don mclean - american pie

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MelCaramel (3:19 PM): I hate American Pie
ethANP2 3 (3:19 PM): it sounds like can!
MelCaramel (3:19 PM): it does not sound like Can you silly goose

ethan, Thursday, 4 April 2002 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

erm MelCaramel is somewhat on the money here

mark s, Thursday, 4 April 2002 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

"the day the music died" is the line that makes me want to smack him

mark s, Thursday, 4 April 2002 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

yes yes but 'and the three men i admire most / the father, son, and holy ghost' makes up for it though.

ethan, Thursday, 4 April 2002 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

American Pie II is better!!

mark s, Thursday, 4 April 2002 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

did you larf nonstop? & dr vick?

fritz, Thursday, 4 April 2002 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Mena Suvari!

Sterling Clover, Thursday, 4 April 2002 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Dude where's my shotgun?

The Killdozer version is better.

Andrew L, Thursday, 4 April 2002 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Do not reads if you hate your life

mark s, Thursday, 4 April 2002 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

I'd love to hear Damo Suzuki cover it.

Mark, Thursday, 4 April 2002 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

how would you tell if he did??

ethan, Thursday, 4 April 2002 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

haha i had clicked onto another thread before i got that so i came back to larf here

mark s, Thursday, 4 April 2002 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

fifteen years pass...

Longest appreciation of the song I've ever read (first response):

http://greilmarcus.net/ask-greil-2/

ILM's general loathing of this song--or majority loathing, anyway; I'm sure I'm not the only one who loves it--has always mystified me.

clemenza, Sunday, 1 October 2017 23:30 (four years ago) link

I still like it- Paul Griffin on piano!

Two-Headed Shindog (Rad Tempo Player) (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 1 October 2017 23:34 (four years ago) link

Can only assume people find it too corny, and take issue with its history lessons aspect.

Two-Headed Shindog (Rad Tempo Player) (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 1 October 2017 23:37 (four years ago) link

Then anyone who hates it is forbidden to like "We Didn't Start the Fire."

clemenza, Sunday, 1 October 2017 23:40 (four years ago) link

i've always loved it too and felt vaguely guilty about it given the number of hipster doofs out there who pride themselves on loudly despising it, but greil's typically fine close-reading of it made me feel a little less alone. (someone should do a playlist of the songs greil has said made him pull his car over to the side of the road -- i think "papa was a rolling stone" is another one.)

(The Other) J.D. (J.D.), Sunday, 1 October 2017 23:40 (four years ago) link

I was joking about this with Scott the other day: that they should put up historical markers along the specific roads and highways where he pulled over, detailing the song, the year, the time, and all other passengers in the car.

clemenza, Sunday, 1 October 2017 23:45 (four years ago) link

Great piece!

timellison, Sunday, 1 October 2017 23:50 (four years ago) link

someone should do a playlist of the songs greil has said made him pull his car over to the side of the road

And yet he despises Lucinda Williams.

clemenza, Monday, 2 October 2017 01:10 (four years ago) link

Maybe she should cover "I Just Want To See His Face."

Two-Headed Shindog (Rad Tempo Player) (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, 2 October 2017 01:12 (four years ago) link

Sorry, wrong thread

Two-Headed Shindog (Rad Tempo Player) (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, 2 October 2017 01:12 (four years ago) link

The lyrics are sufficiently cryptic that the song still stands on its own two feet after you have had the secret meaning explained to, as you might still be able to enjoy a novel after your schoolteacher (sorry, Phil) explains that it is "an allegory." Also, like the long-after-the-fact parsing of the record as the story of the sideman as secret weapon/secret thread in the history of rock, tracing Paul Griffin from his Scepter days, including the baião piano figure on "Walk On By," through the majestic Dylan tracks up to playing piano- and singing!- on Steely Dan records.

Two-Headed Shindog (Rad Tempo Player) (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, 2 October 2017 03:08 (four years ago) link

I kind of like "Vincent" too, though it may not be as good the Sever Gansovsky story "Vincent Van Gogh." Anything else I've heard by him is forgettable to terrible through. Perhaps I'm forgetting something.

Two-Headed Shindog (Rad Tempo Player) (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 6 October 2017 04:04 (four years ago) link

as good as

Two-Headed Shindog (Rad Tempo Player) (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 6 October 2017 04:04 (four years ago) link

three months pass...

Today is the day

Some Dusty in Here (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 4 February 2018 01:20 (three years ago) link

The piano player was excellent. Mott the Hoople doing it makes more sense to me today than Don McLean's version. I saw Garth Brooks do it recently.

eddhurt, Sunday, 4 February 2018 02:12 (three years ago) link

59 years

(the blues version in his Broadway show) (crüt), Sunday, 4 February 2018 02:51 (three years ago) link

When the song came out, it was 13 years after the event; I imagine that distance felt like several lifetimes to anyone around for both song and event (I was only 10). If a song came out today about something that happened in 2005--Katrina, say--I don't think it would seem nearly so far away, but I don't know.

clemenza, Sunday, 4 February 2018 14:50 (three years ago) link

The '50s--the rock 'n' roll era--seemed unimaginably distant to me in 1972, when I was about 13. When you look at everything thru the lens of rock 'n' roll and its progress from inchoate grab-bag of styles to what was going on in 1972, it's a bit spooky. How did this all happen? The song always seemed like fake, cooked-up shit about the lure of rock and roll, but that's part of its power.If you want proof that rock and roll died in 1968, which I think is what happened (the Band helped kill it with Big Pink, an album I love, but that signaled the END of rock not as beginning, in my opinion), this song offers plenty of evidence. Mott the Hoople chose to do the song, and they were wise, since I think every single note they ever recorded is about the death of rock and roll.

eddhurt, Sunday, 4 February 2018 15:44 (three years ago) link

the end of rock, not a beginning, that is, I can't type this morning.

eddhurt, Sunday, 4 February 2018 15:45 (three years ago) link

Did they do the whole song or just the beginning? In any case, there is something in what you say, Ian Hunter is a past-master of a knowing, Dylanesque delivery in which every line is sung in quote marks. In a way you could imagine their version some sort of recursive loop or mise en abyme in which the sidelined Dylan character is performing the song.

Some Dusty in Here (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 4 February 2018 16:37 (three years ago) link

"the day the music died ... or did it?"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z_grjYRxeLA

budo jeru, Sunday, 4 February 2018 17:27 (three years ago) link

Huey Lewis's response diagnosis on rock n roll is way better than this song

AdamVania (Adam Bruneau), Sunday, 4 February 2018 17:28 (three years ago) link

i love / hate ian's arch delivery here. wish i could find a version of the whole song but afaik they only did this much.

budo jeru, Sunday, 4 February 2018 17:29 (three years ago) link

Roll away the stone

Some Dusty in Here (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 4 February 2018 17:31 (three years ago) link

With you on the love/hate and also would have liked to have been able to hear them do the whole song

Some Dusty in Here (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 4 February 2018 17:32 (three years ago) link

xpost

needless to say, the transition into "the golden age of rock N roll" -- played here seemingly as a triumphant "NO" in response to the question: "is rock N roll dead?" -- is a pretty brutal piece of evidence in favor of edd's point.

budo jeru, Sunday, 4 February 2018 17:34 (three years ago) link

there is something quite poignant about the notion of a slightly drunk, perhaps miraculously coked-out englishman lilting his way through this song (a testament to the power of mclean's lyrics maybe), lamenting something quite different, leering across the atlantic, simultaneously chastising the americans for their naïve sentimentality, their navel-gazing, their penchant for re-writing history to fit convenient, overly-simplistic narratives -- while still finding something sincerely touching in the whole story (of the plane crash, of the '60s, idk).

budo jeru, Sunday, 4 February 2018 17:46 (three years ago) link

Mott the Hoople was the last true rock group. Of course that's not true, I'm merely being dramatic. But their entire subject matter was rock. A group that begins its career with a cover version of a Doug Sahm song about Texas and an instrumental version of "You Really Got Me" and who covers Jesse Colin Young, Melanie, Jack Clement, Little Richard and Don McLean is covering some ground.

eddhurt, Sunday, 4 February 2018 18:42 (three years ago) link

and Sonny Bono and Lou Reed.

eddhurt, Sunday, 4 February 2018 18:42 (three years ago) link

When the song came out, it was 13 years after the event; I imagine that distance felt like several lifetimes to anyone around for both song and event (I was only 10). If a song came out today about something that happened in 2005--Katrina, say--I don't think it would seem nearly so far away, but I don't know.

― clemenza, Sunday, February 4, 2018 2:50 PM (three hours ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

I think there are some subjects/contexts where the 2005 could seem as distant to us as the pop music/youth culture of 13 years earlier seemed to American Pie listeners in 1972? like the internet of 13 years ago no twitter, no youtube, facebook in its infancy etc - maybe the 2018 American Pie should be a song about Blogger or Friendster or something

soref, Sunday, 4 February 2018 18:53 (three years ago) link

Wonder which Sonny Bono composition is being referred to

Some Dusty in Here (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 4 February 2018 18:57 (three years ago) link

True. But 2005 has no romance, no juice, it's just technology we're talking about. 1959 was the zenith of American power and culture, basically, the '60s were a period of examination of all the other shit America had forgotten as it careened toward its peak. There was plenty of technology then, too, but much remained unknown, because the technology of the era could not tell you everything, and now we live with the probably suicidal illusion of omni science. . Rock and roll was about the mystery of it all. I'd play those LPs of '50s and early-'60s hits from people like Faye Adams and the Flamingos and think, shit, what was this? Same feeling I used to get watching '30s and '40s movies on TV--this was America. But yeah, that's a good idea for a remake of the song. James Redd, the Bono song is "Laugh at Me," on the first Mott album.

eddhurt, Sunday, 4 February 2018 19:02 (three years ago) link

^ basically restating the thesis of "american pie"

budo jeru, Sunday, 4 February 2018 19:08 (three years ago) link

the power of the mythical '60s narrative is still very much here. i don't think it will die with the boomers.

budo jeru, Sunday, 4 February 2018 19:09 (three years ago) link

James Redd, the Bono song is "Laugh at Me," on the first Mott album.
Oh yeah, thanks

Some Dusty in Here (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 4 February 2018 19:12 (three years ago) link

I know there's a certain evasion in the boomer mystery cult of rock and roll. I've never taken Bruce Springsteen seriously--in Meltzer's words, he's Garfield the Cat and the Fonz. The old stuff on those LP collections of pre-Beatles rock hits was pretty juicy, is all I'm saying. The zenith of American culture didn't have anything to do with rock and roll; that was Vertigo and Kind of Blue, Douglas Sirk films, Sinatra on Capitol, etc. Nothing quite as declasse as rock really mattered at that moment, 1957-1963. West Side Story, Nabokov novels in The New Yorker, maybe even folk music, the bossa nova craze. All swept away in about a month after the Beatles hit. I find it unutterably spooky and melancholy, like some Don DeLillo or Pynchon novel.

eddhurt, Sunday, 4 February 2018 19:58 (three years ago) link

So, Donald Fagen's The Nightfly is kinda the real "American Pie," come to think of it.

eddhurt, Sunday, 4 February 2018 20:02 (three years ago) link

The modern American Pie is Public Enemy and Anthrax teaming up on Bring the Noize

erry red flag (f. hazel), Sunday, 4 February 2018 21:17 (three years ago) link

i liked this

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xjbKqzRwc7k

piscesx, Sunday, 4 February 2018 23:04 (three years ago) link

Thought that would be Weird Al version

Some Dusty in Here (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 4 February 2018 23:13 (three years ago) link

This song is the high point of American creative endeavour

Alderweireld Horses (darraghmac), Monday, 5 February 2018 01:22 (three years ago) link

one year passes...

I can never get past the fact that he sings "drinking whiskey and rye" in the chorus. It's like saying "drinking beer and pilsner" or "eating sandwiches and subs." It's a long song and I could forgive a clunker or two, but in the chorus on such an easy rhyme

longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Thursday, 21 November 2019 15:35 (two years ago) link

but: there are plural "good old boys" - so, some sat down and ordered well whiskey and some specifically asked for rye.

Doctor Casino, Thursday, 21 November 2019 16:55 (two years ago) link

two years pass...

lol this guy

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/FE5B0WDX0Acy1zZ?format=jpg&name=small

mookieproof, Tuesday, 23 November 2021 16:54 (one week ago) link

Were "good ol' boys" really listening to (and mourning) Buddy Holly in 1959? To me the phrase connotes grown men, not the teenagers who almost certainly made up the rock 'n' roll audience at the time?

Halfway there but for you, Tuesday, 23 November 2021 17:06 (one week ago) link

at high school we had a prizegiving ceremony for the kids who were best in each subject and one year they announced the awards were being given out by Don McLean, and me and my one other pal who knew the name as Mr American Pie got really confused, because we had had minor local celebs come give out the awards in years previous but Don McLean was surely far too famous to come to a town fifteen miles out of Glasgow?

It turned out Don McLean was Donald McLean, former high school alumni who lived locally to be in his 90s, not Actual Don McLean.

boxedjoy, Tuesday, 23 November 2021 17:42 (one week ago) link

I love that we're seriously discussing the fictional drink orders of fictional 1959 individuals

because, like, a song implies a universe in which its events are taking place

levees are usally at least a little bit wet btw

popcornoscenti (Ye Mad Puffin), Tuesday, 23 November 2021 17:46 (one week ago) link

that line always makes me think of the masterful couplet "when you're driving in your chevy and your pants are gettin heavy"

Nedlene Grendel as Basenji Holmo (map), Tuesday, 23 November 2021 17:47 (one week ago) link

WRONG DUDE

andrew m., Tuesday, 23 November 2021 17:49 (one week ago) link

shockingly old when a 2 year old post taught me about well drinks

maf you one two (maffew12), Tuesday, 23 November 2021 17:52 (one week ago) link

This song deserves to be in the Library of Stank Shit

Cool Im An Situation (Neanderthal), Tuesday, 23 November 2021 18:27 (one week ago) link

The only thing worse than it is Madonna's version

Cool Im An Situation (Neanderthal), Tuesday, 23 November 2021 18:28 (one week ago) link


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