'Live Long Rock 'n' Roll' will be released on 16th August alongwith the 15 track album of Henry's solo tracks 'Ballywonderland'on the Proper Record Label.
"It was during one of these sabbaticals that he talked about how it all started for him. I was amazed to find out that his first gig was with a showband. I think he was a rhythm guitarist at the start. So I was blown away because to go from that story to Woodstock...I looked across from him and thought, 'Jesus you've given your life to rock 'n' roll.'"
These early stories and Don's wonder at the life that Henry had lived were the inspiration for 'Live Long Rock 'n' Roll'.
"Another part of it related back to Henry's history with the showbands," he adds. "The showbands would've been playing the stuff that was coming in on the radio from America. American rock'n'roll. Chuck Berry. All that kind of thing. And there was a particular style of rhythm guitar playing, which sounds a bit like 'chic-a-dong-dee'. And when we went to write that song 'Live Long', Henry came up with this line which went, 'Late night playing 'chic-a-dong-dee/chic-a-chic-a-dong-day'. And I was laughing! That was a type of slang for the sounds that they all would've recognised from that era. But it was funny, because everyone who I invited to do the recording of this song - Paul McCartney, Albert Lee, Nick Mason - they all knew exactly what that was. I remember saying that I wanted to change that line, and Henry turned to me simply and said, 'Ah Donny - that's the hook!'"
After this, Henry took ill towards 2012 with a heart attack. Don would'vekept in touch with him.
"Any time I was in Ireland I would go to see him. That was a very sad time.It left him almost locked inside a body that didn't work anymore.
"Around 2013, Don met Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason while he wasproducing a record for Decca Records. At lunch, their conversation turnedto the early Pink Floyd days. Unbeknown to Don, Henry McCullough hadhis own association with Pink Floyd, lending the words "I don't know I wasreally drunk at the time" to the track 'Money' from Dark Side of the Moon.
"Nick also mentioned that Henry had played a with a band who'd touredwith Pink Floyd during some of their earlier days, so the association wentback that far. They were all very fond of Henry.
"So, Nick was in the studio and I told him that Henry had taken ill. I said,'I've come up with an idea. I went back over a few songs that I'd writtenwith Henry and I found one that I think is very special. I think this is thekind of song that I could invite people to record on. So he said, 'Look, sendme the song.' So I did. I was in Britannia Row and I put down a very basicguitar track and bass drum and sang a guide vocal and sent it to Nick. Hegot back right away and said, 'That's a cool song, I want to play drums onit.'"
With Nick coming into the studio to play drums, this was the start of Donbuilding the super group, which would later include everyone from PaulCarrack to the London Community Gospel Choir. Henry was still alive asthis was going on.
"That's when the song started to develop, after Nick. Then I knew I neededto get guitar on it, so through a mutual friend of mine, I got in contact withAlbert Lee. I'd known Albert. I'd met him once at Nashville while he wasout playing with Emmylou Harris. I just sent the song to Albert, because Iknew that he'd worked with Henry in many different outlets and I knew hewas very fond of him. So I invited Albert into the studio. As it happened, Albert was gonna be on tour around the UK and he said he'd stop by. Andwhat I loved about Albert is that he played the guitar part very much likeHenry would've played it. If you listen to it - it's Henry licks. He's payinghis respects to Henry."
From this, the ball was very much rolling. Albert recommended that Donreach out to Chris Stainton, who said he'd happily be part of the project.
"Then Henry's wife Josie introduced me to Dave Robinson, who would'vebeen a friend of Henry's and a founder of Stiff Records. I went for dinnerwith him and a few drinks and I knew I was mad for trying to do this but Isaid, 'Dave, I have a favour, I really want to get Paul McCartney on this'.Everyone told me I was crazy and I'd never get him. But a week or twolater, word got back to me from Macca that he loved the song and he reallywanted to play on it.
"There are still sometimes when I'm on my own in the studio when I'lllisten to Paul McCartney's bass on the track and think, 'If anyone broughtmagic to this track - it was Sir Paul McCartney.' I have to hand it to him.This wasn't a rushed job. He put heart and soul into the bass line on thetrack. It's absolutely incredible."
At this stage, it was still 2014, and for Don, the top person for singing thetrack was, of course, Joe Cocker.
"I'd been trying to get a direct line to Joe. I reached out to him and gotword back that Joe really liked the song. But unfortunately, Joe passedaway in the winter of 2014. It was such a shame, because he loved Henrydearly. Another legend in the music industry that passed."
Don persisted in finding the right vocalist and over drinks one eveningwith his publisher Dave Loader (Notting Hill Music Publishing) Davesuggested Gary Brooker (Procol Harum). A few weeks later, Gary agreedand recorded the final Vocal at Don's studio in Greenwich - Pepper PotStudio.
Fiachra Trench (string composer), who was a long time collaborator of McCartney's and a friend of Don's wrote the wonderful string arrangementfor the track, Don also reached out to Paul Carrick and Paul Brady forsome backing vocals.
"I couldn't have found a better singer," Don says speaking about Gary, "anda nicer man. I mean again, he was very like the others. He had nothing toprove. No ego. He was of that ilk where they'd done it all, seen it all, beenthrough it all - and all they wanted now was to make good music. Andabove that, they all loved Henry McCullough wanted to pay their finalrespects to him."
Number 1 album
Paintings from Ballina Primary School
Recently i visited the children from Ballina Primary School in Co.Tipperary. on a trip home , my Godson Tom is in first class and he invited me to the school to perform for the children in the two first classes ( approx 50 children). i performed Lighthouse Keeper accompanied by James Shannon on guitar two . i suggested to the class that it might be nice if they drew pictures of Lighthouse's and that i would choose along with their teachers , the top 3 . It was difficult !! they were all so good , so unique , so we scrapped the idea of it being a 1st , 2nd .3rd kinda thing , here are what we felt are the top 5 all equally 1st place , - bless the Artists Isabelle, Leah, Caoimhe, Brendan & Tom
Geri Halliwell - Angels in Chains
iTunes No. 1 in Argentina, Peru and Spain
Don with his ICPMA Award for "Songwriter of the Year"
Notting Hill Music
We are delighted to announce that Don has signed a new worldwide publishing deal with the amazing people at "Notting Hill Music". What a year so far !!
Irish World Awards 2017
Don and his daughter Eve.
Don and his new publishing family.
Don with Geri Halliwell
Don Mescall in Pepper Pot Studios
Grant & Forsyth -
'Keep It Country'
Featuring their first single 'Keep It Country' written and produced by Don.
Henry McCullough Tribute Video
Don at the filming of the Henry McCullough Tribute Video
Kirsty Bertarelli - 'Baby Where Do You Run To?'
Check out the new footage of Don performing with Kirsty Bertarelli at the Gstaad Country Festival 2014 by clicking here!
Don Mescall - Live
Watch Don perform live on RTE's 'Today Show' below
Mackenzie Porter - 'The Hour Before Christmas'
Don's song 'The Hour Before Christmas' has been released by Canadian artist Mackenzie Porter (Canadian CCMA nominee)
A Few Photo Updates from Don
Albert Lee at Brit row with Don and Charlie
Don with Nick Mason (Pink Floyd)
Don with Sam Bailey (X-Factor)
Don Performed with Kirsty Bertarelli at the Gstaad Country Festival on Friday the 12th and Saturday the 13th of September 2014.
A Few Photo Updates
WORLD EXCLUSIVE: Paul McCartney, Nick Mason and more team up for Henry McCullough tribute song 'Live Long Rock 'n' Roll' co written and produced by internationally acclaimed Irish songwriter Don Mescall
Hot Press sat down with Don Mescall, who was a close friend of Henry'sand a long-standing Irish musician, to talk about the making of the song.
"I was introduced to Henry by a friend of ours called Kevin Nolan back inthe late '90s," Don told us. "It was just one of those situations where we goton instantly. I think Henry had just become aware of my songwriting andwe had an instant connection over Woodstock. Henry was the only Irishman to play Woodstock, and I'd just started working with the protestsinger Richie Havens - who opened Woodstock. So that opened the doorfor us becoming friends.
"I think then in the late '90s, he came to London for some recording. Iinvited him over and he stayed with me and my ex-wife and we had a greatnight of music and stories. We just hit it off. He was one of thesecharismatic, gentle, funny people. Unbelievably talented - beyondcomprehension really. If you listen to his solo in McCartney's 'My Love' -that's a God-given moment alone. You could go to Berkeley for 15 years ofyour life and you ain't gonna learn that.
"So over the years, when things started rolling a bit with my own my work,I used to gravitate towards Ballywonderland - which was Henry and Josie'splace up in Ballymoney. So I'd be going around the country doing theselittle singer-songwriter gigs, and any time I was up that part of the country,I'd stay with them. We became close friends that way. We'd sit out his backkitchen with a couple of guitars drinking tea - with all these exotic birdsabout the place, which Henry's wife Josie used to keep - and that's whenthe wonderful moments for me where. Henry would be reminiscing aboutthe old days. He'd tell stories. He'd play stuff; stuff that he'd written butmaybe never shared. He'd talk about Woodstock, he'd talk about his timewith Joe Cocker, Wings.
Don Mescall - New Album Launch...
The Irish Cultural Centre, United Kingdom
Songwriter of the Year
Don with his ICPMA Award for "Songwriter of the Year" with Stephen Macken TV Director and Dave Loader of NHM Publishing
Photo Updates from Don
Don Mescall with James Shannon Irish Post Country Music Awards on TG4
Richie McDonald from Lonestar
Don with his dear friend Richie McDonald from Lonestar
Don Mescall on the John Murray Show
You can listen back to Don's performances and interview on RTE's 'John Murray Show' via the link below!
Aslan's album 'Bullets & Diamonds'
Aslan have released the completely re-mastered new album 'Bullets & Diamonds' Featuring "Too Late for Hallelujah", written by Don Mescall.
IMRO's 'The Craft of Creating Hit Songs' Seminar
Don was part of IMRO's 'The Craft of Creating Hit Songs' seminar held in Dublin alongside top composers and hit producers Paul Williams (A Star Is Born, Evergreen, Rainy Days & Mondays, We've Only Just Begun) & Jake Gosling (UK Producer for One Direction, Ed Sheeran, Paloma Faith).
Kirsty Bertarelli's new album 'Indigo Shores (Deluxe Version)'
New Photos From Don
Don Mescall with Nick Mason in Abbey Road Recording Studios, London (January 2014)
Don Mescall with his beloved Harley Davidson
Don with his hero Richie Havens
Don writing with Marina Kaye in Electric Lady studios New York
Don with his mother
Don Mescall with Ronan Keating in the Studio
Don Mescall with Sharon Corr and Ronan Hardiman
Sharon Corr's new album 'The Same Sun'
Don is delighted to have co-written 7 songs on this amazing album with Sharon, including the first single 'We Could Be Lovers'.
Don with Christy Dignam
Send Out A Message (To The World)
Don's song 'Send Out A Message (To The World)' has been recorded by Kirsty Bertarelli and Ronan Keating and is due for release on April 29th, 2013.
Ramin Karimloo (New Album out April 2012)
Ramin Karimloo, whos new album is out this month features 4 of Don's songs; Constant Angel, Eyes of a Child, Broken Home & Show me Light!
Don with Ronan Hardiman and Nicky Byrne
Don Mescall - With Very Special Guests...
University Concert Hall, Limerick
"Daily doses of Don Mescall as artist, as writer or both will lead to good musical health"
- Paul Gambaccini BBC Radio
🇪🇸Este jueves 22 de Noviembre, @Sharon_Corr actuará junto a @DonMescall en la gala de premios @IrishPostAwards que se emitirá en directo en @TG4TV— DisfrutaLosCorrs (@DLC_Spain) November 20, 2018
🇬🇧On Thursday November 22nd, @Sharon_Corr will perform with @DonMescall at the @IrishPostAwards broadcasted live on @TG4TV pic.twitter.com/msVpFQCrGK
Marina Kaye 'Fearless'
Hot Country Awards
Kirsty Bertarelli - 'The Ghosts of Christmas Past'
Kirsty's new single 'The Ghosts of Christmas Past' featuring the voices of the YMCA North Staffordshire choir is available now! Don is delighted to have co-written this single with Kirsty.
Against All Blood Sports
Don in Studio with Kirsty Bertarelli
'Catch Your Fall' - Duet with Aslan
Aslan have teamed up again with acclaimed singer-songwriter Don Mescall, to release a new single, 'Catch Your Fall', in aid of Pieta House Suicide and Self Harm Awareness.
Don Mescall and Lonestar
We are delighted to announce that Lonestar have recorded Don's song "My Eyes Open" which features on their new album 'LIFE AS WE KNOW IT' due for release in June 2013.
Don Mescall Scoops Platinum Award at Irish World Awards
Acclaimed singer-songwriter Don Mescall picked up a Platinum Disc from EMI Records, alongside an International Songwriter Of The Year award, at The Irish World Newspaper Awards in London recognising his contribution as a songwriter to the Irish Music industry, as well as to a number of international artists
Irish World Newspaper Awards
Don is delighted to announce that he has been nominated in the category 'International Songwriter Of The Year' at the upcoming 'Irish World Newspaper Awards ' which will be held in London later this month.
ASLAN - 'Too Late for Hallelujah'
**ASLAN AT NUMBER 1 in Irish iTunes Singles Chart with Don's song 'Too Late for Hallelujah'!
Aslan's current album 'Nudie Books and Frenchies' has also reached **NUMBER 1** in the Irish Album Chart featuring 'Too Late for Hallelujah'
Backstreet Boys- Unbreakable Tour London HQ - 'Trouble Is' by Don Mescall
Luke Dickens New Album featuring "I'm Givin In"
Don's song "I'm Givin In" features on the new Australian Idol Luke Dickens new album "Devil in the Wind".
Orchestra at Abbey Road
Don was at Studio 2 at Abbey Road studios recording with a full orchestra!
Hot Country TV Awards
Delighted to announce that Don recently won the "International Songwriter Of The Year" Award at the Hot Country TV Awards which were held on 2nd May in Kildare.
Don Mescall and Sharon Corr
Sharon Corr exclusively performs her new single "We Could be Lovers" on The Voice of Ireland Semi Finals. The single is from her upcoming album and co-written with Don Mescall!
The Voice - RTÉ
Don is delighted to have been invited to be an assistant coach on the new Irish TV production of "The Voice" which was filmed in Dublin in November 2011. Don is assisting his pal and co-writer Sharon Corr on the show, to be aired end of Jan 2012.
Abbey Road, London
News Update! Don spent a day in the famous "Abbey Road - Studio 2" in London recently to hear a 65 piece orchestra record on four songs he penned for Sony artist Ramin Karimloo - The album will be out in early 2012!
Shay Healy Joins Tour!
Don is delighted to announce that highly acclaimed songwriter, broadcaster and journalist Shay Healy will join him as a very special guest on his nationwide tour.
Shay is best known for known for his role as host of Nighthawks, a RTÉ Television chat show of the late 1980s and early 1990s, and for composing "What's Another Year", Ireland's winning entry in the 1980 Eurovision Song Contest.
"The New Cities" Latest Single - Co-Written with Don!
Canadian band "The New Cities" release their new single "THE HYPE" which was co-written with Don.
Check out the new video now on YouTube!
Boyzone & Ronan Keating
A new song written by Don, "Too Late For Hallelujah", is to be featured on the new Boyzone album, due for release on 8/3/2010!
Don has also been invited to play as Special Guest on Ronan Keating's forthcoming solo tour of UK & Ireland.
Irish World Media Awards
Boyzone's new album 'BZ20'
Don is thrilled to have written 3 songs on the new Boyzone album "BZ20", due for release on the 25th of November 2013.