American Pie – The Day The Music Died

John Lennon-Peace Out

Rest In Peace John Lennon

I have recently re-discovered a song from the seventies.

This song is by a dude named Don McLean,
and the song is named American Pie.

“…Something touched me deep inside,
The day the music died
So bye, bye Miss American Pie
Drove my Chevy to the levee but the levee was dry
Them good ole boys were drinking whiskey in Rye
Singin’ this’ll be the day that I die…”

This emotionally-charged blog is being written post-viewing of the film I recently reviewed named The Boat That Rocked“, where rock and roll, as we knew it in the sixties, came to an abrupt end. When the music died.

It seems many of the most incredible talents die a premature death.

Buddy Holly

Buddy Holly

Anything from plane crashes such as Buddy Holly who was a great loss to music.
Along with two fellow stars as passengers, Ritchie Valens (who had boarded the plane as a result of winning a coin toss) and Jile Perry Richardson/The Big Popper in 1959. This crash inspired the writing of the song American Pie.

“…Everyday seems a little longer
Every way love’s a little stronger
Come what may
Do you ever long for, true love from me
Everyday it’s a-gettin’ closer
Goin’ faster than a roller coaster…”

“I don’t like that surfin’ shit. Rock and roll’s been going down hill ever since Buddy Holly died”- American Graffiti

Jimi Hendrix

Jimi Hendrix

There were also drug-related deaths, such as Jimi Hendrix in 1970. I think, due to his outstanding guitar skills, his unbelievable singing voice was not recognised quite as much as it should have been.

“…A broom is drearily sweeping
Up the broken pieces of yesterday’s life…
‘Cause the life that lived is,
Is dead
And the wind screams Mary…”
(“The Wind Cries Mary”)

“You see the thing that makes sense in this crazy world is Rock and Roll.” – The Boat That Rocked (deleted scene)

Elvis Presley

Elvis Presley

A heart attack got The King, Elvis Presley in 1977 who had the looks, style, talent and personality. I have three photos of him on my wall, even though I wasn’t alive when he was. That’s how influential he was.

“…Please don’t ask me what’s on my mind
I’m a little mixed up,
But I’m feelin’ fine.
When I’m near that girl that I love best
My heart beats so it scares me to death…”
(“All Shook Up”)

Wolfman Jack

Wolfman Jack

Wolfman Jack passed away in the arms of his wife, Lou, due to a heart attack in 1995. He was a legendary pop music radio host in the sixties and has appeared in films such as American Graffiti.

Somehow the Rock and Roll stars of our world don’t seem to last.

The Beatles

The Beatles

Sometimes the music dies because it’s simply not created any more. With the most heart-breaking tragedy occurring in 1970, when The Beatles split up.

“…Life is very short
and there’s no time, 

For fussing and fighting my friend, 
I have always thought that it’s a crime, 
So I will ask you once again
Try to see it my way…”
(“Try To See It My Way”)

By 1980, John Lennon is shot and in 2001 cancer takes George Harrison.

George Harrison

George Harrison

John Lennon

John Lennon

Bob Marley

Bob Marley

In 1981, the legendary Bob Marley also died of cancer. With his final words being “money can’t buy life”

“…Rise up this mornin’, 
Smiled with the risin’ sun, 
Three little birds 
Pitch by my doorstep 
Singin’ sweet songs 
Of melodies pure and true, 
Sayin’: “This is my message to you
Singin’: “Don’t worry ’bout a thing, 
‘Cause every little thing gonna be all right…”
(“Three Little Birds”)

Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson

Despite not really being a fan, I can’t deny the incredible influence Michael Jackson has had on other musicians and, of course, his unmeasurable talent as a performer and musician. He died under suspicious circumstances in 2009. This death is a memorable one for me due to its recent occurrence (I was in maths class, and this shocking news put an end to that lesson… Which was the light in the darkness I guess).

“…It’s close to midnight 
Something evil’s lurkin’ in the dark 
Under the moonlight 
You see a sight that almost stops your heart 
You try to scream 
But terror takes the sound before you make it 
You start to freeze 
As horror looks you right between the eyes 
You’re paralyzed 
‘Cause this is thriller…”

Whitney Houston

Whitney Houston

Amy Winehouse

Amy Winehouse

Of course, this is just a pinch from the endless realm of musical talent that we know of today. Amy Winehouse (2010) and just yesterday, Whitney Houston are a couple of others that have checked-out much too soon. However, they have still influenced our popular culture and, more importantly, inspired future musicians.

We’ve had many sad days when “the music died”. American Pie is a song that represents the importance of our favourite music and artists. This song is for every time a star has fallen.

Give peace a chance, and keep listening to good music! Especially by the musicians I have mentioned – to keep them alive. They represent the better parts of music because they are talented – unlike many of the ridiculous acts the money-grabbing producers are finding today. Just because we have computers that can sing for these “posers”, doesn’t mean that’s what we should be doing. We need to inspire people today more than ever.

The death that has affected my iPod playlists the most, it’s the death of The Beatles. And with that, I will leave you with John Lennon‘s solo tune, Imagine. Which is about how it could be.

“All you need is love”. And when you feel bad, “take a sad song and make it better”.

About NZ Film Freak

I am a journalism graduate (2014) from New Zealand. Currently working in marketing, and writing fiction in my spare time. I love to write about movies on this blog when I can. I also do paid reviews and voiceovers via Fiverr (nzfilmfreak).
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5 Responses to American Pie – The Day The Music Died

  1. Steve says:

    Thank you, I really enjoyed reading that.

  2. Anastasia says:

    Wow…….great blog, keep happy x

  3. rIgpvZ Im grateful for the article post.Really thank you! Keep writing.

  4. Vickie Mayne says:

    Yeah bookmaking this wasn’t a high risk conclusion great post! .

  5. Pingback: Piano Man | NZ Film Freak

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