Boing Boing editor/partner and tech culture journalist Xeni Jardin hosts and produces Boing Boing's in-flight TV channel on Virgin America airlines (#10 on the dial), and writes about living with breast cancer. Diagnosed in 2011. @xeni on Twitter. email: xeni@boingboing.net.

40 Responses to “Gentleman plays AC/DC's "Thunderstruck" on a flaming bagpipe”

  1. Randy Walters says:

    Why isn’t anyone dancing?

  2. Graham says:

    It’s the pelvic thrusts that really make it all work.

  3. Jim Saul says:

    Fan-fucking-tastic! Awesome has a new definition.

  4. IronEdithKidd says:

    The gentleman is aptly named.  

  5. Cowicide says:

    It was fantastic at the beginning… and pretty cool for the first minute or so, but then… bagpipes

    I just can’t deal with bagpipes longer than a minute… beyond that point, I was hoping the fire completely consumed them and he was going to be forced to throw them onto the ground and stomp them to death.

    • kraut says:

      You’re *really* going to enjoy your holiday in Scotland, dude.

      (not that bagpipes are anywhere near as common in modern scotland as, say, deep fried pizza),

      • Cowicide says:

        They won’t be able to see my earplugs.

      • Remy Porter says:

        I need to know more about this deep fried pizza. I’m going to London in a few months, may it have polluted things that far south, or am I going to have to get on a train for hours for this deep fried pizza?

      • Cowicide says:

        You’re *really* going to enjoy your holiday in Scotland, dude.

        That sounds like a threat, but I probably deserve it.

    • Linley Lee says:

       I love bagpipes

      • Cowicide says:

        I’m pretty sure this thread is biased towards those that do.  But, according to Google and most people… (see attached pict)

        I don’t hate bagpipes, just please don’t play them longer than 1 minute.

  6. skeptacally says:

    i’m wondering if he rocks the mohawk because the rest of his hair burnt off.

  7. Sallynotadude says:

    Oh THERE is my husband.

  8. Cowicide says:

    This is 

  9. Cowicide says:

    This is fertile video for some animated gif loops…  Here’s my first one so far:

    http://imgur.com/gallery/O93opEI/

  10. Mark Coletti says:

    I don’t think that’s Thunderstruck he’s playing in that video.

    But here he is: http://youtu.be/oO1bGlyHDNU

    But Gordon Duncan did it first, and best: http://youtu.be/_EwDlUHoDFo

    And this kid just rocks it out of the park, too: http://youtu.be/re7u4HuElb8

  11. kriktsemajniatpac says:

    As a bagpiper, I have to say that the playing here is not at the highest level. The drones aren’t playing due to the flame hookup and he has an audio track accompanying him . The guy who originally adapted “Thunderstruck” for bagpipes, though, was the genius composer and brilliant player Gordon Duncan. His tragic death in 2005 really rocked the world of Celtic music. He’s the Kurt Cobain of bagpipes, if you will. Please go and watch a decent video of Duncan’s piece played by a master, like Stuart Liddel. Here’s a good video of him performing it (without a backing track). It’s a tune that invites and rewards virtuosity on the instrument, and a great way in for people who don’t think they could ever like bagpipes:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sqT7a8TBgOg

    • Mark Coletti says:

      Didn’t know Stuart Liddel had a recording playing this, too.  Thanks for the link!

      • kriktsemajniatpac says:

        It’s an audience camera phone recording–iPhones do great with live pipes. I don’t think he’s released a recording of it. He performs it frequently, though, and does a great job wit it IMHO.

        • Mark Coletti says:

          I’m continually surprised by the audio and video quality of modern smart phones.  I was at a smallpipes workshop in January and recorded some of the classes on my droid; I was happy that the sound came through with surprising high fidelity.

          By the bye, you should check out one of the videos I posted above that has a teenager belting out Thunderstruck.  He’s definitely on track for Open.

        • There’s an excellent recording of Stuart Liddell performing “Thunderstruck” on the Winter Storm 2008 Pipes & Drums Concert album: http://mhaf.org/shopMHAF.html

    • Equating technically proficient play with good play is, from the point of view of someone who doesn’t HATE bagpipe music but doesn’t necessarily like it, either, a mistake.

      The links to the Gordon Duncan and Stuart Liddel prove my point – the Badpiper guy is fun to watch and fun to listen to, partly because he DOES have an accompanying audio track and partly because he is having fun and rocking out while mr. Duncan and mr. Liddel do not appear to be doing either.

      Note that while some things do not necessarily need accompaniment (whisky, guitar, nuclear weapons, cats), bagpipes do.

      • Mark Coletti says:

        You do have a good point.  Someone that’s *not* a piper will likely get more enjoyment out of the Badpiper.  And don’t get me wrong, I enjoy his performances, too; and I really like how he’s exposing the instrument to a larger audience in a positive and fun way.

        Part of my motivation for sharing the links, and maybe the same one behind “Captain James T Kirk”, is that it’s natural for humans to want to share something they think is good.  This is especially true if someone sees something and thinks “Oh! Oh!  I know this other thing just like that that most don’t know about that’s just as good if not better!”  So the Badpiper is awesome, but if we can use him as a, erm, “gateway piper” to other piping that’s awesome, too, then all the better!

        Also, don’t be fooled into thinking that just because someone isn’t visually rocking out while playing that they’re not enjoying the experience.  Many really great musicians “check out” and perform in their own reality bubble.  They’re absolutely rocking it out in their heads.  Hell, just listen to the audience during Stuart Liddel’s piece … they’re a lot more enthusiastic than the Badpiper’s crowd!If you want to see a piper rocking it out while playing, there’s this:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PVAzReuMO-E&feature=share&list=PL445CB4C4467504DA  You can’t get more rockin’ than that guy!

        And then there’s … this: http://youtu.be/LdjY6oy4Y2c

      • B P says:

         An upvote just for that last sentence.

    • Jorge Velasquez says:

      “As a bagpiper, I have to say that the playing here is not at the highest level.”
      Well, he does call himself The Badpiper!

  12. Robert ANderson says:

    More AC/DC bagpipes:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BNfTjAOkftE

  13. higgsbison says:

    Of course, what goes around comes around:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZDCs7ijNUVM

  14. gracelovescostumesandhabaneros says:

    Proving once again that boingboing is the ultimate directory of wonderful things!!!!

  15. Craig Ringer says:

    In case you’re wondering, he’s pictured at the Fremantle Markets in Perth, Western Australia, which is one of his usual haunts. He’s also frickin’ awesome, I see him around when I go to the markets fairly frequently.

    So, if you’re ever in the most isolated capital city on Earth…

  16. Craig Ringer says:

    In case you’re wondering, he’s pictured at the Fremantle Markets in Perth, Western Australia, which is one of his usual haunts. He’s also frickin’ awesome, I see him around when I go to the markets fairly frequently.

    So, if you’re ever in the most isolated capital city on Earth…

  17. randyman says:

    I happen to love bagpipes. Besides their glorious sound, when you hear them from a distance, in a wide open area, you have the opportunity to describe them as skirling.

    Skirling. What a trippingly perfect, ravishingly onomatopoeic verb; I love it beyond all reason.

    Skirling.

  18. pjcamp says:

    I’m raising a dram to the health of the little gentleman in black velvet.

  19. mcducky says:

    Did you know?  If it wasn’t for that extra third pipe sicking out, Bagpipes wouldn’t sound any beter than an ordinary piano?
     

  20. B P says:

    I love bagpipes! I also adore Yoko’s singing, so there’s that….

  21. Paul Tomblin says:

    You can find his music at http://www.thebadpiper.com/shop/albums/

  22. grimatongueworm says:

    dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun HIP THRUST!

  23. Matthew Bondy says:

    Well I’m definitely thunderstruck.

  24. miasm says:

     Och aye the noo!
    And tattie-bye to disqus posts from Xeni!

Leave a Reply