IN the wake of 2021’s 50th anniversary of Don McLean’s American Pie, he will be touring next autumn “in honour of the day the music died”, playing York Barbican on September 28 2022.
McLean, who turns 76 on October 2, released his iconic double A-side from the October 1971 album of the same name, charting at number one in the United States and number two over here.
Despite decades of attempted interpretations, McLean has remained enigmatic as to the oft-quoted song’s meaning and the mystery is no less today.
Fifty years on, American Pie resides in the Library of Congress National Recording Registry, one of fewer than 500 works to do so, as well as being named a top-five song of the 20th century by the Recording Industry of America (RIAA) and being inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2002.
McLean, a troubadour from New Rochelle, New York, cut his teeth on the Big Apple club scene in the late-1960s, before charting at home and abroad with Vincent (Starry, Starry Night), Castles In The Air, Cryin’, And I Love You So, Wonderful Baby, Since I Don’t Have You, It’s Just The Sun and If We Try, let alone American Pie.
Madonna, Drake and Garth Brooks are among many artists who have covered his songs, or about half a song in Madonna’s truncated case with American Pie.
McLean is an inductee of the Grammy Hall of Fame and Songwriters Hall of Fame and has received a BBC Lifetime Achievement award. This year, he was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, to be found in front of The Pie Hole Bakery, between Hollywood and Vine, Los Angeles.
His song And I Love You So was the theme for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding in May 2018; American Pie appears in the Avengers’ film Black Widow and an upcoming Tom Hanks movie, Finch; next up for Mclean is a children’s book, set for release in 2022.
McLean appeared previously at York Barbican in May 2015 and April 2018. Tickets for next year’s return are on sale at yorkbarbican.co.uk.