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Thread: John Burgess

  1. #1
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    John Burgess

    Happened upon this youtube clip about John Burgess who is one of my favorite pipers.

    He has always been know for his outstanding piping and immaculate sense of dress. There are close ups of items of dress which might be of interest to some on this form. Of course some will say he is over dressed as suits an entertainer.


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mWQNqVpAIP4

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by jfraser View Post
    ................. Of course some will say he is over dressed as suits an entertainer.


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mWQNqVpAIP4
    Indeed they will.
    " Rules are for the guidance of wise men and the adherence of idle minds and minor tyrants". Field Marshal Lord Slim.

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    Of course Burgess is almost as famous for his snazzy dress as his wonderful playing, though it's interesting to see photos of him as a youth and young man in quite ordinary Highland Day Dress (tweed jacket, brown leather sporran, etc).



    Later in the video he's playing at a castle, as an older man, again in plain Day Dress.

    As a side-note, the man to centre is Pipe Major Donald MacLean of Lewis, of whom a wonderful tune was written, and known for playing with reversed hands. In the video at 12:04 he can be seen wearing a Day Dress tweed jacket that has a matching cloth self-belt, something familiar with the Norfolk tweed jacket but which I can't recall seeing on a Highland tweed jacket.

    Back to the dress of John Burgess, after he got out of the army and through the height of his career he often is seen in that flamboyant full tartan outfit with powder-horn etc.



    At 45:06 he discusses how pipers "up until the early 1950s" were expected to dress in full costume (doublet, full plaid, long hair sporran, etc). He also shows off his elaborate powder-horn, dirk, and plaid brooch.

    At 58:53 he's instructing two youths, Fiona MacKay and Niall Stewart. I couldn't find a Youtube video of Fiona but there's a large number of videos of Naill, one of our top pipers:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YPB1UOIoBcU
    Last edited by OC Richard; 17th November 20 at 07:52 AM.
    Proud Mountaineer from the Highlands of West Virginia; son of the Revolution and Civil War; first Europeans on the Guyandotte

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  5. #4
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    The first photo was taken at the 1950 Argyllshire Gathering which was a day meeting, and he was competing in the piping events. It would have been bad form for him to dress in anything else, unless of course he was in the army.


    Also, in the early 1950ís tour of Canada and America he frequently performed in day attire.

    In J.D. Burgessís day when civilian pipers attended day time official events, it was not unusual to see them dress up considerably and for night time events there seemed no limits to the accoutrements displayed.

    It is suggested that it was his time in The Cameron Highlanders that influenced his high standard of dress that almost matched his standard of piping.

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