Any music fan will tell you that it’s nearly impossible to hear the song “American Pie” and not sing along. It’s hard to believe that superstar Don McLean released the song almost 50 years ago, partly inspired by the deaths of Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper (JP Richardson) in a plane crash. “American Pie” was named one of the top five songs of the 20th century and to celebrate, McLean recently announced plans for a global tour in 2021 to give fans a chance to re-live the many memories it created. NRA Country’s Vanessa Shahidi asked McLean some questions and learned a few new things about the Songwriters Hall of Fame member. Be sure to catch all the news and announcements about McLean online at www.DonMcLean.com.
VS: Do you have a favorite personal firearm?
DM: I am a collector of early western movies, originally collecting 16 mm film of the greats like Hoot Gibson and Buck Jones. This led from one thing to another: a love of western history, then western film history, horsemanship (I’ve ridden for 30 years) and guns of the West. My favorite was always the single-action Colt and my favorite rifle was the Winchester Saddle Ring Carbine.
VS: What makes the outdoors special to you?
DM: I fell in love with the outdoors because the town where I grew up was surrounded by woods in which we all played. That changed my life and I could never live in a city. I chose to be a rambler and singer who writes songs because it suited my need to be free and take orders from nobody.
VS: What are some of your best outdoors memories?
DM: I have always lived in a wilderness area. The happiest moments of my life were spent riding alone in the forest on a series of great trail horses and having adventures in great weather and rough weather.
VS: Did you know “American Pie” would be such an impactful song when you wrote it?
DM: “American Pie” is my most famous song and the most ambitious. I wanted a big, complex song about America which captured its power and genius. I decided that politics and music would influence each other moving forward.
VS: You’ve already made big plans for next year. Tell us about those.
DM: I’ve planned a world tour for 2021 as well as a brand new album, Still Playin’ Favorites, and many other events to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the American Pie album. I look forward to getting back out in front of fans of all ages.
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