minute surprise to Alister Smith, Scott Rhodes, Mandy Pateman and Laura Sanford.
“The Queensland Police band was initially booked but couldn’t do it, so the Ipswich Pipe Band got in touch to see if any of our members could head up to Brisbane, so there were about 8 bands in total involved,” Mr Smith said. “We only got the music a week before, and we had some music sent to us to learn it, then we got together on Friday night at a park near Roma St and went through it all before the full rehearsal on Sunday.” It was at the rehearsal that Mr Rhodes got the chance to talk to one of the original Fab Four. “At first we were lined up and ready to go and he came out and said ‘I’ll be back in a minute, I’m busting to go to the toilet’,” Mr Rhodes said. “I was talking to another mate and I saw Paul coming and the next minute he just walked up and was talking to us. He asked how we were and asked the name of the band, and I told him what he had come up with since it was a composite of all these bands and he joked he didn’t like what we had come up with so he decided to call up Paul’s Composite Queensland Pipe Band, then wished us luck and walked off. To tell you the truth I was in shock, I can’t remember exactly what I said. I was actually pretty nervous about the whole thing since it was on such short notice. He was a very humble man though, he just walked up to people and had a yarn, he just seemed happy to be there. He was at the entire rehearsal too, which is a good effort considering he is 75-years-old.“
Mr Smith said it was an incredible, once-in-a-lifetime experience.
“It was certainly a unique experience, I don’t think I’ll ever get an opportunity to play in front of a crowd like that again,” he said.