November 16, 2018 – 5:04 am


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Belgium 2018 [no label, 2CD]

Live at the City Theatre, Stadsschouwburg, Bruges, Belgium; October 16, 2018. Fairly to very good audience recording.

Dave Simpson, reviewing the Manchester, May 8, 2018 show at

On 3 February, 1959, a plane crash near Clear Lake, Iowa, took the lives of rock’n’rollers Buddy Holly, Richie Valens and the Big Bopper. “The day the music died” inspired Don McLean’s signature 1971 hit American Pie, an eight-and-a-half minute, 800-word lament for rock’n’roll and a farewell to the 1960s which, along the way, referenced everyone and thing from Elvis Presley, Mick Jagger and Janis Joplin to the killing of Meredith Hunter at the Altamont festival in 1969. McLean’s best-known song has become too ubiquitous for some, but if he’s ever done a concert since without playing it, it isn’t going to be this one. “I may get lost in my reverie, but I will keep my statutory responsibilities,” he says, prompting knowing waves of applause.

The singer-songwriter is 72, his tenor has darkened a little and has a slightly shouty timbre in the upbeat moments, but he has the energy for a two-hour show in which his hero Holly’s Everyday still features. McLean introduces one of his great, early songs And I Love You So with a story about how, aged 25, he was so angry when his first album was rejected “by 20 record companies” that he threw the tapes out in the snow. “And here we are, 47 years later.” Hearing his young self’s thoughts coming from him now is undeniably moving.

McLean has had a tough time lately. The breakdown of his almost 30-year marriage led to a widely reported incident where his wife called the police and took out a restraining order, but then in his defence informed the media that “Don is not a monster”. He always was an emotional character, and McLean’s best work is deeply sentimental without quite becoming mawkish. Winterwood, about appreciating nature and a former partner after a breakup, is one such example. Crossroads, a 1971 song about a man’s humbling admission of his flaws, is another. He touches an eye during the line: “That was never our defeat, as long as we could walk together”…

Still, McLean’s own Castles in the Air is lovely, and hearing him sing Vincent – his youthful eulogy to Van Gogh – is magical, a bucket-list moment. No one here minds much that in places during American Pie he’s all but drowned out by the band. It turns into a sing-song marathon, and one chap is escorted away after simulating the act of prayer at the singer’s feet.

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Thanks to crox for sharing the show at Dime.

AT933, 4.7k mod > Sony PCM-M10, 16 bit, 44.1 kHz, ACG, Limiter On > WAV > Cool Edit Pro, 2.1 seamless reduction of audience peaks, normalization to 0db > Wave Repair 4.9.3 indexing > Flac level 8

Click on the highlighted tracks to download the MP3s (320 kbps). As far as we can ascertain, these tracks have never been officially released on CD.

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Disc 1
Track 101. Singing The Blues (Marty Robbins) 2:36
Track 102. Everyday (Buddy Holly) 4:04
Track 103. And I Love You So 5:23
Track 104. Castles In The Air 4:50
Track 105. Tulsa Time (Don Williams) 3:45
Track 106. Lotta Lovin’ (Gene Vincent and His Blue Caps) 2:07
Track 107. Jerusalem 4:38
Track 108. Have You Seen Me 6:04
Track 109. band introductions 4:48
Includes snippet from Sleep Walk (Santo & Johnny) played by slide guitarist Vip Vipperman
Track 110. Crossroads 4:24
Track 111. Winterwood 3:57
47 mins

Disc 2
Track 201. Homeless Brother 6:59
Track 202. It Was A Lover And His Lass 5:06
Track 203. Wonderful Baby 3:26
Track 204. Magdalene Lane 5:09
Track 205. Vincent 5:29
Track 206. American Pie 13:36
Track 207. Got The Bull By The Horns (Johnny Horton) 4:20
Track 208. Crying (Roy Orbison)/American Pie outro 6:14
51 mins

Don McLean - vocals, guitar
Vip Vipperman - guitar
Brad Albin - bass
Tony Migliore - piano
Jerry Kroon - drums

Click here to order Don McLean releases.

  1. 19 Responses to “DON McLEAN - BELGIUM 2018”

  2. Rumor has it Don gots a big un. Look at that hand

    By U L E on Nov 16, 2018

  3. Twernt me above . Nuther imposter pretendin to be me . It’s true though . Rumor has it Don do gots a big un

    By U L E on Nov 16, 2018

  4. Isn’t Don McClean fucking an underage girl with his big Coc ? Pretty perverted if you ask me .

    By Scaromouch on Nov 16, 2018

  5. It’s not so strange . Jimmy Page / David Bowie and Iggy Pop all screwed me when I was 13 . Then at 14/ 15 it was on to Mick Jagger / Keith Richards / Rod Stewart/ Gregg Allman / and Steve Miller with many more after that . They all turned me into a real woman . Most except Jimmy and Mick were enormous.

    By Lori Maddox on Nov 16, 2018

  6. If he had a big one his wife would have stayed with him . Then again if it’s so big as you age gravity takes over I guess and it would be hard to stay hard ( get it ) ? Same problem. The young girl is probably looking for a surgar daddy , out for the $$$. That’s usually the reason young girls go for geezers .

    By Scaromouch on Nov 16, 2018

  7. His girlfriend is 24 not underage ‘ and smoking hot . We should all be so lucky in our 70s . Eat your hearts out

    By David on Nov 16, 2018

  8. People are so judgemental. Actually envious. Life is short . If people find happiness who are we to judge .

    By David on Nov 16, 2018

  9. cant imagine being either one of these two guys and having to perform these two songs every night all of your life
    Don McLean / “American Pie”
    Arlo Guthrie/ “Alice`s Restaurant”
    Richard “MacArthur`s Park” Harris.

    By dropkicksarge on Nov 16, 2018

  10. I saw and met Don McLean at Kutztown University in 1986, solo performance. Gave advice which I have followed to this day: If you like a performer read the books they read, see the films they saw, listen to the music they listened to. Your life will be richer for understanding their influences. He is one of the few music stars I had the pleasure to meet. I would like to see more rock bands and performers at universities; that was an untapped audience. Paul McCartney and Wings started out playing those places, for Pete’s sake!

    By Tony on Nov 16, 2018

  11. And dropkicksarge, you needn’t worry about Richard Harris as he left the building some years ago. Tony Bennett was asked if he got tired singing I Left My Heart in San Francisco. His answer? “Do you ever tire of making love?”

    By Tony on Nov 16, 2018

  12. my point is Tony, painters, sculptors, photographers authors never have to reproduce the same piece of art twice.Musicians are expected to rehash their art for decades which unless you change arrangements once in awhile would get very tiring.The problem is with the audiences who always want to hear familiar work and seldom if ever want to hear brand new material.think about it. That`s what recordings are for.

    By dropkicksarge on Nov 16, 2018

  13. As Joni said ‘No-one ever said to Van Gogh “Hey Vincent paint a starry night again mahn!”

    By swappers on Nov 17, 2018

  14. bingo

    By dropkicksarge on Nov 17, 2018

  15. Yes it’s in the hands and feet ‘ large means large penis . Don has large hands

    By Dee Dee Longley on Nov 17, 2018

  16. I’m not sure I agree with that assessment. I was married to Frank Sinatra, who was very short and only weighed 120 lbs but 100 of it was Dic . Some of the little guys will fool you .

    By Ava Gardnr on Nov 17, 2018

  17. some of you kids need help .

    By dropkicksarge on Nov 17, 2018

  18. Back to my point Frank Sinatra a short skinny guy , small in stature had a giant Dic . Extremely long and very thick as well . Artie Shaw whom I was also very briefly married was taller and heavier than Frank ‘ but his Dic was the size of my little finger. Needless to say I ended that marriage very quickly .

    By Ava Gardnr on Nov 17, 2018

  19. Fear it’s too late for ‘help’ Dropkick. Guess we might adjust their meds but personally a gag and tightening the straps would do it . . . . . . . . . juss sayin’

    By swappers on Nov 17, 2018

  20. I wonder how Mick Jagger feels singing Satisfaction nonstop for over 53 years .

    By Bill on Nov 17, 2018

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