The Enigma Of Shelagh McDonald

Shelagh McDonald was a very highly rated Scottish folk musician who released a couple of albums in the early 1970s to critical acclaim.

In 1972, Shelagh vanished from the music scene and nothing was heard from her for over 30 years. Not only did she stop making music, but she lost touch with her friends and even her parents, who went to their graves without knowing her fate. She didn't even collect the royalties from her record sales.

A newspaper article in The Scottish Daily Mail in December 2005 finally revealed her whereabouts. It seems that a bad LSD trip in 1972 was the root of her problems, she says that it lasted for days and weeks instead hours and she went back to her parents house to "hide from the demons." After she had partially recovered, she spent the rest of the 1970s working in a department store.

After meeting her partner in the 1980s, she rediscovered her hippy roots and adopted an itinerant lifestyle, travelling across Ireland and Scotland living in a tent.

The author of these words can highly recommend the two albums released by Shelagh McDonald. Whilst it is undeniably sad that her parents died without knowing what had happened to her, your scribe has a sneaking admiration for anyone who can turn their backs on success, money and society in pursuit of their own happiness.

(Three decades later, Shelagh pictured with her partner Gordon)

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