June 22, 2004
By Louise Hosie, Scottish Press Association
A piper who was hand-picked by Madonna to perform on her world tour is having the time of his life, his father said today.
Lorne Cousin, 31, was working as a lawyer in Edinburgh when he received a telephone call from the superstar asking him to play the bagpipes on her five-month Reinvention tour.
Mr Cousin, who is from Campbeltown, Kintyre, is now appearing with Madonna on stage in America, after taking leave from his job.
His father Alastair said his son was loving every minute of performing with one of the world's most famous women.
"I spoke to him a few days ago, and he seems to be enjoying the experience of being on the tour", said Mr Cousin Snr.
"He is having the time of his life, he gets on really well with Madonna, there are no problems there."
Madonna first noticed Mr Cousin when she heard him playing the bagpipes at her friend Stella McCartney's wedding on the Isle of Bute, last year.
Mr Cousin Snr, who is a vet in Campbeltown, became a friend of the McCartney family after looking after some of their animals.
He added that his son would continue with the tour of America and Canada until the middle of July, when he planned to take a 10-day break, before flying back for Madonna's European concerts.
Simon Mackintosh, a partner at the Turcan Connell law firm where Mr Cousin works, said today: "We are delighted that Lorne has been given this opportunity."
"He is recognised in piping circles as an outstanding piper and is also a valued member of our rural property team."
"It is not easy to lose him for six months, but for Lorne it really is a chance of a lifetime."
Another Scots piper Callum Spud Fraser from Aviemore, was initially reported to have been chosen as piper for Madonna's tour.
Mr Fraser had played the bagpipes at Madonna's wedding to Guy Ritchie at Skibo Castle in 2002.
It was reported he had been approached by the singer's staff during the wedding celebrations and asked to come on the tour but he had no contact again.