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Don McLean Interview PDF Print E-mail
Written by Debra c. Argen   

Don McLean Rearview MirrorInterview with the legendary Don McLean

 

 

 

Don McLean Rearview MirrorDon McLean is a legend in the music industry, having won several awards, with over 40 gold and platinum records. On Thursday, September 15, 2005, I had the opportunity to interview him by telephone to discuss his latest release Rearview Mirror on Hyena Records that debuted on October 2, 2005, which he produced with Grammy-award winning producer Joel Dorn.

 

Debra:

Mr. McLean, first of all I would like to congratulate you on your upcoming milestone birthday on October 2, 2005 (turning 60 years old), and your new retrospective release, Rearview Mirror. What was the inspiration for this release?

 

Don:

Well, it’s the first time the material is released on CD and DVD. It is the most that has been released from the archives, and there is a new song, “Run Diana Run”. There is a lot of stuff that my fans will be interested in, merged into this wonderful package.

 

Debra:

Yes, it’s a great package with 18 tracks, which include “If You Could Read My Mind”, “Vincent”, “Wonderful Baby” which Fred Astaire later recorded in 1971, “Love Me Tender”, “(It Was) A Very Good Year”, “El Paso”, “My Saddle Pal & I”, “And I Love You So”, “Crying”, “Empty Chair”, “Homeless Brother”, “TB Blues”, “Magdalene Lane”, “Infinity”, “Prime Time”, “American Pie”, “Run Diana Run” and “You’ve Got To Share.”

 

Don:

What I like about this album is the transition from one song to the next. Also, I sing with my children on “You’ve Got To Share”, which my daughter wrote when she was 9 years old.

 

Debra:

So, you’ve got another songwriter in the house?

 

Don:

Actually, that was the only song that she has written, but it’s a really nice song.

 

Debra:

Your songs, “American Pie” and “Vincent” have taken on almost iconic stature, as they epitomize the 1970’s. How do you feel about creating a legend? You created more than a song with “American Pie.”

 

Don:

It’s amazing on how the music world made it so hard for me to break through. I lost 4 Grammy’s in 1972. The music business was quite hostile to me after “American Pie”, thinking that perhaps this was just a one-time phenomenon. Of course, now my records continue to sell extremely well. What I would like to tell new performers is that the music business is not a day at the beach. You will receive a lot of rejection, not by your audiences, but by the powers that be. After all these years, I am not annoyed, but I am rather amazed that I am still around.

 

Debra:

You are truly a renaissance man, from living on a farm in Maine and training Appaloosa horses to rose gardening. How did you get involved with training horses? It seems like it is a far cry from creating music.

 

Don:

I like to do whatever interests me. There is a certain wilderness side to me, as well as a gilded age side to me. I belong to the Lotus Club in New York, which is the gilded age side of me.

I have always loved horses, and 30 years ago I started riding. With riding, you either have to be a rider or a passenger, so I got into training horses to ride them. When you ride you need to really be focused on what you are doing. After riding, I have such a mental clarity about what I am doing at that time. I come back clearheaded, much like after performing, where I are energized and very happy, which keeps me coming back.

 

Debra:

The US tour will continue through 2005. Do you have plans for a European tour?

 

Don:

I already played in Ireland, Scotland and Denmark, and in 2006 I will play in Helsinki and Oslo. Fans can also check out my other dates at Hyena Records, American Pie or Don McLean web sites.

 

Debra:

What are some of your most memorable moments during your career?

 

Don:

I have a lot of those, including the first time I played Carnegie Hall, when “American Pie” hit #1 on the charts, playing Albert Hall in London, my first television special for the BBC, singing at the White House in 2000.

 

Debra:

What’s next? I heard that you are working on another project, Addicted to Black, which will be your first album of new original material and will be released in 2006.

 

Don:

Addicted to Black will be released in the Fall of 2006. The songs are written, the tracks are done, including “Run Diana Run”, from the Rearview Mirror release. There is also a book coming, “Killing Us Softly, the Don McLean Story.”

 

Debra:

Before I knew of your connection to Johnny Cash, the first time I heard your new song, “Run Diana Run” I immediately thought that he would love it, because it just seems like a “Johnny song” to me. I think that every time you sing that song, that Johnny is singing and playing his guitar along with you.

 

Don:

I’d like to think so. Actually, “Run Diana Run” is an anti-paparazzi song, which will be released as a single for the radio.

 

Debra:

What is your connection to Johnny Cash?

 

Don:

I met Johnny many years ago when I recorded with him and we stayed friends.

 

Debra:

Is there anyone that you would like to sing with?

 

Don:

I would have liked to sing with Sinatra, I always loved his stuff, especially his older stuff. I would love to sing with Barbara Streisand, as she has a great voice.

 

Debra:

Is there anything that you haven’t done yet, that you would like to try?

 

Don:

Go where it’s warm and sail around in the sun. I’d like to spend some time on the sea.

© November 2005. Luxury Experience. www.LuxuryExperience.com. All rights reserved.

 
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