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Old 03-26-2019, 10:48 AM
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Blueser100 Blueser100 is offline
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Default Don McLean at Grammy Museum

Saw him last night for a wonderful Q & A and song in the intimate Clive Davis Theatre. He's got great stories about the old days, Pete Seeger, the Weevers, making American Pie, and lessons learned being in the music business. They gave out copies of his new CD "Botannical Gardens" and he hung around afterwards to sign them for us.

My only disappointment was that he didn't engage with people much, and when I walked up to hand him my CD cover book, he didn't look at me at all or say anything in response to something I said to him. He sang to himself while signing and then looked around to see where his girlfriend was sitting. Perhaps he is shy . . . that might explain why he insisted on wearing dark glasses during the event.

All in all, it was a wonderful experience and I'm glad I went.
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Old 03-26-2019, 11:09 AM
Beakybird Beakybird is offline
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I used to listen to his double live album over and over.
Has he written a great song in the last 40 years? I haven't been following. If anyone one knows of a must download recent song, I would love to know.
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Old 03-26-2019, 11:19 AM
LAGinz LAGinz is offline
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I was at this event too, and found it quite enjoyable. Interestingly enough, while his voice sounded very good, it did not sound anything like the Don McLean of 1971. While voices inevitably change with age, if my eyes had been closed, I would have never recognized it as Don McLean.
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Old 03-26-2019, 11:29 AM
Misifus Misifus is offline
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So far as the question of “What has he done lately?” I think that’s irrelevant. How many songwriters have produced songs like “American Pie” and “Starry, Starry Night” ? He has done wonderfully, whether he ever does so again or not.
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Old 03-26-2019, 11:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beakybird View Post
I used to listen to his double live album over and over.
Has he written a great song in the last 40 years? I haven't been following. If anyone one knows of a must download recent song, I would love to know.
I was in the audience for the Manchester half of the live album.
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Old 03-26-2019, 11:57 AM
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I went to see him probably 1985. My uncle took me to a show in Rhode Island and I remember thinking, Oh he's the guy who wrote all those songs...
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Old 03-26-2019, 03:02 PM
Tony Burns Tony Burns is offline
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I remember going to see him at the Tralf ( in Buffalo ) back in the early 1970's - I had the two seats and a table directly in front of him
-he is a stellar performer -it was a wonderful concert .
it was a concert that you use to judge all other concerts -i dont remember him being a people person - but did he put on a great show .
( but from other experiences - Gordon Lightfoot wasnt really an out going person either at his show from the 1970's -actually just sang his songs and left )
I think sometimes we have to remember these folks are regular people
and not every day is their best day - some of these folks are Alpha people
and some are not - But i wouldn't of traded either concert .
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Old 03-26-2019, 03:22 PM
Beakybird Beakybird is offline
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Don MacLean's work definitely stands on its own, but if he's written any songs in the last 40 years in the caliber of "Homeless Brother," I'd love to hear it.
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Old 03-26-2019, 03:45 PM
zombywoof zombywoof is offline
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When his first LP came out Don was living in my neck of the woods. I recall running into him at the festivals in Garrison which were fund raisers to build the sloop Clearwater. I was never much of a fan though.
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Old 03-26-2019, 07:20 PM
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I’ve seen him live well over 20 times, the first time was at the Royal Albert Hall in 1973. No support act, he came on at 7.30 and was still there with the lights on playing tunes on his banjo at close to 11 pm. One of the best 5 concerts of my life.

In 1975 I saw him 6 times in 2 weeks including 4 nights in a row. Solo again he had no setlists. In Manchester at the Hardrock he played his banjo for over an hour. The following night at a much more sedate Fairfield Hall in Croydon, South London, he played only one song with it. Every show was superb.

I’ve met him a few times and can only say he’s always been friendly to me. I learned a lot watching him perform and I’ve never used set lists since then when performing alone.
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Old 03-26-2019, 07:49 PM
J Patrick J Patrick is offline
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...even in his early days. I felt he was an under appreciated songwriter....crazy good word skills and a fresh take on traditional folk styles...I .used to catch his shows at the Cellar Door in DC back then....
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Old 03-27-2019, 05:09 PM
KCharlesD KCharlesD is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yrksman View Post
I’ve seen him live well over 20 times, the first time was at the Royal Albert Hall in 1973. No support act, he came on at 7.30 and was still there with the lights on playing tunes on his banjo at close to 11 pm. One of the best 5 concerts of my life.
Chris, was his Albert Hall concert recorded for TV broadcast? I was 11 years old and remember seeing Don McLean in concert on the small black and white TV at my Grandma's house. I had a major impact on me. I knew and loved 'American Pie' and 'Vincent' but I was greatly impacted by him playing banjo and singing 'Babylon'. I've never seen anyone else hold an audience like that. This was on a small black and white TV.
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Old 03-27-2019, 07:36 PM
Slothead56 Slothead56 is offline
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I was a huge Dion McLean fan back in college in the 70’s and listened to his albums extensively. Learned all his songs...he taught me a lot about playing guitar with rhythm and feeling.

Two quick stories:
I saw him in the late Spring, ‘78 at an outdoor amphitheater outside Philadelphia. Played solo to a crowd of 8000+/- as I recall. As an encore, he came out with his guitar, stood on the edge of the stage with no microphone and sang the old Buddy Holly song It Doesn’t Matter Anymore. You could hear a pin drop as his voice filled the space. Really a remarkable concert moment.

About 10 years later I saw him at a small college venue in Central PA. Small crowd...maybe 500?? He had a guy join him onstage to play electric guitar during most of the songs. He made a weird comment about “this is my ‘screw you’ tour” where I can make enough money to stop playing...something to that effect. Admittedly, he seems to have a dry sense of humor but there was something about the comment that held a bit of truth. As the show wound to a close I realized he hadn’t played Vincent, arguably his most beloved and covered song. And off he walked leaving a disappointed and questioning audience wondering why. No encore that night as I recall.

A couple years later I saw an ad in the local paper that he was the Friday night headliner at (wait for it) the Lebanon Bologna Festival in Lebanon, PA. Admission was $2. I shook my head, wondered if it was just a coincidence and did not make the trip to Lebanon.

Please understand...he was a major influence as I started playing, writing and performing in the early days. I think much of his early stuff is remarkable and his personal story is interesting. But the stories stand on their own...
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Old 03-28-2019, 03:06 AM
Klimski Klimski is offline
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Saw him a few years ago in Amsterdam, his singing and playing was on form, only he seemed (as many his age) bitter and angry at the world. I always get the feeling that he feels he has been robbed out of a spot amongst the greats of music - whilst at the same time resenting that he is mainly known for a single song: American Pie.

It's weird, if I could have written American Pie, and done nothing else in my life, I would die a happy man...
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Old 03-28-2019, 04:50 AM
Slothead56 Slothead56 is offline
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He was once asked in an interview “what does American Pie mean?” His reply? “It means I’ll never have to work again.”
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