Don McLean – His Latest Anthology Project and the Showbusiness Machine
The man that brought us classics like American Pie, Vincent, Crying, Castles in the Air, and Since I Don't Have You, the incomparable Don McLean, caught up with Mike McKelly and Stefani Bishop to talk about his latest project, his complete collection available on Time Life. 11 albums. 173 songs. His lyrics and voice are the soundtrack for so many lives.
Obviously, his most famous song, American Pie, has been the subject of speculation and controversy over the years. In fact, there's even a college course you can take on the meaning of the classic. "That just shows you how pathetic college has gotten," the singer/songwriter mused. He takes each question about American Pie graciously. "My fans and friends wince every time I'm asked, thinking 'he's going to get that question again.' You'll notice I try to answer differently every time because I respect the fact that people just have to know. I understand it's a compulsion."
Still touring and performing, McLean has seen a lot of stage shows becoming more and more manufactured. "Showbusiness can turn you in to a machine. There are people that go on stage and go on play guitar and sing and they have to do the same show every night and say the same thing between every song. I don't do that. I do a different show every night. I pride myself on having some control over my idiom."
Along with his entire anthology now available to stream, the Time Life project features television specials and interviews with McLean, as well as something he's always wanted to share with fans, "some tips for people who might want to sing and play guitar." Gotta pass that torch and inspire future generations to strum pain with their fingers.
Check out the exclusive Rocker Morning Show interview with the one, the only Don McLean below.