Don Maclean, "Vincent" singer in 1975

Don McLean Arrested, ‘American Pie’ Singer Charged With Domestic Violence [Update]

There’s some bad news for Don McLean fans today. TMZ broke the news that McLean, known to many as the man who wrote the iconic 1971 hit song “American Pie,” was arrested and charged with domestic violence. McLean’s mug shot doesn’t show the singer’s best side!

McLean’s domestic violence arrest comes as a shock to peace-loving fans who have spent a lifetime idolizing Don and his music. “American Pie,” and other McLean hits, like “Vincent” are “dreamlike” and “much-loved” by generations of listeners who are still trying to come to terms with the McLean’s arrest.

Mclean was arrested at his home in Camden, Maine, after there was a 2 a.m. call to police on Monday, January 18. According to the Wiscasset Newspaper, police investigated and made the decision to formally arrest McLean. Don McLean was only in custody a short time before he posted $10,000 bail and was released. McLean will have to appear at the Knox County Unified Court on February 22.

According to MBPN News, messages left by The Associated Press to the police and to the McLean’s home and website have gone unanswered, and it’s not known if McLean has a lawyer.

Only recently, McLean’s concern for his wife and children led to the decision to take action to help financially support his family. Mclean intends to auction off “a lot of stuff” soon, but just a few months ago he took the big step of selling “the original draft” of the “American Pie” lyrics. According to Rolling Stone, the 16 pages of Don’s own writing sold for $1.2 million.

McLean said he sold the draft for the sake of his wife and children who didn’t “seem to have the mercantile instinct.”

“I want to get the best deal I can for them. It’s time. I only have an attachment to my wife, children and my guitar.”

Maclean, 70, is so well-loved and respected that the $1.2 million for the “American Pie” draft has only ever been topped by two other pieces in that category, making McLean’s draft the all-time “3rd highest auction price for an American literary manuscript.” CNN described the historical event as “a fitting tribute to one the foremost singer-songwriters of his generation.”

McLean’s decision to sell his material goods in order to provide for his family seems more in keeping with the kind of person who could write words as beautiful and arresting as the ones in “Vincent,” where Don sings to Vincent Van Gogh that “this world was never meant for one as beautiful as you.”

The sad news does give meaning to some of the darker lyrics McLean wrote in “And I Love You So.”

“And yes I know how loveless life can be, The shadows follow me, And the night won’t set me free.”

McLean’s song, “Empty Chairs” talks about how he felt when confronted with a lover who left him.

“And I wonder if you know, That I never understood, That although you said you’d go, Until you did, I never thought you would.”

Those words have a frightening overtone, when read in the shadow of Don’s arrest and charge for domestic violence, although police have not yet identified the victim. The arrest of McLean is a shock to fans everywhere, but even with an arrest and charge for domestic violence, there is hope.

[Photo by Central Press/Getty Images]

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