Don McLean

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Don McLean inducted into The Songwriters Hall Of Fame

McLean's advice to aspiring songwriters: "Do not learn how to read music.  Do not bore yourself with learning how to be a technician.  Learn things that make you feel good inside, and learn to hear the language of music with your ears."

Don McClean is most certainly one of the leading pop singer-songwriter's of a generation, writing and singing hits such as Vincent (Starry Starry Night), Castles In The Air, and best known song--American Pie.  With Don McLean, the listener does not simply get to hear a great tenor voice, but also enjoy lyrics that comment on or make us aware of various aspects of life. 

I was lucky enough to see and meet Don McLean at his 2002 and 2004 Northern Virginia performances.   His 2004 performance, a generous 2 1/2 hour set, was particularly outstanding as his voice was in perfect pitch, and he obviously was enjoying himself (as was the filled to capacity audience).  As a bonus, he sang a handful of traditional Christmas carols. 

Don McLean is a rare breed, as he lives in Maine remaining faithful to his music and fans, rather than having pursued the Castles In The Air world so many musicians, actors, and other performers seem to covet.

Is Don McLean, one of the 'wise men' of our generation---perhaps so!


Photos and autographs from Don McLean's December 4, 2004, State Theater, Falls Church, VA Performance


Don McLean on American Pie: "It really was a phenomenon.  I think it changed the world in a tiny way. I'm tremendously proud of it."

Photos and autographs from Don McLean's July 7, 2002, Birchmere, Alexandria, VA Performance

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Vincent (Starry Starry Night)

Starry starry night, paint your palette blue and grey
Look out on a summer's day with eyes that know the darkness in my soul
Shadows on the hills, sketch the trees and the daffodils
Catch the breeze and the winter chills, in colors on the snowy linen land

Now I understand what you tried to say to me
How you suffered for you sanity How you tried to set them free
They would not listen they did not know how, perhaps they'll listen now

Starry starry night, flaming flowers that brightly blaze
Swirling clouds in violet haze reflect in Vincent's eyes of chine blue
Colors changing hue, morning fields of amber grain
Weathered faces lined in pain are soothed beneath the artist's loving hand

For they could not love you, but still your love was true
And when no hope was left in sight, on that starry starry night
You took your life as lovers often do,
But I could have told you, Vincent,
This world was never meant for one as beautiful as you

Starry, starry night, portraits hung in empty halls
Frameless heads on nameless walls with eyes that watch the world and can't forget.
Like the stranger that you've met, the ragged man in ragged clothes
The silver thorn of bloody rose, lie crushed and broken on the virgin snow

Now I think I know what you tried to say to me
How you suffered for you sanity How you tried to set them free
They would not listen they're not listening still
Perhaps they never will.
1995-2002 Alan Howard, Don McLean. 

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