Story Behind the Song: Don McLean's 'American Pie'
Aug 07, · At this point Mr. McLean was very much suicidal, so he said goodbye to Yunkel, who he often referred to as Miss American Pie because she only consumed Hostess Sweet Sugar Cherry Pies © Author: Devin Wallace. Sep 10, · Most students of the song see these lines as merely another metaphor for the death of the American dream. A Chevy was a very popular car among youth. The levee, for towns that had them, was a popular gathering place for teens who wanted to hang out without adult supervision.
Dear Peggy Sue: An appropriately timed question, with Feb. Without mentioning him by name, "American Pie" makes clear references to Buddy Holly, but americaj is about so much more. It's a song of desires and discontentment. In this number one hit, Don McLean is the voice of American rock and roll as it was in the s and the powerful effect it had on him.
His is the first person voice "I"-"me"-"we" and spirit of s music and culture, a conclusion based on this detailed analysis:. This is about the music of the '50s, as Don remembers what channel is pbs in las vegas. If he could revive how to draw a morpho butterfly, people would surely dance and be happy.
McLean, a newspaper carrier as a boy, recalls the plane crash that killed everyone on board, including Amerocan Holly. Just five months before the tragedy, Holly married Maria Elena Santiago. More than just a reference to Shat Holly's passing, this laments the death of early rock and roll. Besides the Monotones' "Book of Love," s music included many beautiful ballads, for slow dances.
School dances often took place in the gym, featuring plenty of rock and roll and rhythm and blues music. The 10 yearswhen first generation rock and roll had somewhat lapsed from our consciousness and was on its own. The jester is Bob Dylan and the king is Elvis Presley. Dylan once performed for the Queen of England, wearing a leather jacket similar to one worn by James Dean.
Although '60s music has taken over, it owes much to the '50s. In the mid-'60s, while Presley was making one movie after another, Dylan became immensely popular.
Then, there was "no verdict" as to whether Presley would reclaim his crown. The Beatles the "quartet" did some unpopular things, including reading a Karl Marx wjat. Meanwhile, the spirit of the '50s still existed, even if in the dark, out of the mainstream. Drugs, including "grass," influenced much of maerican late '60s music.
The "players" artists of the s and early '60s tried to make a comeback, but, after a near fatal accident, the jester Dylan was still there. Their comeback attempt "never got the chance. Pepper exploded on the scene. First generation rock and rollers kept trying to make a comeback "take the field" but few were successful. The marching band British Invasion artists refused to yield, and often occupied 25 percent of the U.
Many psychedelic music lovers were "all in one place" at the concert at Altamont, Calif. Most there were high "lost in space". In a huge brawl involving at least one motorcycle gang, a man was stabbed to death. Seeing this misery, Satan Mick Jagger would be "laughing with delight. The girl is Janis Joplin.
When asked for some happy news, she smiles, but has no good news to give. The three who caught the "last train" are John F. Each man was a murder victim. Not until was there a single with the complete song on one side of a Jerry Osborne answers as many questions as possible through this column. Any values quoted in this column are for near-mint condition. Facebook Twitter Email.
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Apr 08, · "American Pie" is a song that speaks volumes about the generational gap that took shape when the fifties shifted into the sixties, and the metaphors Don McLean crams into the eight-minute folk song remain just as foggy in present funlovestory.com: Amanda Hutchison. Jan 26, · Without mentioning him by name, "American Pie" makes clear references to Buddy Holly, but it is about so much more. It's a song of desires and discontentment. . At more than words, the meaning of “American Pie” proved elusive even for a generation used to parsing inscrutable Bob Dylan and Beatles lyrics. McLean has said the song was inspired by the.
It's now been 50 years since "American Pie" — all eight and a half cryptic minutes of it— took hold of the airwaves in , and it's safe to say there's never been another song like it. In honor of the song's 50th anniversary, McLean talked about its mysterious inspiration and legacy with Bart Herbison of Nashville Songwriters Association International. Bart Herbison: "American Pie.
It is certainly in an elite handful. I will tell you this. BH: I will tell you. Everyone wants to know about "The Joker" or "Jack Flash" but I think we can all understand who they are and who we want them to be.
DM: First of all, America was much more volatile than it is at the moment. People in the street. This was the kind of volatile world we were in then. Part of what "American Pie" is, is a spiritual song, about the spirit of the country and what was happening to it. And the music represents that. And this was the theory of "American Pie.
But I am happy to talk about it, because it leads me into a discussion of the country which I am very interested in and love. I was in my little room where I used to write songs. What I do is I put a tape recorder on. I even did it on my last album, "Botanical Gardens. I had the tape recorder on and I just sang, "A long, long time ago, I can still remember how the music made me smile. And I knew if I had my chance, I could make those people dance. DM: Oh yeah! DM: Writing songs is a lonely thing.
It was the one that would follow "Tapestry. I needed to come up with a chorus that was crazy and rip it, rather than lay there with it. This is how the form of the song established itself. I kept the first verse slow. Later on, three months later, I wrote five more verses of the same length, following forward with this idea, almost in a rock dream kind of idea. Then I slowed down the fifth verse so it starts slow, rocks in the middle and slows at the end.
The form of this song is different from almost any song you would hear. I love that. I thought it was great. I love the title, "American Pie. My thumb is up like I just pulled it out of the pie.
I had so many creative people around me, like the guy that did the cover, George Whiteman. He heard the song and I went to his studio and he told me he was going to paint my thumb. I said, "OK. BH: By the way, one of the greatest album covers ever! I knew about you a little bit. I probably bought five copies of the vinyl because I wore it out.
DM: Everybody picked up on this. The producer understood what I was doing. The guy that did the cover understood what I was doing. So off we went. We put this together. The cover was tremendous. I loved it. It was so simple and still looks great. BH: Let me ask a couple specific questions about the song. I was a year-old DJ in a rural town when that song came out.
I went and bought the album at the record store because of your thumb and put it on. Pretty soon, we got a shipment of an edited version that was a little over four minutes long. How did that make you feel? I always played the long version.
DM: There must have been a lot of that because people started to hear the long version and clammer for it. It just kept going. When it got played, you got double from BMI. BH: To explain that, when a song is over a certain length of time, the songwriter gets twice the rate.
If you put it in the jukebox, it had two sides so it was two hits there. You wrote it. It went to No. You let that song tell you how to sing it. A song is supposed to make us feel something, and you change your tempo and you change your emotional delivery three or four times where you should in that song.
It is just a knife twister in the most excellent way Did any of the characters that are supposedly in the song, Dylan, Roger McGuinn, Jagger, did they ever ask you about it personally? BH: Even after all these years, and I say this with respect so take it that way, do you even get how important this song is, Don?
DM: I try not to be prideful. If I started to think about the things people say about me these days, the introductions I get, the things they tell me about And I think, "Lord have mercy, all I did was put one foot in front of the other.
It seemed like an uphill struggle to me. It seems like I was always fighting with somebody: a record label, a producer or an agent or whatever. I went back and listened to it a couple times this week, knowing we would do this interview. What it did to me all those years ago, it still does, It makes me think.
I look at the lyrics. I listen. I appreciate it on so many levels. Let me tell you what it did to me last night. You've still got things to do socially to make this world a better place. DM: Thank you for saying that. In partnership with Nashville Songwriters Association International, the "Story Behind the Song" video interview series features Nashville-connected songwriters discussing one of their compositions.
For full video interviews with all of our subjects, visit www. Facebook Twitter Email. Dave Paulson Nashville Tennessean. Show Caption. Hide Caption. Story Behind the Song: 'American Pie'. Share your feedback to help improve our site!