Thursday, July 26, 2007
The meaning behind the lyrics of Don McLean's American Pie. Janis Joplin, The Beatles, Bob Dylan, War & Peace, drugs, murder, Hell's Angels and the Rolling Stones. And, of course Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and The Big Bopper.
In 1971 Don McLean was a struggling 25-year-old folk singer when he picked up his guitar to write a song for his second album.
"I was up in a— in a — in a little bedroom of a little house that I had, and I started singing, 'A long, long time ago,'" he told Early Show co-anchor Russ Mitchell. "And I started writing it down. 'Oh, that sounds good. I like that,' you know. And then I — I started going with it and started — the — the — the memory of the death of Buddy Holly came — came along, and I — you know, but I didn't want to say that. So I — you know, I said, 'February made me shiver.' I just really went back in time to when I was a paperboy."
He was a 13-year-old paperboy on February 3, 1959, when he delivered the news that three pioneers of rock 'n' roll — Ritchie Valens, the Big Bopper and Buddy Holly — had died in a plane crash.
"I was always interested in the — in — in the American experience. And I suddenly, in my little head, I realized that I could use rock 'n' roll and the story of rock 'n' roll and forward-moving lyrics, starting with the death of Buddy Holly, to tell the story of America," he said.
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