Wednesday, 6 May 2015

American success story. Just sing "America"

It's incredible what has happened to the US since 2001.

The US is a leader in popular culture, tv and movies,
whether we like it or not. It's been fading quickly,
but that's not what I'm writing about.

It's the ode to America that is in almost everything
they sell now. That's what amazes me. Is it a sign
of decline, marketing, or poor taste?

It's :
American - this
American- that

American Sniper

[as if there's something American about illegal wars. oh, wait a minute!]

American Dad

American Beauty

[subtitle: how to be so far up your own ass that you think a
teeny virgin is interested in you]
American Pie

[that's more like it. Of course, you'll get skin, but then somebody will
blank out the good stuff. That's so America.]

a brief list of Merkan titles

American Crime
American  Experience
American Gangster
American  Graffiti
American Hustle
American  Heist
American Idol
American  Jesus
American  Legends
American Man
American  Outlaws
Quiet American
American  Reunion
American Splendor
American  Teen
Team America Hell Ya
The American
American  Ultra
American Ninja 1 to 5
American Wedding
American  History X
American Zombie
American  Zeitgeist
Coming to America

[not quite the usual immigrant story]

Now I know where that all started.
It seems there was once another
time when the US was looking into
its belly-button, the 1960s.
Of course, belly-button-vision is
now permanent, since the US
was "attacked" /cough/
inside job.

During that time that spilled over into the '70s,
Don MacLean wrote
the song American Pie.
maybe the Vietnam Loser War had something
to do with it.

It's as if McLean knew that a decent tune, with
some abstruse lyrics and "American" in
the title would become a hit.
[as if the cheesy title and content weren't bad enough,
here's the old US "thumbs up" with the stars & stripes]

and he was right. It became a hit. Long term. Until today

McLean: A marketing genius.
"the day the music died". He also got that right.
he did it. You could almost smell the price tag.

The story goes that, when he was asked
what American Pie means he said
"it means I'll never have to work again."

That brings up the culture of invention. As a
Canadian, I was also infected with the
"I'll just invent this thing and never work again."
I'm still working.

So, anyway, this recently came up because
the notes of the artiste, Monsieur McLean
were up for auction, so the story came round.
Can you say "a million two"?
Note to others: never hit the delete button.
better yet, use paper.
[Instructions on how to make a million.
Don McLean’s original handwritten lyrics for ‘American Pie.’ Photograph: Justin Lane/EPA]

Thanks to oligarchs having all the money, stupid
frivolous historical items are getting record prices.
Sold! one false idol

Analysis of lyrics

 "drove the Chevy to the levee"

The movie American Pie also had a Levy,
Eugene Levy, the awesome comic of SCTV fame.

Levy on American masturbation talks

Levy on American pube-shaving talks

["we did that at band camp. and I shoved a flute up my fanny"]

checkthehagiography: Guardian
see web page for lyrics etc.
Bye bye Miss American Pie: Don McLean's manuscript fetches $1.2m

Singer-songwriter’s lyric drafts for the song American Pie sold to a mystery buyer at New York auction
Don McLean's original handwritten lyrics for 'American Pie' were sold on Tuesday.

Lauren Gambino in New York
Tuesday 7 April 2015 18.11 BST
Last modified on Wednesday 8 April 2015 00.05 BST
Don McLean’s famously enigmatic masterpiece American Pie is about “life becoming less idyllic”, the singer-songwriter revealed after the song’s original manuscript sold for $1.2m (£800,000) at Christie’s in New York on Tuesday.

The 18-page manuscript, which McLean, 69, admitted he had decided to sell on a whim, included handwritten notes and deletions from the 1971 hit that was a cultural anthem for a “generation lost in space”. The sale was highly anticipated because of McLean’s assurance that the manuscript would shed light on the meaning behind the song’s elusive lyrics.

“Basically, in American Pie things are heading in the wrong direction,” McLean said in an interview with Christie’s catalogue. “[Life] is becoming less idyllic. I don’t know whether you consider that wrong or right but it is a morality song, in a sense.”
Don McLean in 2012.
Considered one of the foremost singer-songwriters of his generation, McLean said he had written the song at a time of disillusionment with the country he loved so much, and said the lyrics were inspired by an unshakable notion that American culture was in an irreversible decline.

“I thought it would be interesting as I reach age 70 to release this, so that anyone who might be interested will learn that this song was not a parlour game,” McLean told Christie’s in February. “It was an indescribable photograph of America that I tried to capture in words and music, and then was fortunate enough through the help of others to make a successful recording.”

The song has long drawn speculation about its meaning. The beginning of the song, McLean has admitted, was inspired by the death of Buddy Holly, who died in a plane crash with Ritchie Valens and JP Richardson, aka the Big Bopper, in February 1959. McLean, who was a 13-year-old paperboy at the time, mourned their deaths with the famous lyric “the day the music died”.

The catalogue also ends the decades-long debate over cultural allusions in the song, saying it is “fair to surmise” that “the king” refers to Elvis Presley; Helter Skelter refers to the Charles Manson murders; and “the jester on the sidelines” is Bob Dylan. The lyric “And while the king was looking down/The jester stole his thorny crown” appears to refer to Dylan supplanting Presley as the messiah to the masses.

The manuscript also includes a deleted verse that hints McLean may not have believed all hope was lost.

And there I stood alone and afraid
I dropped to my knees and there I prayed
And I promised him everything I could give
If only he would make the music live

And he promised it would live once more
But this time one would equal four
And in five years four had come to mourn
And the music was reborn.”

Asked why the verse didn’t make the cut, McLean told Christie’s: “I was trying to go in different directions to see if anything spoke to me and that section didn’t.”

At just over eight and a half minutes, the song is the longest ever to top the US charts, where it sat for four weeks in 1972. In the UK, the single reached No 2. Madonna chopped the song nearly in half when she introduced the American Pie to a new generation of listeners in 2000, with a cover version that Rolling Stone magazine later named the third worst cover song of all time.

The Christie’s sale included the complete working manuscript and typed drafts for the song, which was named a song of the century by the Recording Industry Association of America. The song was written in Cold Spring, New York, and Philadelphia in 1970 and 1971. Christie’s auctioneers predicted the papers could fetch up to $1.5m.

Tom Lecky of Christie’s said the work had achieved the third highest auction price for an American literary manuscript, which he called a “fitting tribute to one of the foremost singer-songwriters of his generation”. He added: “This result is a testament to the creative genius of Don McLean, and to the song’s ability to still engage and inspire.”