The 67-year-old singer/songwriter from New York is best known for the 1971 hit "American Pie". The song is about "a generation lost in space", or the entire 60s decade, which could be described as turbulent. One of the turning points was the 1959 plane crash that killed rock icon Buddy Holly, along with Ritchie Valens (La Bamba, Oh Donna) and the Big Bopper (A.K.A. J.P. Richardson-Chantilly Lace).
"I never had a job in my life other than being a paper boy<' said McLean. "I was delivering the paper and I cut open the paper and I saw that three-three rock and roll stars killed in plane crash and that my man Buddy Holly had been killed. I was heartbroken when he died."
McLean was in junior high then, but saved the experience until he crafted the hit in 1971.
He'll bring that tune, along with hits "Vincent", "Castles in the Air" and "And I Love You So" to the Riley Center June 22. There was no indication as to when tickets would be on sale. They are $39 and $45.
The Riley Center opeed in 2006 and seats about 1,000. Other singer/songwriters to perform there include Randy Newman. Aaron Neville, Boz Scaggs and Jewel are also set to perform this year.