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Don McLean



This is one of those posts that have nothing to do with Art and everything to do with Art.

It’s an intuition. Something important there. A painting in gestation perhaps or maybe an idea that beckons you to lean in.

I was watching Don McLean singing ‘American Pie’ on some late night music channel. He was good, now I know what all the hype was about. The year – 1972.

I wasn’t even born.

‘He must be ancient now’ I thought and made a note to Google him next day.

Next day arrives and due to my elephant like memory I Google Don.

Nothing really interesting turns up, except yes; he is ancient now, but hanging in there by all accounts.

Then the following – about one of McLean’s songs.

The song “The Legend of Andrew McCrew” was based on an article published in The New York Times[1] concerning a black Dallas hobo named Anderson McCrew who was killed when he leapt from a moving train. No one claimed him, so a carnival took his body, mummified it, and toured all over the South with him, calling him the “The Famous Mummy Man.” McLean’s song inspired radio station WGN in Chicago to tell the story and give the song airplay in order to raise money for a headstone for Anderson McCrew’s grave. Their campaign was successful and McCrew’s body was exhumed and buried in the Lincoln Cemetery in Dallas.[7] The tombstone had an inscription with words from the fourth verse of McLean’s song:

What a way to live a life, and what a way to die

Left to live a living death with no one left to cry
A petrified amazement, a wonder beyond worth
A man who found more life in death than life gave him at birth

Moral of the story – keeping turning over stones and looking under them, you just mind find the germ of a painting.

These things are born in the strangest places.

Happy Wednesday.

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