Another Slice of American Pie – The Story’s Bigger than the Song

American Pie, the 1971 anthem inducted into the GRAMMY hall of fame and later covered by Eddie Vedder and Madonna, catapulted songwriter Don McLean from his humble beginnings at Caffè Lena to international stardom. For years the tune has been said to have its origins in Saratoga Springs. Legend has it that while drinking, McLean wrote the song’s lyrics on a napkin at the Tin and Lint bar just down the street from the Caffè where he’d performed earlier that night. According to the story retold by the bar’s owner, Saratoga community members, and storyteller Utah Phillips, McLean passed out and his buddies saved his napkin to return to him. For years, including in a 2005 interview recorded for the Caffè Lena History Project archives, Don McLean...

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