Generation Lost In Digital Space
Folk song hero Don McLean probably isn’t alone in his thinking when he says that, and the man who once sang about “the day the music died,” never really imagined the day when it truly did.
McLean, now 64, isn’t necessarily angry, rather, disappointed at the state of the modern music industry.
His latest album of original songs, 2009’s “Addicted to Black” will probably be his last, according to the music legend who believes printed music is dead, along with the record stores and other places where one used to be able to buy a physical copy of a cd or record. The thrill of un-wrapping your music and reading through the liner notes, then playing it on your stereo is gone. He wants no part in the digital age of music.
“It’s a very democratic technology,” McLean said of the digital music revolution. “But once it extends into other areas of the business such as royalties and other components, it breaks down.”
But regardless of his opinion, one thing doesn’t change and that’s the thrill of playing in front of a live audience.
“That’s what keeps me going,” he said. “It’s the reason why I still do this, because I find it very rewarding.”
Rockaway residents young and old can catch Don McLean live this Saturday night at the new CenterStage at Aviator outdoor concert venue.
McLean keeps his voice and band of musicians in tip top shape and fans, he says, should come to expect a real rock and roll show, featuring his classics as well as some new cuts from “Addicted to Black,” such as the late Princess Diana inspired, “Run Diana Run.”
When asked if “American Pie” would resonate with the general public in the same way it did nearly 40 years ago, McLean said candidly that he didn’t know, but says throughout his career he always felt that the audience knew a good record when they heard it, but is not so sure about today’s generation.
“I think a good record is a good record and people would be totally thrilled by it,” he said. “But so much of music today is about fashion and how you appear to people instead of the music. But one of the things I always felt was that the audience knew what a great song was.”
But today McLean believes people are failing to understand basic music vocabulary and song structure that make up a good composition, regardless of the type of music it is.
“Writing good songs has been replaced by the notion that a person could do anything they want to do and call it art. But it’s not art, it’s being lazy.”
The recording studio and record companies provided structure in music and it used to be that record companies produced the best music possible, but McLean says that is simply not the case anymore.
For more information on Saturday’s show visit frontgatetickets.com or call 718-758-7500. For everything Don McLean visit www.don-mclean.com.