NEW YORK – Julien’s Auctions recently announced details of its upcoming “Property From The Life and Career of Don McLean” auction, a 50th anniversary celebration of its timeless classic, “American Pie.”
The auction will include more than 300 items from McLean’s personal collection, held at his homes in Garrison, New York, Camden, Maine and Palm Desert, Calif., which will run from Friday, November 11 through Sunday, November 13 at the Hard Rock Cafe. . New York and online at juliensauctions.com.
Headlining the event and appearing on the auction stage for the first time, Don McLean’s original lyrics to his classic hit “Vincent (Starry, Starry Night)”, with an estimate of one million bucks.
It was also announced that a portion of the proceeds will go to the Don McLean Foundation, which provides funds to underserved students, homeless shelters and food banks in the state of Maine and nationwide and “ Kicking The Stigma,” the Indianapolis Colts and Jim Irsay Family’s national initiative to raise awareness of mental health disorders and eliminate the stigma too often associated with these illnesses.
In 1969, McLean scored his first Billboard Hot 100 single, “Castles in the Air” with the reverse “And I Love You So”, from his debut album Tapestry. “And I Love You So” became the most recorded song ever written by Don McLean with over 50 recorded versions. But it would be his next album “American Pie” that would propel McLean’s career as an international superstar with its titular single becoming a global phenomenon and entry into the American lexicon.
The legendary eight-minute song with its poetic phrase, “the day the music died”, in reference to the tragic 1959 plane crash that claimed the lives of rock legends Buddy Holly, The Big Bopper and Ritchie Valens, gave voice to his generation’s disillusionment with American society and a loss of innocence as the tumultuous 60s gave way to the uncertain 70s. The hit single was No. 1 on the US Billboard Chart for four weeks in 1972 and topped the charts in the UK, Australia, Canada and New Zealand. The album was No. 1 in the UK for seven weeks in 1972, charting for 53 consecutive weeks.
“American Pie” received Grammy nominations for Album of the Year, Best Pop Vocal Performance (Male), Record of the Year and Song of the Year, and Second Single from the album “Vincent (Starry, Starry Night)”, a moving tribute to artist Vincent Van Gogh, charted in the US and UK, and ranked among Billboard’s Top 100 Songs of the Year.
Local legend has long claimed that McLean wrote Tin & Lint Company’s “American Pie” on Caroline Street in Saratoga Springs. Despite a plaque that commemorates the very spot where the song is said to have been composed, the legend has been debunked by local journalist Thomas Dimopoulos.
Dimopoulos, now a City, Crime, Arts & Entertainment reporter for Saratoga TODAY, interviewed the artist for a story published by the Post Star in 2012.