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McLean serving good old American Pie to Newcastle fans

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One of the most revered songwriters of our time, Don McLean, is heading to Newcastle in the new year.

The Grammy Award honouree, Hall of Famer and BBC Lifetime Achievement Award recipient will bring his American Pie 50th Anniversary Tour to The Station on Saturday 15 April.

And, tickets go on sale from 9am on Friday 11 November.

“I am thrilled to be getting back to Australia with my band,” he said.

“2022 marks the 50th anniversary from when American Pie landed at the No. 1 spot on the Billboard chart – and we’ll be celebrating. 

“We’ll perform songs from that album plus many of the other hits that fans will be expecting to hear.”

As tragic as the backstory behind American Pie is with the much too early death of Buddy Holly, the track is also magnificent and legendary.

It still goes to the heart as soon as McLean plays this classic at his concerts.

However, it’s worth remembering the 76-year-old composer has written and sung numerous other melodic and harmonic successes in his decades-long career with Vincent (Starry Starry Night), Castles in the Air, And I Love You So and Cryin’, all of which will be heard and revelled in along with newer pieces on the upcoming tour. 

Earlier this year, McLean celebrated the 50th anniversary of Vincent (Starry, Starry Night) by releasing an intimate performance that was recorded at the Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit. 

The eight-and-a-half-minute ballad American Pie has been making history since its release in 1971.

Alongside songs by other icons such as Bing Crosby, Judy Garland, Woody Guthrie and Aretha Franklin, McLean’s composition was also voted Song of the 20th Century.

Handwritten lyrics were auctioned off for more than $1.2 million in 2015 and the composition was added to the Library Of Congress National Recording Registry two years later.

Here, you’ll only find a few selected evergreens, such as Somewhere Over The Rainbow.

So much for the cultural significance of McLean and his 1971 stroke of genius.

Over the years, the song has been covered again and again by music icons like Madonna and Garth Brooks.

Rapper Drake repeatedly sampled McLean tunes and hip-hop icon Tupac Shakur also cited him as an important influence. 

Accordingly, the complete discography of the legendary and still active singer/songwriter is also significant.

Among other things, McLean has a star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame and was inducted into the National Academy of Popular Music Songwriters’ Hall Of Fame in 2004.

And, he never gets tired of writing new songs and new stories.

In 2018, the sound senior released his 19th studio album, Botanical Gardens, which received rave reviews.

Songs from it subsequently proved themselves live and will maybe even find their way into the setlist next year, alongside American Pie and all the other feats from this decades-spanning and unparalleled composition and performance career.

Support act

Joining McLean is award-winning artist, songwriter and producer Andrew Farriss and his band as they take you on an acoustic, boundless journey through his catalogue of hits, including selections from his time with the legendary rock band INXS (who sold over 80 million albums, notched seven Top 10 sings) through his current solo, self-titled country/Americana album (which produced a Top 40 single on the Billboard’s indicator chart).

His music has held influence in the rock, pop, country, and Americana genres for over four decades and displayers a stunning versatility few artists possess.

“I’ve admired Don McLean since I was a teenager, he is a legendary troubadour,” Farriss said.

“I am very excited to tour with him and perform for the Australian fans.”

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