Bob Dylan blowin' in the bagpipes

Reuters News
Posted: Oct 12, 2011 12:58 PM

LONDON (Reuters) - Bob Dylan, forever looking for a new road to walk down, has taken up the bagpipes.

The 70-year-old singer bought a set of traditional Scottish pipes while in Glasgow to play two concerts this weekend, a spokesperson for the National Piping Center said.

Dylan did not turn up at the centre's shop himself but sent a representative to pick them up.

"He's always wanted to learn," the spokesperson told Reuters. "It's a lovely sound when they are played well, and something to be appreciated."

Dylan chose a set of R.G. Hardie pipes -- one of the best makes -- in the Piping Centre's tartan along with a starter package including a chanter and a learning manual. She declined to say how much he paid.

Dylan has often shown an affection for things Scottish. He has cited national poet Robert Burns as a big influence, has an honorary degree from St. Andrews University in Fife, and a number of his songs are rooted in Scottish folk tunes, including "The Times They Are A-Changing."

In a 1997 song "Highlands" he sang: "My heart's in the Highlands wherever I roam, that's where I'll be when I get called home."

But for those who wince at the thought of Dylan's raspy voice combining with the skirl of the pipes, it might a case of "There must be some way out of here". (Reporting by Angus MacSwan, editing by Paul Casciato)