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Don Mclean Announces three New Zealand concerts In February

Don Mclean Announces three New Zealand concerts In February

Tickets on sale Monday, December 6

One of America's most enduring songwriters DON McLEAN - legendary for such hits as American Pie, Vincent and Castles in the Air - announces a tour of New Zealand in February.

This Grammy Award artist -- having amassed over 40 gold and platinum records world-wide and inducted into the Songwriters' Hall of Fame in 2004 -- will perform in Christchurch, Wellington and Auckland in three not-to-missed concerts.

Tickets to these special events on February 21, 23 and 24 will go on sale on Monday, December 6. Fans are urged to be quick.

"One of America's most enduring songwriters"

Don McLean began his folk music career performing in free concerts on behalf of Pete Seeger's efforts to clean up the Hudson River. His first album "Tapestry" in 1970 had been turned down by several labels because of his insistence on retaining his own publishing. One of the songs from this album, "And I Love You So" was covered by Perry Como becoming a Top 30 hit in 1973, while Don's performance of another, "Empty Chairs" inspired fellow folk songwriter Lori Leiberman to write "Killing Me Softly With His Song" that became a huge Grammy winning hit for Roberta Flack in 1973.

His second album "American Pie" released in 1971 included the catchy title track, said to have been inspired by the death of Buddy Holly, but also a sentimental song about America that could be embraced by everybody as the USA reeled from Vietnam and Watergate. The 8.5 minute track, produced as a two-sided single, was No.1 in the charts for seven weeks. In 2001 "American Pie" was voted No.5 in a poll of the 365 songs of the century compiled by the Recording Industry Association of America. Both "Vincent" and "Castles In The Air" from the same album became Top 20 hits in the US, with "Vincent" charting No.1 in the UK. The song was played daily in the entrance to the Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam.

Don's self-titled third album, "Don McLean" was released in 1972 reaching No.23 in the charts and included the hit "Dreidel". It was followed by the "Playin' Favorites" album released in 1973 and "Homeless Brother" released in 1974, which included "The Legend of Andrew McCrew", a true story about a black hobo who died aged 13, was exhibited in carnivals as a 'petrified man', not buried until '73. Three more albums following between 1974 and 1980 when Don had a worldwide No.1 hit with a cover of a Roy Orbison song, "Crying".
Don McLean's songs have been recorded by artists from every musical genre, most notably Madonna's No.1 recording of "American Pie" in 2000. Weird Al Yankovic later re-wrote the song as "The Saga Begins" to send-up "Star Wars". It is said that some people were surprised that Don allowed Yankovic's record, as though he didn't have a sense of humour; in fact a cultural artefact can only be used for this kind of affectionate satire if it is deeply loved in the first place. George Michael's version of "The Grave" in 2003, was sung in protest at the Iraq War.

In 2007, Don McLean shared his life story in Alan Howard's biography, "The Don McLean Story: Killing Us Softly With His Songs".

'...a great live performer, and his concerts have a certain homespun appeal....'

Opening for McLean for all 11 dates of his tour through Australian and New Zealand will be award-winning Kiwi singer-songwriter, Donna Dean with her mesmerizing voice (often compared with Annie Lennox, Dusty Springfield and Fleetwood Mac's, Christie McVie) and unique blend of Americana roots music. She grew up in Auckland listening to a mix of traditional American folk music, the music of the Carter family, Jimmy Rodgers, Gene Autry and the like, influences that are all reflected in her thought-provoking songs. She started writing songs around the age of 11. As she reached her teens Donna found lyric writing an effortless, therapeutic balm for excruciating adolescent self-doubt. Marrying basic guitar chords with words soon became routine and has continued to be a source of working through life's challenges.

A random meeting with a German promoter on a ferry crossing at Paihia in the Bay of Islands in 1998 took Donna on a six week tour of Germany. A couple of months after returning from that first tour she joined American song writing legends Jimmy Webb, Dan Penn and Spooner Oldham on their New Zealand tour. Later the same year Donna supported singer-songwriters Jeff Lang and Barry Saunders. A year later, prompted by a conversation she had with Grammy Award winning songwriter Russell Smith, Donna moved to London where she lived for five years. She regularly played at central London Roots music venues and toured extensively throughout Europe. During her stint in London Donna shared a gig and her guitar with touring songwriter Ben Vaughn (Composer, Producer, Recording artist of That 70s Show, Ween, Third Rock From the Sun, Alex Chilton and Swingers) opened for Austin singer-songwriters Catie Curtis, Eric Taylor and Terry Allen and shared a stage with Willie Nelson.

Donna was a guest speaker at the 2003 Mataura (NZ) Licencing Trust Songwriting Seminar along with songwriters Arthur Baysting and Barry Saunders. Donna's 2002 album, "Money" recorded in Nashville and featuring Americana band The Amazing Rhythm Aces, was a double winner in the prestigious 2004 New Zealand Tui Awards for Best Country Song & Best Country Album. "Money" is on the regular play list of radio stations in Germany, Belgium, Holland, Sweden, France, Uruguay, and Australia.

Christchurch Monday, 21 February 2011
Town Hall
BOOKINGS 0800 TICKETEK (0800 842 538) or 03 377 8899
Group Bookings 10+ SAVE!
Telephone Group Bookings 03 379 0597
or email

Wednesday, 23 February 2011
Michael Fowler Centre
BOOKINGS: 0800 TICKETEK (0800 842 538) or 04 384 3840 or
Group Bookings 10+ SAVE!
Telephone Group Bookings 04 384 3842 or email

Thursday, 24 February 2011
Aotea Centre
BOOKINGS: 0800 BUY TICKETS (0800 289 842) or 09 357 3355
Group Bookings 10+ SAVE!
Telephone Group Bookings 09 357 3354
or email


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  • Auckland