American Pie

Don McLean Arrested, Charged With Domestic Violence

Don McLean, who was made famous by the song “American Pie,” was arrested and charged with domestic violence early Monday morning. According to reports, the 70-year-old singer-songwriter posted bail and is expected to appear in the Knox County District Court in Rockland, Maine, on February 22.

Although the details of the alleged assault are unknown, Pen Bay Pilot reports authorities were called to McLean’s home just after 3:00 a.m. on Monday. Camden Police Chief Randy Gagne confirmed Don was arrested and transported to the Knox County Jail without further incident.

Pen Bay Pilot reports the performer was charged with misdemeanor domestic violence. However, he was released from police custody after posting a $10,000 cash bail.

Although they did not release the alleged victim’s name, authorities confirmed the person’s injuries did not require medical attention.

A native of New Rochelle, New York, Don McLean purchased his first guitar as a teen. As he hoped to become a professional musician, he also studied opera to develop his voice and vocal range.

According to his official website, the musician attended Iona College — where he earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration. Although he was offered a scholarship to Columbia University Graduate School, McLean chose to focus on his career as a musician.

Throughout the early and mid-1960s, Don performed alongside numerous artists, including Arlo Guthrie, Brownie McGee, and Steppenwolf. However, he seemed to be most comfortable performing his folk music alone — with an acoustic guitar.

In the late 1960s, Don McLean toured New York’s Hudson Valley, “giving talks about the environment and singing songs for whoever would turn up to listen.” He also toured the Atlantic coast with the Hudson River Sloop Clearwater environmental group.

McLean recorded his first album, Tapestry, in 1969. Although the album was moderately successful, with two songs, “And I Love You So” and “Castles in the Air,” doing well on the Easy Listening charts, he got his big break with his second album — American Pie.

American Pie, which debuted in October 1971, contained two hit singles. Although “Vincent” was an international success, the song “American Pie” made Don McLean a household name.

Although there was much speculation, Don did not discuss the true meaning behind his hit single until a 2015 interview — which was published by Huffington Post.

The song clearly touched on the tragic deaths of Buddy Holly, J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson, and Ritchie Valens, who were killed in a plane crash on February 3, 1959 — “the day the music died.”

However, the remainder of the lyrics were far more cryptic. According to McLean, the song “grew out of [his] experiences” in life. The musician said “‘American Pie’ was part of [his] process of self-awakening” and “mystical trip into [his] past.”

Essentially, he said the hit single is “an indescribable photograph of America” which he “tried to capture in words and music.”

Over the last 45 years, Don and his infamous song were honored with numerous awards, including a BMI award and spots in the Grammy Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

Although the American Pie album and song remain Don McLean’s most successful, he released 17 more albums between 1972 and 2009. His schedule has slowed in recent years. However, the musician still performs several live shows every year.

McLean and his wife Patrisha are the parents of two children. Although authorities have not released details about the assault, his wife hinted that she may be the unnamed victim.

In a short message to Daily News, Patrisha said Don McLean’s arrest was “not much ado about nothing.” However, she refused to provide any further details.

[Photo by Kristian Dowling/Getty Images]

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