Don McLEAN (b1945) The complete working manuscript for the s...
Estimate: US$1,000,000 - US$1,500,000
Price realised: US$1,205,000
Don McLEAN (b.1945). The complete working manuscript for the song “American Pie”, with numerous revisions and unpublished deleted sections. [Cold Spring, NY and Philadelphia, PA, 1970-71].
Don McLEAN (b.1945). The complete working manuscript for the song “American Pie”, with numerous revisions and unpublished deleted sections. [Cold Spring, NY and Philadelphia, PA, 1970-71]. Comprising: 4 pages manuscript in pencil on four sheets of blue paper stock, 11 pages manuscript on 10 sheets in pencil and ink on ruled spiral paper (including one a half sheet), 2 pages manuscript in pencil on two sheets of yellow paper stock, and one page typed manuscript on blue paper (with four lines holograph notes on verso in purple ink and pencil). Together 18 pages of manuscript on 17 sheets, all 4to. "For more than 40 years I have rambled around every state of the union and many, many countries of the world. My primary interests in life have been America, singing, songwriting, and the English language. I love the English language as much as anything in life and words really do mean something. I thought it would be interesting as I reach age 70 to release this work product on the song American Pie so that anyone who might be interested will learn that this song was not a parlor game. It was an indescribable photograph of America that I tried to capture in words and music and then was fortunate enough through the help of others to make a successful recording. I would say to young songwriters who are starting out to immerse yourself in beautiful music and beautiful lyrics and think about every word you say in a song." —Don McLean February 13, 2015 Don McLean's 'American Pie' By Douglas Brinkley A long, long, time ago…” Those five words, when uttered or sung, make Baby Boomers immediately think of Don McLean’s pop masterpiece “American Pie”. It’s hard to believe that his phenomenal 8 and ½-minute allegory, which millions of Americans know by heart, is 44 years old. All sorts of historical cross currents play off each other in this timeless song, brilliantly gilded with the unforgettable chorus, which starts as “Bye, Bye, Miss American Pie”. There is no real way to categorize McLean’s “American Pie” for its hybrid of modern poetry and folk ballad, beerhall chant and high-art rock. McLean was a paperboy when, on February 3, 1959, he saw that Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson had been tragically killed in an airplane crash in Clear Lake, Iowa. “The next day I went to school in shock and guess what?” McLean recalled. “Nobody cared. Rock n’roll in those days was sort of like hula hoops and Buddy hadn’t had a big hit on the charts since 57”. By cathartically writing “American Pie” McLean has guaranteed that the memory of those great musicians lives forever. Having recorded his first album Tapestry in 1969, in Berkeley, California, during the student riots, McLean a native New Yorker, became a kind of weathervane for what he called the “generation lost in space”. When his cultural anthem “American Pie” was released in November 1971 it replaced Bob Dylan’s “The Times They Are A Changin” as the Peoples Almanac of the new decade. It’s important to think of “American Pie” as one would of Henry Longfellow’s “Evangeline” or Johnny Mercer’s “Moon River” – an essential Americana poem emanating wistful recollection, blues valentine, and youthful protest rolled into one. There is magic brewing in the music and words of “American Pie”, for McLean’s lyrics and melody frame a cosmic dream, like those Jack Kerouac tried to conjure in his poetry-infused novel On the Road. Influenced by Pete Seeger and the Weavers, McLean proudly wore the mantle of troubadour in the early 1970’s - when “American Pie” topped the Billboard charts - and has never shed the cape. Wandering far and wide, singing “American Pie” at windblown dance halls in Wyoming and cloistered colleges in New England, at huge amphitheaters in California and little coffee houses in the Hudson River Valley McLean has performed his global anthem thousands of times. Yet the encore number never loses its transfixing allure. When McLean prods audiences by rhap
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