By: Brian Burns
It’s interesting how a song can stay with you, make an impression on you, or force you to look at things differently. A song can create a vibration and spark a memory when it plays. At least when music was thoughtful and thought-provoking.
As a young child, riding in the back of my mom’s Chevy Chevette, not Corvette for those too young to differentiate the two, a song titled “Vincent” played through those speakers.
Who was this Vincent and who was this man singing these words that created pictures in my mind? Pictures that would make a 10-year-old search for this person and learn over the years of the interesting, sometimes, joyful, and sometimes sad life of a man tormented by the world he painted.
Vincent was artist Vincent Van Gogh and the man singing these words was singer-songwriter Don McLean.
Most famous for “American Pie” McLean told stories that provoked questions with those who listened to the words he wrote and sang. He is thoughtful, courteous, funny, and inspiring to say the least.
Most of us have sung along to “Bye Bye Miss American Pie” and have our versions of what the song means. Maybe with the top down in a jeep with the summer breeze in your face without a care in the world.
Yeah, those were the days.
For me, McLean’s music went deeper and stayed with me through my 47 years. One could argue that he taught me how to play guitar and sing “American Pie”, “Vincent”, “The Grave” and one could say that McLean taught me about the letters that Vincent would write to his brother Theo, and why he painted “Le Café de Nuit” or “Starry Starry Night”.
On January 20th, 2022, I had the opportunity to sit down with Don McLean, virtually speaking on Zoom, and talk about music, news, and politics. I was finally able to thank the man who taught me things in life through music and art.
During the interview with McLean, he spoke of music from the past, music of today, and the division in our country today compared to past decades.
If you are in the Tampa Bay area, Don McLean will be playing at the Bilheimer Capitol Theatre on February 19 at 8 pm. Tickets for this show are $125, $85, $69, and $49. To get tickets, click here and enjoy the interview below.
Please note, Zoom quality is not 4k or HD, but the words are easy to listen to.
To get tickets for the Clearwater show, click here.