Thursday Tuning: “American Pie” By Don McLean

McLean 1There was a time when apple pie was something that stood for everything American, everything that we valued as a people. But no matter how ambiguous Don McLean’s 1971 classic, “American Pie” may be, one thing that will never diminish is that McLean’s more than catchy tune encapsulates the happenings of a timeline that spans eleven years, from 1959-70.

McLean 2“American Pie” is made-up of a lengthy list of historical characters who were among the most important to our nation’s cultural landscape of the time. Don McLean’s classic ballad was clever in a couple of ways. First, by starting its timeline at the death of Buddy Holly, and second by celebrating an unlikely pair of heroes, none other than a “pink carnation and a pickup truck.”

More than just a great tune that everyone can pretty much memorize verbatim, “American Pie” is not a musical composition that celebrates “normal” people; McLean’s patriotic, yet bitter-sweet ballad is one that sings of the players and events who helped to shape America.

McLean 3Chevy trucks have been sung about nearly as often as the great, muscle classics that were their contemporaries. The truth of the matter though, is that without trucks most of us wouldn’t be able to wear clothes every day, let alone drink clean water and eat a decent meal.

Bruce Springsteen and Paul Revere may have done the world of Bowtie muscle justice, by writing two of the greatest songs ever composed about the Chevelle SS of the mid-to-late ’60s. But drag racing doesn’t feed mouths as much as it does provide an adrenaline shot, and you can guess which is the more important of the two.

Trucks–whether you love or hate ’em–are our nation’s most important vehicles. It’s no wonder then, that “American Pie” celebrates the important vehicles, along with the important people who relied and continue to rely on their services!

McLean 4

About the author

Salvatore Alaimo

After graduating from California State University, Northridge, California, Sal Alaimo Jr. has continued with his passion of the automotive industry. Alaimo's been an auto enthusiast since his early years, and grew up learning about cars from his father, Sal Alaimo Sr. If its got a set of fat rear tires and 8-cylinders, Alaimo Jr. is all for it. Today, Alaimo Jr. brings with him a pool of enthusiasm and pride as a contributing freelance writer for Chevy Hardcore.
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