Don McLean Pleads Guilty to Assaulting Wife

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Don McLean, Knox County Jail, Rockland, Maine

Don McLean, Knox County Jail, Rockland, Maine

Singer-songwriter Don McLean – best known for penning one of the most oft-played classic rock songs of all time, “American Pie” – pleaded guilty on Thursday (July 21) to a variety of charges brought by his wife. The legend’s plea allows him to avoid jail time.

McLean had been arrested on January 18, 2016 and charged with domestic violence towards his wife Patrisha at their Camden, ME home. At the time she said: “My husband has a violent temper. For the first 10 years or so, his rage was unfathomably deep and very scary.”

Patrisha McLean filed for divorce in March citing “adultery, cruel and abusive treatment and irreconcilable differences.” At this week’s court hearing, McLean pleaded guilty to a variety of domestic violence assault charges. If McLean avoids contacting her for the next 12 months and passes a court-mandated mental health evaluation, his charges will be dismissed.

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McLean’s 1971 opus, “American Pie,” was an eight-and-a-half minute tour de force filled with mythic and spiritual sounding characters within a hurly burly atmosphere. It is the longest song to ever reach #1 on the pop charts, a spot it held for three weeks and made the then-26-year-old very famous.

The song’s manuscript was sold April 7, 2015 for a cool mil and then some, fetching “the third highest auction price for an American literary manuscript,” noted its auction house, Christie’s. “American Pie”‘s lyrics have always been a puzzlement to audiences and Best Classic Bands wrote an insider story about the song’s meaning.

Related: Don McLean’s “American Pie” – The True Story

Best Classic Bands Staff

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