Don McLean’s “American Pie” manuscript makes over one million dollars at auction

Original manuscript for 1971 single sells for $1.2m (£800k)

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Don McLean‘s transcript for the single “American Pie” sold for over one million dollars at auction yesterday [April 7, 2015].

A 16-page transcript featuring the song’s lyrics, plus notes from the writer and an extra verse which was never recorded, was auctioned by Christie’s in New York.

The transcript sold for $1.2m (£806,000) with the new owner now having access to the meaning behind McLean’s 1971 hit.


The buyer’s identity has not been divulged.

In an interview with Reuters published before the auction, McLean confirmed that “The writing and the lyrics will divulge everything there is to divulge.”

Explaining his decision to sell the manuscript, McLean told Christie’s: “I thought it would be interesting as I reach age 70 to release this work product on the song ‘American Pie’ so that anyone who might be interested will learn that this song was not a parlor game. It was an indescribable photograph of America that I tried to capture in words and music and then was fortunate enough through the help of others to make a successful recording.”

Click here to read our feature on the making of “American Pie”


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