Saturday, May 18, 2024

Don McLean’s Daughter Writes: “He always told us that it was dangerous outside. Friends were not allowed to come over.”


Bye bye Mr. American Pie. All I keep hearing about Don McLean, who was one of my favorite singer songwriters of all time, is just terrible.

Now his daughter Jackie has written a short memoir online. It’s startling. She writes: “My father was afraid to let us leave the house. He always told us that it was dangerous outside. Friends were not allowed to come over.”

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And this: “My father could never forgive us for growing up. He wanted to keep us, his lost children, in a Peter Pan fantasy. Every sign of growth caused an outburst, a strain on the bubble that contained us. As I got older, I took to hiding in my room more and more. My very appearance was evidence of my failure to stay the way he wanted me to. Every day he talked wistfully about the good times when we were immobile, mute, helpless against any influence. “I remember when you were first born,” he’d say, “you were the first thing that was ever completely mine.”

McLean is still pending trial on his domestic abuse arrest from last winter. In that time, his wife of 28 years has divorced him. I’m told he’s also estranged from his son. What a mess. What a sad, sad story. Well, I always say, if we’d known Picasso, we wouldn’t have liked him.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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