You know how it is. You’re doing stuff and the radio is on and you’re listening with five percent awareness, then something in your brain says “Hey, reckon you know that voice… oh yes, you definitely do. Listen, won’t you? The pitch is a little lower but there’s something about the timbre…”
So I paid attention. The guy was a singer songwriter talking about Buddy Holly. He’s a big fan, talking about how Buddy Holly died aged 22, already having written and performed a body of work which has endured and still sounds fresh today.
And then it came to me. That voice was Don McLean, over in Blighty because last night at the annual BBC Folk knees-up, he got a Lifetime Achievement award.
He’s still performing and entertaining. He always was a proper troubadour. He and his acoustic guitar worked a kind of magic together.
I still know all the words to American Pie. To me it’s an iconic song – not just because of the lyrics but because of what it meant to me at a time when I was young and carefree and the world was just about to open up, although I had absolutely no idea what was in store. It was a time of a few of us getting together in empty classrooms with guitars and messing about trying to capture the sounds that we loved.
Don McLean’s voice was the voice of every boy I’d ever fancied. His guitar style was the way I ached to be able to play. His music… like Buddy Holly’s music… will never die.
The other Lifetime Achievement Award went to The Dubliners. The sainted, wonderful Barney said a few words but I won’t go on. I said it all here
I couldn’t possibly leave this out…. 🙂
It’s the incomparable Ronnie….