Wattie, who is a Technical Services Manager in the Oil and Gas industry, is also a passionate musician. He is lead and rhythm guitarist in the band, the Jasmine Minks, who rose to success when signed to the labels, Creation and Poptones in 1983. These labels were founded by Alan McGee, who has managed UK bands such as Oasis, Primal Scream and The Jesus and Mary Chain, to name a few.
Now the band has released a charity single called ‘Ten Thousand Tears’ to raise money for MND Scotland, because Wattie’s brother, Philip Duncan (61), was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease (MND) in November 2016.
Philip, who is married to Dianne (61) and dad to Nick (36) and Kim (34), was a competitive sportsman. He was a ‘Category 1 Classification Scottish Cyclist’, which means he competed for his country on a number of occasions. Philip also worked as an engineer in the Oil and Gas industry for 38 years and first noticed something was wrong, not long after he retired, in 2015.
Wattie said “Philip was always extremely fit. It’s uncanny the amount of sports people who tend to get MND. He’s competed against many top riders, including Tour de France participants Malcolm Elliott, Allan Peiper and twice world record holder, Graeme Obree.
“His symptoms were initially thought to be a sports injury. He started to suffer from neck pains and numbness in his fingers. However, after trying various treatments and physio sessions, nothing changed. This progressed over time until he was finally diagnosed with MND.
“The NHS has been fantastic and Gordon Aikman’s work in doubling the number of MND nurses in Scotland has really benefitted Phil.”
Since his diagnosis, Philip has tasked his friends and family to come up with creative ways to raise funds for MND Scotland and Wattie is putting his musical skills to use. The charity single ‘Ten Thousand Tears’ has already received radio airplay in Scotland, England, Northern Ireland, USA, Canada, Italy and France, and is selling internationally.
On the single Wattie said, “The song is about acknowledging that although the past, and what you may have once aspired to are gone, don’t let it beat you, as nobody should ever let time pass them by. There’s still plenty of life left to live and things to achieve. Circumstances may make you angry and emotional but it’s about being positive and not letting negative thoughts hold you back. Cry for it, let it out but basically dust yourself down and move on.”
Philip’s diagnosis is not the first time Wattie has had an experience with MND. He said “One thing that is a remarkable coincidence is that my brother-in-law, Jimmy Lawrie, died from MND 30 years ago. We have therefore had MND in our family twice. 30 years ago, the Jasmine Minks released our best known album called “Another Age” and the coincidences are not lost on us, hence when Phil said he wanted to raise funds for MND Scotland the appropriate and best thing for us was to release this single to try and do something positive. It’s come full circle again. It’s a cause very close and personal to us and we want to get the message out there.”
Philip said, “I think it’s brilliant Wattie and the guys have done this to raise money for MND. The whole family have been getting involved in fundraising for MND Scotland, so it’s great to have so many positive things to focus on. Raising awareness of the illness is also really important to me so the more we can spread the word the better.”
Iain McWhirter, Head of Fundraising and Volunteering, said: “I remember listening to the Jasmine Minks when I was growing up so to have them release a charity single for MND Scotland is really exciting. I know this single is very special to the whole family and we are so grateful they are using this platform to raise money for us.
“The money raised from the single will go towards helping us provide support to people affected across the country and also fund research into a cure for this cruel disease.”
To buy the charity single ‘Ten Thousands Tears’ visit: www.thejasmineminks.bandcamp.com/album/ten-thousand-tears
09 March 2021
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