The news that Don Mclean’s 1972 million selling hit American Pie’s original manuscript is up for sale for a million plus dollars at an auction house has put the spotlight back on the song.
It’s going to be a very large slice of American Pie for the 69 year old creator of one of the most famous songs ever written.
Mclean himself has bever defined the song. And why should he? he claimed it should never be explained as it was poetry but for a dusty academic section of the population the song, which is littered with references to key moments in rock history, is almost a lament to popular culture harking back to a time when ‘it meant something’.
People thought this in 1972 when they were still in their twenties.
God knows what they think now.
Even in the seventies when it was still a fresh tune it was looked on as a critique on the death of pop culture and was a hagiography to the good old days.
It could be argued that the song was the first time that rock music had looked backwards with rose tinted specs. Fifteen years after being born it was already getting nostalgic.If only Buddy and the Beatles would come back and save us all from modern music…a look back to the days when it ‘all meant something’.
This is dangerous notion.
And a dangerous notion that has clouded all thinking since then,
The idea that any generation owned culture has been stifling creativity for ever and now seems like the first nail in the coffin of pop culture being eternally moving forward and the idea that the original manuscript of the song is going to sell for millions and end up in a museum is somehow fitting.
A dusty epitaph for a dusty lament? or a fitting finale to a song that soundtracked a generation in verse?